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Friday, March 06, 2009

Part Time for Economic Reasons Hits 8.6 Million

by Calculated Risk on 3/06/2009 11:43:00 AM

One more stunning graph from the employment report ...

From the BLS report:

In February, the number of persons who worked part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose by 787,000, reaching 8.6 million. The number of such workers rose by 3.7 million over the past 12 months. This category includes persons who would like to work full time but were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time jobs.
Part Time Workers Click on graph for larger image.

Not only has the unemployment rate risen sharply to 8.1%, but the number of workers only able to find part time jobs (or have had their hours cut for economic reasons) is now at a record 8.6 million.

Of course the U.S. population is significantly larger today (about 305 million) than in the early '80s (about 228 million) when the number of part time workers almost reached 7 million. That is the equivalent of about 9.3 million today, so population adjusted this isn't quite a record - yet - but the rapid increase is stunning.