America's Transition To A Part-Time Worker Society Accelerates As Part-Time Jobs Hit Record

Tyler Durden's picture

Back in December 2010 Zero Hedge was the first to point out what is easily the most troubling characteristic within America's evaporating labor force: its gradual transition to a part-time worker society. We elaborated on this back in February when we noted that the quality assessment of US jobs indicates that this most disturbing trend is accelerating. Finally, yesterday, the BLS' latest jobs report confirmed that our concerns have been valid all along: as of May, part-time jobs just as disclosed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics hit an all time high, over 28 million! These are people who traditionally have zero job benefits, including healthcare and retirement, and which according to the BLS "work less than 35 hours per week." In other words, as little as one hour per week of "work" is enough to classify one a part-time worker. More disturbing: the increase in part-time jobs in May compared to April: 618,000, or the fifth highest on record. It gets better: when added with the 508,000 increase in part-time jobs in April, this is the largest two month increase in part time-jobs in history. Which means of course that full time jobs in May must have declined: sure enough, at a -266,000 drop in full time jobs, the quality composition of the NFP report was just abysmal and makes any reported "increase" in those employed into a sad farce.

Part-time jobs:


Full-time jobs:


And the punchline: Part-time vs Full-time jobs:

Source: BLS

The chart above hardly needs further clarification: since the December 2007 start of the depression, full time jobs have declined by 6.9 million while part-time jobs have increased by 3.1 million.


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francis_sawyer's picture

Finally I agree with Max Fischer (somewhat)...

My only issue is with becoming a tractor mechanic... Any half-wit can learn that (trust me ~ I know)...

Buy her a pole & give her dancing lessons... (francis_sawyer offers workable solutions for any economy)......

t_kAyk's picture

Does your mother give lessons? I can pass along her info.

TBT or not TBT's picture

This is the same old shopworn "you're sitting on a fortune" category of advice.

HungrySeagull's picture


You are either still hanging onto that War Emergency Farmall and unaware that today's tractors combine the best of technology.

Best to convert to a Horse Farm... at least any halfwit can be made to clean stalls given enough alcohol to ease the pain.

JR's picture

Yes; because of offshoring and outsourcing by the globalists, the American worker is fast becoming an endangered species; it’s a bleak year for many grads. Here is the full list of Georgetown’s 10 college majors with highest unemployment rates:

 1. Architecture, 13.9 percent; 2. Film, video and photographic arts, 12.9 percent; 3. Fine Arts, 12.6 percent; 4. Commercial art and graphic design, 11.8 percent; 5. Information systems, 11.7 percent;  6. Philosophy and Religious Studies, 10.8 percent; 7. Anthropology, 10.5 percent; 8. History, 10.2 percent; 9. Area Ethnic and Civilization Studies, 10.1 percent; 10. Economics, 9.4 percent.

Incidentally, architecture had a starting salary of $36,000. Film, video and photographic arts, a starting salary of just $30,000.

Per the study: Undergrads who majored in education, health care, business and professional services have the most stable employment, according to the Georgetown study which was based on 2009 and 2010 Census Bureau data.

duo's picture

Still looking for a mechanical engineer that can package optics.  I can hire contractors, but the good ones get $300/friggin hour!

Thing is, I can teach someone who knows Solidworks how to do this kind of work in 4 months.  I've already done it twice.

AnAnonymous's picture

Yes; because of offshoring and outsourcing by the globalists, the American worker is fast becoming an endangered species;


US citizens are globalists by design.

Globalization has helped the US market by increasing the inputs to the US territory and therefore increasing the level of activity the US of A society could generate.

Globalization has little to do with outsourcing/off shoring. It has to do with concentration of wealth.

Accumulating wealth on a territory makes it more expensive to live on. The way it is. Globalization or not.

Flying Tiger Comics's picture

You don't need a degree to be a creative writer. You need to be creative, and be able to write. Wasting time at a college getting a worthless piece of paper is a way of hiding out from being an adult. Far too many people do that.

stocktivity's picture

Seems to me if the college professors in creative writing were that good, they'd be creative writers...but what do I know.

potlatch's picture

literacy is a bubble; grade inflation has hidden it so far.


i'm a college prof......  and stocktivity, you do realize, teaching is a very rewarding occupation?  Not everyone is on a "journey of discovering the most awesome thing in the world, me."


Just sayin

HungrySeagull's picture

And some are pernament students... building a life revolving around the 4 year, doctorate and whatever else they are chasing.

kekekekekekeke's picture

shit that's sad :[ it sucks enough being fat but fat and unemployed?

