How is part time defined in the United States? For example, if I work for 4 weeks at a time for an employer, then have 4 weeks off, then 4 weeks again, etc., is that considered part time or full time? In other words, if I am working full time hours per day, but only working every other month, then is that part time or full time?

I am concerned with the IRS/state government definition as it would affect: taxation and eligibility for benefits such as unemployment compensation.

  • It depends. For what purpose are you asking this question? Is it for receiving company benefits? Is it for applying unemployment insurance? Is it for a Visa question? Sep 7, 2022 at 21:59
  • @StephanBranczyk I clarified the perspective of the question
    – Socrates
    Sep 7, 2022 at 23:15
  • For unemployment, assuming you qualify, you can receive unemployment insurance when you're under-employed. You just need to declare your hours to them. They'll pay you for the weeks that you're not working, but they won't pay you for the weeks that you are. Sep 7, 2022 at 23:51
  • 1
    If you are underemployed by your choice, i.e. you work this schedule because you like the flexibility, the rules on unemployment may be different.
    – cdkMoose
    Sep 8, 2022 at 13:12
  • How is your employer paying you? The same amount per month, whether you work or not? Sep 8, 2022 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, working part-time is defined as working between 1 and 34 hours per week.

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Part-time_job#:~:text=part%2Dtime%20jobs.-,United%20States,benefits%2C%20such%20as%20health%20insurance.)

The HR (Human Resource) department in your company will tell you for sure if you are a full time or part time employee. Your employment classification will always be clearly defined by HR. There will be no confusion about it. So, ask your HR if you can.

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