Monday, September 28, 2015

Why Part Time Work May Not Be Better for Young Moms

When I decided to go back to work full-time when Baby was 6 months, a common response I got was 

"Couldn't you just look at part-time jobs??"

Part time work was the first thing I looked at.  After a while I realized that part-time employment isn't what it's all cracked up to be, and decided to search for full-time employment instead.  I'm not saying that part-time employment has no value.   It can put a foot in the door for something better.  But more often than not, what you get in return for working part-time is not worth the time and the cost that it takes to earn part-time wages.  

I tell moms who are in a situation where they really need the additional income and still have young children at home, that part-time work, while well-intentioned, will not resolve their financial situation in the short and long term.  Their best bet would be to look at full-time employment and preferably in jobs where you get a salary, and not in jobs where you have to punch in and out for lunch or something gimmicky like direct sales.  

Here are problems I discovered that come with part-time employment which led me to reconsider and to go ahead with working full-time.

Consider this example. While the scenario is hypothetical, the facts are true.   
Two moms live next door to each other.  Both of them commute to work at the same place and both earn the same rate per hour.  

One mother is employed full time and the other is employed part time.  Here's where part-time starts to become a problem, financially.  

Transportation Costs:
The person that gets hit the most with the transportation expense is the part-timer.  What it costs for a full-timer to get to/from the job is exactly the same for the part-timer.  

Insurance premiums:
Both of them receive employer benefits.  However the health and dental insurance premiums for part-timers cost more per pay period than for the full-timer.  This is why you see more happy retired folks in part-time roles instead of young moms; they take the income, reap the social benefits but don't need to pay for health insurance because they're covered through Medicare.  

Childcare Costs:
Both of them have the same number of children with the exact same ages and go to the same daycare. Childcare tuition for full time, 5 days per week turns out to be less expensive per day than childcare for 2 and a half days.  This is because centers have to find more employees to ensure adequate child-to-caretaker ratios for all hours of the day they're open or get shut down.  Part-timer is hit again with the extra cost.  

After adding all the expenses for both moms, the full-timer comes out far on top.  

While the full-timer is working 40 hour weeks, she ends up earning and taking more in take home pay PER HOUR than the part-timer. These expenses are why so many mothers start and end up quitting part-time employment very quickly without realizing that they probably could have been far better off with full-time employment instead.  

Other problems with part-time employment:
The reason why benefitted part-time jobs are far and few in between across all industries is because an employer gets more value for one person producing in one job than two people producing for one job.  It's also a pain in the butt for an employer trying to get coverage for 200 hours of work managing 10 people instead of 5 people.  

Part-timers reach a cap in what they can earn per hour, especially in entry-level jobs.  The wages for full-time positions more often than not, pay a lot more per hour than part-time wages, around 30-50% more!

Also, people who are broke, or on public assistance work less hours on average than the middle class and the affluent.  So if broke is where you want to get out from, then cowboy up and work more hours by obtaining stable, full-time employment.  


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