Using data from the Current Population Survey, a national survey of U.S. households, this brief outlines a strong association between involuntary part-time employment and economic vulnerability. Author Rebecca Glauber reports that the involuntary part-time employment rate more than doubled between 2007 and 2012. For women, it rose from 3.6 percent to 7.8 percent and, for men, the rate increased from 2.4 percent in 2007 to 5.9 percent in 2012. Involuntary part-time employment is a key factor in poverty. In 2012, one in four involuntary part-time workers lived in poverty, whereas just one in twenty full-time workers lived in poverty. In 2012, involuntary part-time workers were nearly five times more likely than full-time workers to have spent more than three months of the previous year unemployed. Not only do part-time workers bring home less money than full-time workers, but they also tend to have fewer fringe benefits. Involuntary part-time workers face even greater penalties. As this brief describes, they are more likely to live in poverty and to experience sustained periods of unemployment.

Publication Date



National Issue Brief No. 64


Durham, N.H. : Carsey Institute, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



Copyright 2013. The Carsey Institute. These materials may be used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, contact the copyright holder.