The April jobs report and the part-time recovery

Posted by: Phineas on May 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm

**Posted by Phineas

“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

“But at least we won the election! Obama!!”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released it’s report for April today, showing numbers that should at least be slightly good news for the administration: unemployment down to 7.5% and 165,000 jobs added. Recovery!!

AEI’s James Pethokoukis says “not so fast:”

US job growth in April beat economist expectations as nonfarm payrolls rose 165,000, and the jobless rate fell to a four-year low of 7.5%. But the report contained worrisome signs that President Obama’s health care reform law is hurting full-time, high-wage employment.

While the American economy added 293,000 jobs last month, according to the separate household survey, the number of persons employed part time for economic reasons — “involuntary part-time workers” as the Labor Department calls them – increased by almost as much, by 278,000 to 7.9 million. These folks were working part time because a) their hours had been cut back or b) they were unable to find a full-time job. At the same time, the U-6 unemployment rate — a broader measure of joblessness that includes discouraged workers and part-timers who want a full-time gig – rose from 13.8% to 13.9%.

What’s more, there wasa  0.2 hour decline in the length of the average workweek. This led to 0.4 percentage point drop in the index of average weekly hours, “equaling the largest declines since the recovery began,” notes economist Dean Baker of Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Let’s see, more part timers and fewer hours worked. Economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin says what we’re all thinking: “This is not good news as it reflects the reliance on part-time work. … the decline in hours and rise of part-time work is troubling in light of anecdotal reports of the impact of the Affordable Care Act.”

Jim adds that, if the Labor Force Participation Rate were the same now as it was when Obama took office, then BLS would be reporting unemployment of between nine and ten percent. (And see this for a graphic chart of how the LFPR has gone down under Obama)

It’s not that unemployment is going down, it’s that the number of people who’ve given up looking for a job is growing, and an increasing number of those who have a job are limited to part-time work, thanks to Obamacare.

Such is the nature of the Obama “recovery,” the worst since the Great Depression.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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5 Responses to “The April jobs report and the part-time recovery”

Comments

  1. Recovery? What recovery? There are millions of Americans who think this is the “new normal”. News Flash!: It is not normal by any stretch but the same old abnormal that millions more refuse to accept. Many who lived through the Great Depression (the last one, not this one) can tell us that.

  2. Bill says:

    Obama must be thinking: “Darn those people still looking for a job, if they’d stop looking the unemployment rate would be zero”!

  3. Carlos says:

    “equaling the largest declines since the recovery began,”

    Getting back to the “Big Lie” theory of administration, with the low-info voter being pounded daily with garbage like this (“…the recovery began…”) it’s no wonder Obhammed’s approval rating continues where it is, although it has slipped lately.

    But the point is that his approval rating should be somewhere between that of Congress’ and that of, say, the plague.