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Skill levels of part-time jobs increased from 2007 to 2017

August 12, 2019

The skills required of part-time workers increased between 2007 and 2017, with the most common skill level moving from level 1 to level 2. During that time period, there was a 16 percentage-point decrease in part-time jobs that only required the lowest skill level. Part-time jobs that required skill level 2 increased by 8 percentage points. BLS economists who collect the data assess and assign points to four components: knowledge, job controls and complexity, contacts, and physical environment. These points are added and then jobs are assigned levels from 1 to 15.

 Percentage point change in part- and full-time jobs by skill levels, 2007–17
Work level Part time Full time


-16 percentage point(s) -5 percentage point(s)


8 -2


6 1


1 0


1 1


2 3


0 -2


-1 -1


0 3


0 0


0 2

Note: Increasing work levels indicate increasing levels of duties and responsibilities of the job.

The occupations with the most part-time work are food preparation and serving, personal care and service, and sales and related. These occupations also have jobs that are relatively low skilled. High-skilled occupations, including management, business and financial operations, the sciences, and architecture and engineering have very little part-time work.

The data are from the National Compensation Survey. For more information, see the Beyond the Numbers article “Has the required skill level of part-time jobs changed over time?” Level 1 work is characterized as unskilled labor requiring no previous experience or consisting of routine tasks for which little training is required. Level 2 and 3 work require knowledge of basic operations which typically require some training or experience. At level 11, the work typically includes managing people or projects and performing complex tasks. Less than 0.5 percent of part-time work is at level 12 through 15.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Skill levels of part-time jobs increased from 2007 to 2017 at (visited July 23, 2024).

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