Part-time work the new norm

Flex­i­ble em­ploy­ment dom­i­nated re­cent hir­ings, as the jump in last month’s Er­gani jobs data il­lus­trates

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

The large in­crease in the phe­nom­e­non of flex­i­ble la­bor, driven by soar­ing part-time em­ploy­ment, re­sulted in salaried jobs post­ing a re­bound in Fe­bru­ary ac­cord­ing to the La­bor Min­istry’s Er­gani data­base, although this was not enough to off­set the ma­jor de­cline recorded in Jan­uary.

Hir­ings out­num­bered de­par­tures by 24,938 last month, the fig­ures re­leased yes­ter­day showed, but the first two months of 2017 reg­is­tered a net de­cline of 9,362 jobs on an an­nual ba­sis – the worst per­for­mance in the last five years.

Flex­i­ble forms of la­bor ac­count for an un­usu­ally high share of the do­mes­tic mar­ket, with sta­tis­tics show­ing that from Jan­uary 2016 to Fe­bru­ary 2017, con­tracts in­volv­ing part-time and shift la­bor came to al­most 1.3 mil­lion.

Full-time hir­ings con­sti­tuted a mi­nor­ity in Fe­bru­ary, ac­count­ing for 45.21 per­cent of the 138,242 hir­ings an­nounced. The rest con­cerned flex­i­ble la­bor, with 40.04 per­cent of that in part-time em­ploy­ment and 14.75 per­cent in shift work. There were 59,775 new full-time jobs, 55,309 part-time po­si­tions (from 49,283 in Jan­uary) and 23,158 hir­ings in shift em­ploy­ment.

No­tably, 2,692 em­ploy­ment con­tracts were switched from full- to part-time la­bor in Fe­bru­ary, while another 1,002 were changed to shift work.

Ste­lios Pet­sas, a fi­nan­cial ad­viser to New Democ­racy leader Kyr­i­akos Mit­so­takis, told Skai Ra­dio yes­ter­day that there is some­thing more sin­is­ter be­hind the growth of part­time em­ploy­ment, say­ing it not only ac­counts for the in­crease in em­ploy­ment for re­duced hours but also con­cerns the full-time em­ploy­ment of work­ers de­clared as part-time la­bor so that em­ploy­ers don’t have to pay as much in so­cial se­cu­rity con­tri­bu­tions. He fur­ther stressed that this 1.0551 phe­nom­e­non largely goes un­no­ticed and is rarely tar­geted by the state’s mon­i­tor­ing au­thor­i­ties.

It there­fore comes as no sur­prise that of­fice clerks, wait­ers and bar­tenders ap­peared among the “best­per­form­ing” jobs in the bal­ance of hir­ings and de­par­tures.

Job de­par­tures num­bered 113,304 last month, Er­gani data showed, of which 55,306 com­prised vol­un­tary de­par­tures and 57,998 con­tract ter­mi­na­tions.

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