Part-time work has become more common

Trade Union News from Finland, 4 September 2003

Helsinki (04.09.2003—Juhani Artto) The proportion of part-time workers has slowly increased in Finland. Over the period from 1989 to 2002 it grew from 8.9 per cent of all wage and salary earners to 12.6 per cent. Among women the proportion increased from 12.6 per cent to 17.2 per cent, and among men from 5.2 per cent to 7.7 per cent.

Among women part-time work is more common in the private sector than in the public sector. One fifth of private sector female employees work part-time.

In commerce 33.4 per cent of female employees worked part-time in 2002. In the hotel and catering industry 32.7 per cent of women had a part-time job, while the corresponding figure for cleaning and other property maintenance services was 31.0 per cent. The corresponding figures for men were 9.7, 24.0 and 14.1 per cent.

Of those women working part-time in 2001, 36 per cent would accept full-time work if this was available. Among male part-time employees the corresponding proportion was 25 per cent. Many women and men in this category are on low incomes, as the largest proportions of part-timers are found in low-pay industries and jobs.

Other reasons for part-time work were studies (30 per cent of male and 25 per cent of female part-timers), health (men 4 per cent, women 3 per cent), care of children or other close relatives (men 1 per cent, women 10 per cent), and pension or part-time pension (men 24 per cent, women 10 per cent).

12 per cent of female and 6 per cent of male part-timers worked part-time by choice.