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Half A Job: Bad and Good Part-Time Jobs in a Changing Labor Market

Chris Tilly

Publication Year: 1996

Published by: Temple University Press


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pp. v

List of Tables and Figures

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

It is traditional to wait until the end of the acknowledgments for a nod to the patient spouse and family, but let me instead begin by thanking my wife, Marie Kennedy, and my stepdaughter, Amanda Kennedy. The two of them provided me with every conceivable form of support as I wrote the dissertation out of which this...

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1. Half a Job Is Not Enough

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pp. 1-12

America is worried about the growth of part-time and temporary employment. Time magazine, in a 1993 cover story, bemoaned "The Temping of America" (Castro 1993). A 1994 Fortune cover story trumpeted "The Contingency Work Force" (Fierman 1994). The new prominence of part-time and temporary jobs brings with it fears...

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2. Why Has Part-Time Employment Continued to Grow?

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pp. 13-33

Part-time employment is big and getting bigger Almost 21 million people, or 19 percent, of the U.S. nonagricultural workforce worked part-time in 1993. A full 83 percent of these part-timers reported that they usually worked part-time. Close to one-third of the part-time worker...

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3. Two Theoretical Frameworks

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pp. 34-46

Do employers exercise excessive power over their workers? No, scoffed Samuelson (1957), for "in a perfectly competitive market, it really doesn't matter who hires whom: so have labor hire 'capital'" (p. 894). Samuelson (1983) did acknowledge in passing that "often the economist takes as data certain traditionally noneconomic...

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4. Good and Bad Part-Time Jobs

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pp. 47-69

Again, in one case part-time employment offers employers scheduling flexibility and lower wage and benefit costs but at the price of low productivity and high turnover. In the other case, part-time employment affords exceptionally high productivity but at the cost of decreased scheduling flexibility and increased benefit...

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5. Implications of the Distinction Between Good and Bad Part-Time Jobs

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pp. 70-90

Typologies such as the distinction between secondary and retention, or "bad" and "good," part-time jobs classify the world, sorting messy events into neat boxes. A new typology generally offers a fresh look at something we had previously thought we had known. But that classification scheme's value is greater if it not only describes...

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6. How Businesses Set the Level of Part-Time Employment

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pp. 91-120

Part-time employment spreads quite unevenly across industries and occupations. By major industry, the rate of part-time employment ranged from a negligible 4 percent in mining and durable manufacturing to a hefty 30 percent in trade in 1993 (Table 6.1). Major occupational groups vary even more dramatically...

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7. Cycles and Trends

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pp. 121-157

The rate of part-time employment rides a roller coaster: it rises and falls with the unemployment rate, but after each recession over the last quarter-century, it has remained a little higher (Figure 7.1). It is involuntary part-time employment that propels the ups and downs, and recently the upward drift as well. In Chapter 2, we saw the...

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8. The Case for New Policies

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pp. 158-188

"They want to shift to part-time workers with low wages and little or no benefits," declared Teamster President Ron Carey, who had led reformers to win the union's top leadership posts three years earlier. "This is wrong for workers and their families, and it is wrong for America." But Arthur H. Bunte, Trucking Management's president, fired back...

Appendix: A Formal Model of the Cyclical Adjustment of Part-Time Employment in Noncyclical Industries

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pp. 189-197


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pp. 199-205


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pp. 207-216


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pp. 217-228

E-ISBN-13: 9781439903971

Publication Year: 1996