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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

July 23, 2014 at 10:42 AM

How part-time work is growing

Below is a chart that only an econ geek could love, but hang with me. I’ll give you a lollypop:

Parttime

It represents an attempt by economists John Robertson and Ellyn Terry of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to get a handle on the state of part-time employment in America in the wake of the recession. We know from the Labor Department’s U-6 measure that a large number of people are underemployed. But how many are working part-time for economic reasons (PTER) — they would prefer a full-time job — and how many are part-time for non-economic reasons (PTNER)?

The chart looks at the national average and some major sectors for those working PTER (the left-side axis) vs. those that are PTNER (the bottom axis).

The “lolly” end of the lollypop is meant to show the average mix of part-timers (less than 35 hours a week) within that industry and its size represents the size of the sector. The lollypop stick shows the growth of part-time employees since 2007. The red square shows the percent of all employment classified as PTER and PTNER in the United States.

One standout here is that more than five years into the recovery, part-time work has grown across industries compared with 2007.

Checking the axes shows that a majority of these sectors have fewer PTNER employees than before 2007 (the lollypop is leaning to the left).

Overall, around 14 percent of the workforce is classified as PTNER vs. more than 5 percent PTER. But the significant growth is for those working PTER — they want full-time jobs but the economy is too weak to provide them.

You can read the entire report here.


 

Wednesday Reading: Technology, aided by the recession, is polarizing the work world | The Upshot


 

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Microsoft earnings

Ballmer’s final report card

A in making cash


Follow me on Twitter @jontalton

 

 

Comments | More in Jobs/Unemployment

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