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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


We have become an economy of part-time positions. Over the last 12 months, approximately 190,000 part-time positions were added which is almost 10 times the number of full-time positions standing at 86,000.

This lack of confidence in hiring shouldn’t come as a surprise as our economy has been hit by a two-year slump in oil prices and our non-energy exports simply haven’t picked up the slack. Yet many Canadians want full-time jobs. With full-time jobs you have income and that helps boost confidence, both of which have been lacking. Wage growth has only grown a measly 1.2 per cent in the past 12 months standing at an 18-year-low. This could easily be seen as recessionary numbers.

To be fair, the real-world dynamics of living on part-time work isn’t always told in the statistics. Some take part-time work because they can't find full-time jobs; others, because they're going to school, or maybe because they fell into the part-time life and liked it better.

Today’s report gives a glimmer of hope, if you buy into the stats as 105,000 full-time positions were added while 90,000 part-time jobs lost. It’s encouraging to think there are jobs to be found, so if you are in the camp of being a part-timer wanting full-time here are a few tips to bridge the financial gap:

1)  Manage your finances according to the part-time salary. Some continue to live as though they were still working full-time when they aren’t. Recognize you may not qualify for benefits so try to plan for health care. Consider your finances the same way you would if you were self-employed or working as a freelancer.

2) Prioritize expenses. No question the budget will get tighter and now is the time to prioritize the most important expenses you have. As many have witnessed  drastic measures may be needed to get buy such as moving back home, taking in a roommate and shutting down all discretionary spending.

3) Be prepared to do what others may not. Look for multiple streams of income. Evaluate your skill sets and look for ways monetize them. For example, I love personal finance and in the past have explored writing books, presentations, articles for magazines etc. – you get the point. Time to get creative. Even consider the shifts that no one wants.

4) Build a personal business plan with a realistic time-frame and special goals. Map out concrete steps of what you will do each week to try and find a full-time job. It is hard work looking for full-time work and it can be draining. Network, explore alternate career paths, reach out to people and use social media in a constructive way.

There are jobs to be found – it just takes time.