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Part-Time Job Postings Have Bounced Back From COVID-19 Crisis

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But stark differences remain across industries.

Key points:

  • The share of part-time job postings rebounded by the end of June and is slightly above pre-crisis levels. 
  • The relatively quick rebound in the share of part-time job postings indicates that employers are relying on more flexible part-time workers in an effort to cope with COVID.
  • The part-time rebound has not been uniform across all sectors. While part-time postings for retail have bounced back, hospitality posts have not, highlighting the struggle and cautiousness of hospitality employers.  

As the US labor market continues its slow recovery, part-time job postings as a share of all postings on Indeed have already recovered lost ground. The relatively quick rebound in the share of part-time job postings, accompanied by a decline in the share of full-time postings, could be a sign that employers are relying on more flexible part-time workers in an effort to cope with the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 crisis. 

Before the COVID-19 crisis, part-time job postings accounted for about 12.5% of Indeed job postings. In late March, as COVID-19 began exerting its toll on the labor market, the share of part-time job postings declined, which is not all too surprising as service-related industries with a higher share of part-time roles took the initial brunt of shutdowns. Employers also likely cut back first on part-time workers to allow flexibility in a time of economic turmoil. At their low point during the pandemic, part-time jobs comprised just 11.3% of job postings. 

However, the share of part-time job postings rebounded back to pre-crisis levels by the end of June and was a bit elevated at 14% as of November 7. This leaves the share of part-time job postings slightly above where it started, while by contrast, as of November 6, overall job postings on Indeed remain 13% behind last year’s trend

Retail part-time jobs have bounced back

A similar trend can be found in retail, an industry typically more reliant on part-time workers than the labor market overall, and perhaps now even more so. 

Before COVID-19 part-time job postings accounted for about 23% of retail job postings. As retail took the brunt of COVID-19’s impact, that share fell to a low of 18.1%, and as the economy slowly reopens, stands at about 26.9% as of November 7. 

Retail is one of the better-performing sectors in the Indeed job postings tracker. As of November 6, retail job postings were only 2.3% behind the trend from last year. The relatively strong rebound in retail and the slightly elevated share of part-time retail postings raises the possibility that retailers are leaning on part-time workers more as they cautiously navigate a very uncertain recovery. 

Hospitality part-time jobs have had a slower recovery

The part-time rebound has not been uniform across all sectors, and a notable exception is hospitality, one of the industries most dependent on part-time workers. 

Part-time postings accounted for about one-third of hospitality job postings prior to the crisis. After a steep decline, that share has more or less bottomed out around 20% and has yet to mount a sustained rebound. 

Hospitality was one of the hardest-hit industries in the COVID-19 crisis. As of November 6, job postings remained 46.9% behind the trend of last year. While this is a slight improvement from its nadir of 67%, the absence of a rebound in the share of part-time postings highlights the overall struggle and cautiousness of hospitality employers.