October 21, 2013
AND REALLY, THEIR JOB SHOULD BE CARING FOR THEIR FAMILY:
The False Hysteria Over 'Part-Time Nation' : Two-thirds of part-time workers say they are 'voluntary' in that role (EZEKIEL EMANUEL and AND ANDREW STEINMETZ, Oct. 13, 2013, WSJ)
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 21, 2013 8:13 PMAccording to research by the Federal Reserve of San Francisco, in 2013, 19.5% of the workforce is part-time. This is a historically high proportion. But it is not unprecedented. In the recoveries from the recessions of 1982-83 and 1990-91, the share of part-time work was also high. In 1983, for example, it was above 20%.More than two-thirds of current part-time workers identify themselves as "voluntary" in that role. They cite noneconomic reasons for why they chose a part-time job-reasons like the need to care for a child or to finish school or to deal with a medical condition.A more important consideration is that part-time work ebbs and flows with the health of the economy. It always has. The San Francisco Federal Reserve concluded in August that the sluggish economic recovery is the culprit for a high proportion of part-time workers. And that "the elevated level of involuntary part-time work is likely to fall as the labor market recovery continues."Indeed, the share of workers who are working part-time due to a cutback of hours is actually declining steadily as we get further away from the Great Recession-not increasing as we get close to implementation of the ACA employer mandate. In 2009, that share was about 5%. Today it is just over 3%.