Connecticut's percentage of part-time workers (22.2 percent) outpaces much of the Northeast, South, Midwest and West, according to the latest Connecticut Economic Digest (CED), produced by the state Department of Labor and Department of Economic and Community Development. In the first examination of part-time employment in more than a decade, the publication noted that part-time employment in Connecticut numbered 383,000 - 69.5 percent of which (266,000) was women. This statewide share is among the highest in the country, which had a 50-state average of 64 percent.
Connecticut’s part-time employment share of 22.2 percent is the lowest in New England but considerably greater than neighboring states in the tri-state area, which have employment shares respectively of 17.6 percent (New York) and 17.9 percent (New Jersey), the analysis by the state Department of Labor indicated.
Part-time employment is all employment that amounts to less than 35 hours per week. Since 1997 it has averaged about 20 percent of total employment in Connecticut and fell to 18.6 percent in 2000, according to the CED, before climbing.
In recent years it has gradually trended upward and was 22.2 percent of employment in 2012, the most recent year of annual average data and the basis for the analysis. The breakdown of hours worked shows that Connecticut has less under 35 hours per week employment than other New England states but more than the Northeast region overall. Part-time employment was 23.3% of all New England employment in 2012, higher than any other census division in the country. The other eight census divisions averaged 19.3% with the West- South Central division lowest at 16.4%.
While those choosing to work part time remain the bulk of part-time workers, the number of those working less than full time has grown since 2005 as more workers have their hours cut by employers or were unable to find full-time jobs during or after the recession. From 2009 to 2011, the number of workers who wanted full-time employment but could only find part-time jobs rose 37.5 percent to 33,000 from 24,000, Hartford Business Journal reported.
The report points out, however, that a majority of part-time employment in Connecticut is due to voluntary reasons, and not a result of prevailing economic conditions. In 2012, voluntary part-time employment in Connecticut was 76.4 percent of all part-time employment, in line with the 50-state average of 76.8 percent.
The industries with the lowest average weekly hours worked are leisure and hospitality, other services, and education and health services. In 2013, these industries averaged 25.8, 30.9, and 31.2 work hours per week, according to the Connecticut Economic Digest report issued in May.