This research paper analyses the characteristics of part-time work and its development in Europe. Special attention is given to Spain, where part-time work has not yet become fully established, as only 8% of the Spanish labour force are part-timers, as opposed to an average of 17% in Europe as a whole. The main reasons for the growth of part-time employment in Europe are discussed, including: the increasing labour market participation of women (more than a third of the women in employment in Europe work part-time); the drive towards a more flexible organization of work in industry; and the growth of the service sector, which currently accounts for 75% of all part-time workers in OECD countries. Some of the factors that have hindered the development of part-time work in Spain are highlighted, including: changes in the definition of part-time employment that have affected the relevant legal regulations; the level of earnings; employment security; lower expectations of career growth; the prevalence of temporary contracts; and the prevailing business culture.
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