Reason for working part-time

Most part-time workers voluntarily work fewer hours

  • Over three-quarters of part-timers or 3.1 million people chose to work less than 30 hours a week in 2007. Young people, women aged 25 to 54 and older workers were most likely to prefer the shorter hours they worked. Most youth choose part-time work because they are attending school. Older workers choose shorter hours as a personal preference; for many, it is a transition phase on the way to retirement or after retirement.

  • Adult women often work part time because of personal or family responsibilities. Although both spouses are working in most families today, data on time use from the 2006 Census showed that adult women are still more likely to put in longer unpaid hours around the home.

  • In contrast, of the 287,000 men aged 25 to 54 who worked part time in 2007, a large proportion (45.2%) said they could not find full-time work because of poor economic or business conditions. Of the other men who worked part time by choice that year, most did so as a personal preference or because they were going to school.

Chart G.3
Proportion of part-time workers, by reason for working part time, by sex and age, 2007

Chart G.3 Proportion of part-time workers, by reason for working part time, by sex and age, 2007

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, CANSIM table 282-0014.