More men working part time than 20 years ago

More men are taking part time work, such as fast-food delivery. REX/Shutterstock

There were more men in part-time roles in 2017 than there were two decades ago, resulting in a “hollowing out” of the male pay distribution, a study has found.

According to a report by think tank the Resolution Foundation, the proportion of the male workforce in part-time roles increased to 11.7% in 2017, compared to 8.1% in 1997.

The “Counting the Hours” report suggested that this has resulted in a decrease in the number of mid-paid jobs taken by men in the UK, as the number of low-paid and highly paid jobs have grown.

However, it said the “hollowing out” was only seen when weekly pay, not hourly pay, was looked at.

Between 1997 and 2016 the share of male employees earning the typical male weekly wage fell by approximately 15%, while the proportion of men earning more than twice the male hourly median increased by 15%.

The report said: “This hollowing out, rather than being driven by occupational change, is primarily the result of significant changes in the hours worked by men.

“This isn’t all bad news. On the one hand, we can welcome both the more equal distribution of part-time work between men and women and the curtailing of excessive hours among some lower-paid men. On the other hand however, these shifts have produced an unwelcome increase in ‘involuntary’ part-time work.”

It claimed that around 20% of the part-time male workforce, including those who are self-employed, wanted more work, compared to 15% in 2005. Among the part-time employees in the bottom fifth of the weekly male earnings distribution, 27% said they would like full-time work, compared to 8% of those in the top fifth.

It said: “However these changes are viewed, it is important that we better understand the relationship between hours and pay both within and across households.

“This is especially the case against the backdrop of an employment landscape that has increasingly incorporated the use of atypical forms of employment such as zero-hours contracts.”

The Resolution Foundation also found last year that men, especially young men, were more likely to be working in a lower paid occupation than they were in the past.

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