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Saturday, July 06, 2013


Part time America

The latest jobs report is explained by James Pethokoukis and David Burge.

 First Burge

Now Pethokoukis:
As folks on Main Street surely know:

1. The economy lost 240,000 full-time workers last month, according to the more volatile household survey, while gaining 360,000 part-time workers. In other words, the entire increase in the household measure of employment was accounted for by persons working part-time for economic reasons. The underemployment rate surged to 14.3% from 13.8%.

2. Does Obamacare explain the poor jobs mix? From the econ team at First Trust:

Given the volatility in these data series, we would not put too much emphasis on one month’s worth of data. However, it’s consistent with the large payroll gains for retail as well as restaurants & bars and probably shows some firms who would be hiring full-timers are hiring part-timers to avoid Obamacare.

3. Part-time America: There are 28 million part-time workers in US vs. 25 million before the Great Recession. There are 116 million full-time workers in US vs. 122 million before the Great Recession. In other words, 19% of the (smaller) US workforce is part time vs. 17% before the Great Recession

4. Some context: Even at 195,000 jobs a month, the US would not, according to Brookings, return to pre-Great Recession employment levels until 2021. The “jobs gap” remains huge.

5. If the labor force participation rate were back to prerecession levels, the unemployment rate would be 11.1%. And even accounting for America’s aging, the U-3 rate would be roughly 9.1%, according to Goldman Sachs.

Of course, this kind of analysis is not to be found in the MSM.  They take the headline number and tell us about The Great Obama (forgive me, I just finished reading The Great Gatsby and found this "classic" really lousy).

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