Tanya Domina

Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Human and Family Resources


Retail trade--Employees; Part-time employment


Since 1980, part-time employment, both in terms of number of jobs and percentage of the workforce, has increased faster than fulltime employment. This growth has been attributed to the phenomenal increase in the service and retail industries and changing attitudes and lifestyles. The purposes of the present study were to determine worker characteristics, to determine which industries employ a large percentage of part-time employees, to examine worker characteristics associated with part-time employment in retail sales, and then to compare these retail employees to those employed part-time in nonsales occupations. Data used in the present study was from the 1985 Current Population Survey. From this data, frequency distributions, stepwise comparison of the means, and logistic regressions were used to test the hypotheses in the analysis. Models were developed to examine the effects of gender, race, presence of children and other worker characteristics. Findings indicated that sex was an important predictor of work choice, with women more likely to work part-time than men. Women were likely to work part-time if they were white, married, had children, and lived farther from the central city. Men employed part-time in retail sales tended to be single, have less education, a higher earnings potential than women, and live in or near a central city. When sales and nonsales occupations were analyzed using logistic regression, the sales variable was found to be positively related to part-time employment. Key differences between part-time sales and nonsales employment were age, race of the worker, and income from sources other than personal wages. Findings of this study have important implications for the retail industry. Accurate predictions of the composition of the future part-time labor supply will allow businesses to assess their current programs and then modify them in order to recruit, train, and retain the needed part-time workforce in the 1990s.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 88-89)


ix, 89 pages




Northern Illinois University

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