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From the Wall Street Journal:

"Part-time work is exploding.

"The number of Americans working part time rose by 1.2 million in December and January compared with the preceding months, according to the Labor Department. Most of that increase - 857,000 workers - was driven by people who worked part time by choice, not because they were unable to find full-time work or their hours were cut.

"The total number of people working part time voluntarily—22.1 million in January—is now almost six times the 4.1 million who are working part time but would prefer full-time hours. That is the highest ratio in two decades. In the first months of the pandemic, when millions of Americans were laid off and couldn’t find full-time jobs, or saw their hours cut, those numbers were about even. In the 20 years before the Covid-19 pandemic, the ratio typically stayed between three to one and five to one.

"In total, 16.3% of the 160 million Americans who were employed in January worked part time hours, which the Labor Department defines as anything less than 35 hours in a week."

KC's View:

This will be sort of old news to people in the retail food business, which has relied in part-time workers forever.

Properly nurtured, great part-timers can be wonderful ambassadors for a business, and every bit as essential as full-timers.  But that means extending a culture of caring to them, too … they have to be treated with respect and encouraged to feel a sense of ownership in the business.  In many cases, they're not choosing part-time work because of laziness, but rather because they have other pressures and priorities in their lives.  That's fine, and in fact sensitivity to those things can help make them part of the family.