The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics just did its job and released its monthly data about our jobs. Among the findings: Turns out, a lot of Americans are underemployed — which might be a more telling statistic than the more often-reported unemployment figures.
The Bureau’s report touches on a lot of facets of employment in the U.S., including unemployment (which is down), and what they call “persons at work part time,” which has been holding steady since this time last year. “Part-time” is defined as working 34 hours per week or less — including just one hour per week. Anyone who is “part-time” by definition is removed from the ranks of the unemployed.
And while unemployment gets the lion’s share of the attention following this kind of report, it’s underemployment that can have a truly difficult economic impact on individuals and families.
“Part-time” workers are subdivided by the BLS by why they’re working part-time, i.e., whether it’s due to the still-lagging job market , or if it’s for working “non-economic reasons,” like child care issues and family obligations. Of course, balancing child care and family obligations is very much an economic consideration for many families, but that’s another subject…
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Article was originally posted on May 2, 2014 by Rachel Gregg.