Publication Details

This article was originally published as Rodgers, JR, Are Part-Time Workers Poor?, Australian Journal of Labour Economics, 6(1), 2003, 177-193.


The proportion of Australian workers who are employed on a part-time basis has almost trebled in the last thirty years to reach its current level of 28 percent. Part-time work is one type of ‘non-standard’ employment that is viewed with concern for it is alleged that parttime jobs provide a low standard of living for those employed in them. This paper focuses upon an extreme version of that concern: the incidence of poverty among part-time workers. Unit-record data are used to compare the poverty rates of part-time workers with those of full-time workers, the unemployed and people not in the labour force. The incidence of poverty among part-time workers is found to be a little lower than that of the entire adult population. The major reason for the relatively modest poverty rate of part-time workers is that a large proportion of them live in families with a full-time worker.