Opinion

Ben Walsh

Part time work in America

By Ben Walsh
October 23, 2013

After the financial crisis, the number of Americans who want full time jobs but are stuck in part time jobs rose sharply. In recent months, however, America’s workforce has slowly moved away from part time work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s behind the increase? America’s still-not-quite-there-yet recovery. Here’s the NYT’s Catherine Rampell:

When the recession began, 16.9 percent of those working usually worked part time. That share rose sharply in 2008 and 2009 and has not fallen much since then. Today the share of workers with part-time jobs is 19.2 percent. This would not be so troubling if people were electing to work fewer hours. But that is not the case. Basically all of the growth in part-time workers has been among people reluctantly working few hours because of either slack business conditions or an inability to find a full-time job.

The WSJ’s Ben Casselman points out that “part-time work has actually been falling as a share of employment” from its post-crisis peak, and he’s got a nice chart to back that up. Casselman also notes that there’s little evidence that the Affordable Care Act has increased the number part time workers in America.

 

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