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Definition of Full-Time and Part-Time Work used by SkillTRAN

Because most information about the current labor market comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), SkillTRAN uses the Bureau of Labor Statistics definition which is 35 or more hours per week being Full-Time work. This helps to account for full-time workers in the health care industry who may work three 12 hour shifts, four 10 hour shifts, or a traditional five 8 hour shifts. The threshold for eligibility for many employee benefits has long been held by the BLS at 35 hours. Employers have traditionally drawn/held this line for employee benefits as well.

However, while the BLS draws this important line, it rarely differentiates full-time from part-time workers in its own statistics. This simplifies its inquiries of employers when reporting statistics and reduces the reporting burden on employers. To learn about hours worked, SkillTRAN periodically obtains the Public Use Microdata Systems (PUMS) available at the Department of Census. While conducting the American Community Survey (ACS), interviewers collect data from households (not employers) about many issues, including occupation(s) held by respondents in a household and the number of hours recently worked at each occupation. While this data is collected in the ACS, it is not formally reported in any of the common reports published about the ACS.

ACS/Census Occupational Coding

ACS PUMS data is released at least one year after data collection. SkillTRAN periodically obtains the PUMS data file (containing more than 1.8 million data records) and runs its own queries to extract data for each Census-coded occupation and the average number of hours reported worked by respondents. SkillTRAN then calculates the mean number of hours worked and a range (+/- one standard error of measure) for two groups: Full-Time workers (35 or more weekly hours) and Part-Time workers (less than 35 hours per week). This generates a list of hours worked and range (FT vs. PT) for Census-defined occupational groups. Using a BLS/Census developed crosswalk, this data is converted to the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) 2018. Then SkillTRAN reports this full-time/part-time/range data in its Job Browser Pro (PC and Web) products and its web-based OASYS product.


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