Part-time positions increase, while full-time roles remain flat, Indeed data shows

More part-time opportunities are available for workers who need or want flexibility, with the share of part-time job postings climbing since 2022 and full-time postings remaining flat, according to a June 20 report from Indeed Hiring Lab.

The increase appears to be broad and covers most sectors, the report found. In general, employers seem to be swapping full-time jobs for part-time roles in many industries.

“The specific drivers of the trend towards more part-time work — including the possibility that employers are offering more-flexible options to attract workers, and/or that a cooling labor market simply requires fewer full-time roles — are difficult to discern,” Daniel Culbertson, an outreach economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, wrote in the report.

“The labor market is likely to continue to cool and rebalance in the coming year, and these trends will be an important indicator of employers’ ongoing responses to changing labor market dynamics,” he wrote. “The rise in part-time trends may continue if and as employer demand for workers continues to slowly fade in an uncertain economy.”

Full-time work remains the most common option offered in job postings, accounting for about 62% of job postings as of May. Part-time postings represented nearly 32%, up 2.5 percentage points from May 2022. Employers also posted about 13% of openings with both full-time and part-time options.

However, while the share of postings with only full-time work has remained stable since 2022, postings for part-time work began to rise in early 2022 and have remained elevated, hovering about 10% above pre-2022 norms.

The sectors with the highest shares of full-time roles included traditional office and on-site jobs, such as insurance, legal, child care, accounting and construction. Those with the highest shares of part-time roles included service-related jobs, such as beauty and wellness, personal care and home health, retail, and food service.

Notably, beauty and wellness saw the largest jump in part-time options, rising by nearly 27 percentage points during the past two years. Marketing, hospitality and tourism, and media and communications increased by about 10 percentage points — and are the main sectors where growth in part-time options has come at the expense of full-time jobs.

Some sectors may hire more part-time and contingent workers to handle tech challenges. Most business leaders have expressed concerns that they can’t train workers quickly enough to keep up with AI and other developments in coming years, according to a World Employment Confederation survey. Leaders said it’s never been so hard to plan for future talent requirements, so they’re opting for a more flexible workforce, including contingent workers, sectoral talent pools and more internal flexibility.

As contract work becomes more prevalent, HR leaders may need to focus on contract worker retention, especially for IT positions, according to a Motion Recruitment report. Recent trends around contingent work will likely continue to grow, the report found, and a vast majority of enterprise employers indicated they would shift funds from a focus on employees to contractors.