Post‐Fordist reconstitutions in economy and society are positively related with the expansion of atypical employment. This article argues that many of the claims that an increase in atypical forms promotes less rigid labour markets rely on narrow readings of official statistics and also underestimate different local labour realities. Drawing upon case studies in Thessaloniki’s Labour Inspectorates and industrial enterprises, it highlights the fact that Greek labour markets, which are already flexible enough, have been rearranged to accommodate new use patterns for atypical forms, both traditional and modern. A controversially expanding trend towards part‐time and temporary work and non‐agricultural self‐employment is discussed. This trend is traced to trades, sectors, industries and firms that have developed distinct patterns in the exploitation of atypical employment within the context of locally constituted social and regulatory practices that interact with globalized capital accumulation procedures. The expansion of atypical employment is examined along two interpretative lines, the one focusing on the effect of recent reforms on small industrial enterprises, the other analysing post‐Fordist, flexible socio‐spatial restructurings.