Land of Full Timers and Wannabes

Part-time work was in decline before the Great Recession.

Given another option, lots of people would take a pass.

Photographer: Kevin Schafer/Getty Images

Part-time work is much less common in the U.S. than in most developed countries. There are a lot of possible reasons for this, some cultural, some policy-related. The fact that affordable health insurance in the U.S. has long been hard to acquire for those who aren't working full-time has probably pushed some people in the U.S. to work more hours than they would prefer. On the other hand, full-time jobs in some European countries come with so many perks and protections that employers avoid creating them, which probably pushed some people there to work fewer hours than they would prefer. High income tax rates in some countries may damp the desire to work more hours as well.

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