As a woman several years out of college I think you're dead-on with your advice.  Can you get her a pass to zumba or hot yoga (my drug of choice) or to get her thinking about getting into shape? go hiking with her? maybe a sewing machine (idk about y'all but I'm thinking it's a good skill for me to cultivate and should be easy and ~appeal~ to college-aged women)

prodigious_idea's picture

My son is about to start his Sophomore year in college.  He's very interested in Architecture, Urban Planning, etc.  And save the jokes about the need for Urban Planning as most here would agree that the type of urban planning we'll need given the current economic trajectory is very different from what the schools are teaching.  I have my concerns and plan to work with him on the tough decisions he should make in light of the rapidly-changing (i.e. deteriorating) economic climate.  Did I overstate that? <sarc>.  My research will commence momentarily, but my first Google search yielded this - I would say flowery - outlook:

$72k, 24% growth.  No I don't believe the numbers, but why wouldn't some hopeful 19 year old pursue a career given this type of information.  You know the colleges aren't presenting the opposing view.  Kind of hard on the revenue stream.  I am trying to gather and present information to him so that he reaches these decisions on his own.  To that end I would appreciate anything ZHers can offer in the career areas mentioned.  Carrying lumber he already knows.


t_kAyk's picture

Right there with ya PI, and thank you. Constructive ideas about this (and everything else) will give us much strength that we will need in the coming years, much of the reason I come to fight club.

I'm not anything of an architecture know how, but I'll gladly share any info I can muster. Cheers to you and your son.

HungrySeagull's picture

A Cat D9 would be a good future tool.

Dr. Kananga's picture

If he's interested in planning/architecture, he may want to explore the issues and opportunities that are going to arise with an aging population (I presume he's either in the US or Europe.) McMansions and suburbs and long roads and supermalls are out. Small, walkable with public transit, easy to maintain, clustered mixed use and higher density kinds of thinking are likely to be the next thing (assuming that the zombie apocalypse is on hold.)

+1 for carrying lumber. If possible, anyone going to college should also know a manual labor kind of trade. Could come in handy someday. Good luck.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

There will always be room for people who are truly good at their job.  He should hedge with more construction mgmt/proj mgmt courses and take a class or two in marketing so that if he has the oppty, he can start his own business sooner than later.  


The key is self-employment.  I think this post might be missing a paradigm shift with respect to full time employment.  I think there is some noise in the data with respect to those who are part-timing while building their own business.  Not all of the data, just a notable portion.


Tell your kid to think about self-employment/freelancing and the liberty of taking care of your own benefits.

JR's picture

The employment tragedy is a consequence of a fascist banker-controlled economy. And there’s no end to the lies that support the system.

Even Chairman Bernanke would not have had the nerve to say it so boldly; but Simon Johnson did: “We should be strengthening the power of the New York Fed and other institutions to constrain reckless risk-taking. … Undermining the ‘integrity, dignity, and reputation of the Federal Reserve System’ in current fashion poses grave risks.”

In his major article this week, Johnson talks the talk (identifying a full range of dangerous banking practices) but he does not walk the walk. He makes a major case of selecting a symbolic perpetrator of our current crisis, namely Jamie Dimon who already is a popular Wall Street candidate for taking the fall, and appears to suggest that removing Dimon as a director from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York would curtail the criminal activity that abounds at the top of the system.

Johnson obviously knows but chooses to ignore that Fed policy is controlled, not by its committees or even its chairman but, hello, by the owners of the Federal Reserve. Johnson details the history of how elites gaining increasing power in nations has been extremely detrimental to the success of nations: “The historical evidence is overwhelming. Many societies have done well for a while – until powerful people get out of hand… and given the long history of institutions in the United Sates, it appears particularly difficult for some people to acknowledge that we have serious governance issues that need to be addressed.”

The reason that the cartel of international bankers created the Federal Reserve System in the first place was so that they could control the American economy to their personal benefit. It was an end run around the constitutional guarantees that the people’s treasury should be managed by Congress. But in a startling analysis, Johnson suggests that the Congress will not be handling the crisis of too much power in the hands of elites and suggests the role should be handled by the NY Fed: “Legislative action to further adjust the governance of the New York Fed,” writes Johnson, “will not happen this year and is not likely in the near future. Frankly, saying it in this context ‘we’ll wait for Congress’ is the functional equivalent of saying ‘let’s not fix it.’”

Translation: Because of the troubles in Congress, let’s let the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers slap their own fingers and say sternly to themselves, Behave!

So much for cleaning out this banker-owned Congress and re-establishing a government of the people and by the people and for the people …. But it does make you wonder just who Simon Johnson is.

