Part-time work has become the new norm in Greece


The large increase in the phenomenon of flexible labor, driven by soaring part-time employment, resulted in salaried jobs posting a rebound in February according to the Labor Ministry’s Ergani database, although this was not enough to offset the major decline recorded in January.

Hirings outnumbered departures by 24,938 last month, the figures released on Thursday showed, but the first two months of 2017 registered a net decline of 9,362 jobs on an annual basis – the worst performance in the last five years.

Flexible forms of labor account for an unusually high share of the domestic market, with statistics showing that from January 2016 to February 2017, contracts involving part-time and shift labor came to almost 1.3 million.

Full-time hirings constituted a minority in February, accounting for 45.21 percent of the 138,242 hirings announced. The rest concerned flexible labor, with 40.04 percent of that in part-time employment and 14.75 percent in shift work. There were 59,775 new full-time jobs, 55,309 part-time positions (from 49,283 in January) and 23,158 hirings in shift employment.

Notably, 2,692 employment contracts were switched from full- to part-time labor in February, while another 1,002 were changed to shift work.

Stelios Petsas, a financial adviser to New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, told Skai Radio on Thursday morning that there is something more sinister behind the growth of part-time employment, saying it not only accounts for the increase in employment for reduced hours but also concerns the full-time employment of workers declared as part-time labor so that employers don’t have to pay as much in social security contributions. He further stressed that this phenomenon largely goes unnoticed and is rarely targeted by the state’s monitoring authorities.

It therefore comes as no surprise that office clerks, waiters and bartenders appeared among the “best-performing” jobs in the balance of hirings and departures.

Job departures numbered 113,304 last month, Ergani data showed, of which 55,306 comprised voluntary departures and 57,998 contract terminations.