Part-time work in Chile. Is it precarious employment ? Reflections from a gender perspective
Abstract Economic globalization has had a variety of consequences for employment including changes in labour market structure, making way for new "non-standard" (or "atypical") forms of employment. These are often associated with low-quality employment, to such an extent that the concepts "non-standard forms of employment" and "precarious employment" are used as synonymous expressions. The literature shows that women have been affected the most by these changes. This study considers a particular example of non-standard employment: part-time work in Chile. The objective is to determine whether this form of labour constitutes precarious employment from a gender perspective. For this purpose, precariousness was measured in terms of three factors: instability, insecurity and insufficiency of income. The study uses data from the Survey of Socio-economic Characteristics (CASEN) of Chile, because of the possibilities it provides for characterizing precarious employment. It should be noted that, for methodological reasons, the 1994 version was chosen rather than the 1996 version because it makes it easier to measure part-time work in hours per week, which makes comparisons between countries more feasible. The research reveals that national data collection tools are insufficient for proper measurement of part-time work. According to the data obtained, part-time work makes up 10% of total employment and just over half of the cases correspond to employment of women. In general terms, it can be concluded that half of all part- time jobs constitute precarious employment, and that part-time work is equally precarious for both genders, since no significant gender differences were observed in these results. The author wishes to express her gratitude to Nieves Rico, Diane Alméras, Rosa Bravo, Laís Abramo, Irma Arriagada and Molly Pollack, and to the Statistics and Economic Projections Division of ECLAC, for their valuable comments and for the support they have provided for this research.