Within the last 5 years, there is an increasing trend of part-time employment. The latest labour force survey released by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) early this January shows that part-time employment now forms 10.5 per cent of the working population.
While full-timers still form the majority of employment, the number of part-timers has been steadily increasing. In 2009, the number of part-timers was 156,200, forming 8.4 per cent of employment. Now it has jumped to 220,200.
The top jobs amongst part-timers were non-PMET positions. Cleaning and labour jobs were the highest at 32 per cent, followed by services and sales at 21 per cent. Food and Beverage jobs were common among part-timers, as well.
Daniel Lim, 40, Bureau Chief (Singapore) of Studio MDS, who employs part-timers for his digital ventures said, "We prefer to choose to get the people we need with the right skills and scope, only when we need them, depending on the type of projects on hand, so as to keep overheads low, minimise spare and redundancies. With a lean structure, all parties can enjoy the freedom and flexibility without being tied down unnecessarily."
The rise of Singaporeans working part-time in recent years may be due to a number of factors, such as stress, work-life balance, or the lack of flexible working hours as full-timers.
According to a recent survey conducted by FastJobs of over 200 respondents this month, more than 80 per cent of them cited flexible hours and lack of benefits as key pull and push factors of part-time employment respectively.
This coincides with an article published on AsiaOne last month, which indicated that 48 per cent of over 7,000 Singaporean employees interviewed say that they are more likely to stay in their jobs if they had good work-life balance with those between 25 and 44 ranking this factor as their top three criteria when selecting an employer.
Teh See Woon, 75, previously retired now a part-time nurse said, "Part-time is more flexible and easy. I can choose whatever days I want to work. I usually work two days a week. Let's say someone calls me up that day to do work, but I don't want to, I can refuse because I don't have a contract; but full-timers can't do that."
Out of those surveyed from the FastJobs poll, half of the respondents have downloaded and used the app (of the same name) to look for general jobs and flexi-hour employment.
Angel Peng, 37, a stay-home mum commented, "The FastJobs app is easy to use and fits my lifestyle (frequent mobile user and tech-savvy). In my free time, I use it to look for part-time positions based on preferred, nearby locations, which is important to me as I want to be home for my kid when he returns from school."
Ang Yinghui, Senior Product Manager, FastJobs/STJobs (SPH) said, "We recognise a growing demand for such jobs and that people require something convenient and easy (to use) to look for these positions on the go; hence the introduction of this app to match market needs. We have seen promising numbers since the launch in March with employers quick to also make use of the platform to reach out to potential hires effectively."
At press time, the app is seeing 68,000 downloads. It is free for installation on iOS and Android phones.