If America is to survive as a society of justice and a land of opportunity, the people must have its control in their hands. That means that their representatives either act on their behalf or need to be replaced; for it is the Congress that raises the money, pays the bills, and is at the constitutional core of our freedom or lack thereof.

Simon Johnson’s May 31 article is Jamie Dimon And The Fall Of Nations.

AnAnonymous's picture

If America is to survive as a society of justice and a land of opportunity,


But 'America' survives a society of 'Justice'. US citizenism is not endangered in the US.

'Justice' will go as.

debtor of last resort's picture

Job creation, even apes don't do that.

Dr. Sandi's picture

Sure they do. One gets another one pregnant, voila, more jobs.

It's like magic.

potlatch's picture

good lord man, think before you write, or before you rush to make a weak joke.


the ape economy is one based on grooming.  Read up dude.  They groom each other, and feast on the nits.


It's a living.  I grow the nits you eat, you grow the nits I eat.



potlatch's picture

I'm long Empire School of Cosmetology, is all I'm sayin

Offthebeach's picture

Nits make lice. Lice make typhoid. So, we need a fedgov support program for nitpicking.

potlatch's picture

see, we are innovating and fresh-making jobs as we speak.  it's like the industrial fuckin revolution in here

Dr. Kananga's picture

This article pairs nicely with a radio story I heard last night on NPR (National Petroleum Radio) about how the job growth in states with the lowest unemployment rates consist mostly of part-time, minimum wage, positions in service industries (you want fries wid dat?) and that most of the newly employed people are holding two or more part time jobs to get by. They also have peculiar ways of counting. In Arizona, for example, they count two part time jobs separately, even though they may be held by one person.

debtor of last resort's picture

Why the f*ck do people need a social 'security' number then?


Dr. Kananga's picture

Because the gov't hasn't figured out how to sneak RFID implants into everyone, silly. Though smartphones seem to work pretty well right now. :)

HungrySeagull's picture

They can simply jam it into a baby's butt these days.

Raymond K Hessel's picture

I junked you because ass-rape is not a joke. It's a hate crime.  ;p

potlatch's picture

Since a part time job is flex time, technically each day is a new hire, because one has to agree to come in, etc.


So, I see no reason why we can't tally each day's PT labor as a new job.  Of course, at the end of the day it has to be tallied as a "lost job"


Would spice up the data a bit.  things are boring: "The US economy lost 17 billion jobs in July, but rebounded nicely with 17 billion jobs added.  Signs of a resilient labor market, wouldn't you say Jane?"


Peter Pan's picture

High unemployment among the young combined with part time work, will create a longer term and irreversible demographic tsunami. At that point the debt mountain will well and truly be blown off the map and the expectations of retirees will meet a brick wll. Nothing like a shrinking future.

potlatch's picture

The human side of this fiasco is what not only makes it a fiasco, but also is the key to turning it around.  Human capital: it's not just for debt-slavery anymore!


I teach for a living: these kids deservebetter dudes.  Don't forget that.  They did not ask to be born. 


Do it for the kids, man, the kids.  I'm serious, actually.

Raymond K Hessel's picture




I dont have kids.  Who cares how super serial you are.  So fuck them.


Take care of your kids.  Dont look for society to give you what you're supposed to provide; for yourself or your family.  Get up off your knees and do something about your life. 

Your kids are stupid?  Teach them.  Your family is hungry?  Feed them. ....or wait for someone else to do it.


This is social justice, neo-commie, bullshit and I won't stand for it.  This whole post is commented by Cass Sunstein part-time social media provacateurs.


Zero Hedge = Fuck Society

Fuck Society = Take Responsibility for your own Life

Take Responsibility for your own Life = Just Do It

Just Do It = Zero Hedge

Hence, Zero Hedge = Zero Hedge.  Get a life because you're going to die someday and it would be a shame to waste it waiting on society to give you a life.

The Alarmist's picture

The boomers were fortunate to grow up in a world where distortions to the labor market made it feasible to offer compensation partly in the form of benefits that, it turns out, were grossly under-priced out of shear ignorance of the actual longer-term costs, and also had the effect of further destroying supply-demand and other economic relationships in the underlying markets. The boomers were also fortunate to work in a country that had few competitors in a number of areas for at least two decades. Sorry to be so blunt about this, but the America you harken back to was a historical fluke, and this is the reversion to the mean.

insanelysane's picture

The boomers were able to double dip into their social security benefits.

They paid into social security during their working years but at the same time elected politicians in 80s and on that raided social security in order to spend without increasing taxes.

Now the boomers are collecting "their" social security a second time because their contributions have already been spent on them.

