According to the U.S. employment statistics reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 26,560,000 employees working part-time in February 2011. Approximately 31 percent worked part-time because of economic reasons (unable to find a full-time job, full-time hours cut to part-time or seasonal declines in demand). The remainder worked part-time out of choice or due to personal reasons such as child care, attending school, limits on social security earnings, etc. Women accounted for 62 percent of the part-time workers.
Because they are not as common for part-time employees as they are for full-time employees, benefits packages can be a huge recruitment and retention advantage for employers with part-time workers. Although involuntary part-time employees will be moving on to full-time jobs as the economy improves, voluntary part-time employees are likely to seek out part-time jobs that offer the best benefits.
The latest data available from BLS regarding benefits for part-time employees was released in July 2010. From that data, here’s the percentage of employers who provided specific benefits to part-timers (working 1-34 hours):
Retirement plan 39 percent
Paid vacation 37 percent
Health care 26 percent
Paid sick leave 24 percent
The CAI 2011/2012 Policies & Benefits Survey reports that roughly half of employers provide some benefits to part-time employees, with some on a pro-rata basis. The majority require a minimum of 30 hours per week to qualify for benefits (although some only require 20).
Approximately 50 percent of employers (total responses) who provide part-time benefits provide 401(k), medical and dental insurance, life insurance, AD&D insurance and bereavement pay. Sixty percent of non-union employers provide vacation and holiday pay.
Benefits provided may vary by size of employer. For full data on the local provision of benefits to part-time employees and other benefits data, please see the CAI 2011/2012 Policies & Benefits Survey.
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