The authors suggest that the process of adjusting the hours of employees may have tempered the rise in unemployment during recent downturns. According to the HILDA Survey, around 75 per cent of couples with children under 15 years had some difficulty with the cost of child care incompared with about 60 per cent in The shift to part-time work is widespread, across almost every industry with the exception of finance and real estate.
In fact, some of those working part-time are doing so involuntarily," Mr Pickering noted.
In contrast, less than 10 per cent of full-time workers switch to part-time work on average each year. The rise in part-time employment over the past few decades has contributed to an increase in labour market participation, but also means there are more part-time workers who are willing and able to work additional hours.
Parental leave options are also a significant consideration. For example, around 60 per cent of employment in the accommodation and food services industry is in part-time work Graph 6. Consistent with this, ABS data suggest that around one-quarter of part-time workers about 8 per cent of the labour force want to, and are available to, work more hours than they currently do.
However, Australia has one of the highest shares of part-time employment across OECD countries, even when using a more restrictive definition of part-time employment for international comparability Graph 2.
There have been four governments and six changes of prime minister; and, while economic growth has largely limped along below both its potential and long-term average, strong jobs growth has been a constant.