Us, post boomers get to pay into the same system but will never receive a fucking dime of it.

dizzyfingers's picture

insanelysane Your generation gotta do something about that, for your own sakes. Choose wisely what that something (or several things) might be. Don't make it about yourselves paying more taxes!

hardcleareye's picture

Maybe you are unaware of how top tax rates have changed with time...


For example from

1925 to 1931 the top tax rate was 25% (on the eve of the depression.....)

1932 to 1935 the top tax rate was 63%

1936  to 1939 the top tax rate was 79%

1940 to 1941 it was 81%

1942 to 1943 it was 88%

1944 to 1945 it was 94%

1946 to 1947 it was 88.4%

1948 to 1949 it was 82%

1950 to 1963 it was a whopping 91% yes that is right for every dollar you earned to turned over 91 cents to the government... note the years, boomer years....

1964 to 1980 it was in the 70% range..

1982 to 1986 it was 50%

1987 38.5%

1988 to 1989 it was 28%

1990 to 1992 to was 31%

1993 to 2000 it was 39.6%

2001 to 2002 38.6%

2003 to 2012 35%


It looks to me like someone is trying to "starve the beast"....

For the most part, the US deficit has not increased because of increased government spending but because of decreased tax revenue.....






Spacemoose's picture

as one who has been paying taxes since 1966 and who has been paying higher bracket taxes since the mid 70's i can tell you from personal experience that comparing top rates is meaningless without also taking into account what was deductable (permissable deductions were been massively cut back in step with the reduction in rates) and what tax shelters were available to the upper middle class during those years.  for example, i bet you've never even heard of income averaging.  i'm not saying that many are not escaping their "fair" share (like GE) but this comparison of rates that someone drags out every now and then is worse than misleading.  it borders on a lie as presented to those who are unaware of the full story because it misleads them into believing something which is just not true.  to wit; that there has been a substantial reduction in net tax liability to individuals in certain brackets.  as i said before, i know this from (painful) personal experience.     

The Alarmist's picture

There's a joke in Europe that the Germans laugh at the Italians for having such high tax rates, and the Italians laugh at the Germans for actually paying their own high tax rates.

hardcleareye's picture

Another way to look at it is to review the historical data for the total federal receipts for those years.  Setting aside the discussion of whose pocket the tax revenue was coming from.....

The data that is readily available online is in the form of "percentage of GDP". (and yes I appreciate that this data too has "distortions" built into it we could "parse"....)

Between 1940 to 2007 the government revenue was been between 20 to 17 percent of GDP, however from 2008 to current it has been  around 15 of GDP.

My point stands.... "the beast is being starved"......

If you don't like the Brooking s Institutes numbers this is another good source


Further, Jesse's Cafe Americain has excellent article on the  price of widening inequality.....

"This long developing imbalance and erosion of equitable economic justice has led to a chasm of wealth and power, a distortion of the political system, and dangerously unstable social conditions in the developed world more usually seen in the Third World."

"It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of the truth."  John Locke

jcmjr's picture

Labor participation rate at a 30 year low, U6 is 15%, tax holiday for 2% of all payroll, and 3 million more people receiving SSI. No shit revenue is down!! Looking at spending and not revenue, because today's spending is tomorrows tax rate!! We are fucked!!

potlatch's picture

If we passed regulation, that all exchanges >1 million USD cannot be financed, but must be paid or bartered for in full, paper or good transferred at a notary discharging all further responsibility for both parties, it would do wonders for existent home owners.  Then we can all take out second mortgages again, because every house in the US will overnight be worth $999,999.99


I'm wit it, if you are

HungrySeagull's picture


When you fire someone and they sit home for 99 weeks, they have discovered how to live slowly and enjoy each day. Not frantically multitasking under your iron fist and whip.

They will be damned if they work for you again.

prodigious_idea's picture

Exactly. Ceteris paribus, the loss of deductions=effective tax increases.  It's pointless to just quote tax rates unless they're "effective"ly adjusted for deductions.  And those numbers don't fit into nice brackets which the politicians and the media like to report.  Student loans are a perfect example of lost deductions.  TRA '86 effectively eliminated the deduction although there is some relief in current law.  AMT and other current complex tax regs (particularly for the self-employed) create tax impacts that aren't reflected in the tables.

toady's picture

Thank you! I point to this every time I hear about the 'good old days' In the 'good old days' corporations PAID for access to the American consumer by paying those tax rates AND providing stable union employment. Now they don't.

Are you, the economy, or the country better off?

If the corporations don't wise up and rebuild the previous systems it's game over. They think they can build similar systems 'globally'. I think not. I guess we will see.

Every American that doesn't like the way things are going needs to stop buying icrap until we get the corporations attention