The Part-Time Economy (Redux)
While not shocking to most, the jump in temporary workers that we cited earlier is perhaps the biggest indicator of job 'quality' gains. As we discussed here last month, the US market economy remains mired in a low quality (“first-fired, first-hired categories rather than the type of core hiring that would build a stronger foundation for income growth,” as FTN's Jim Vogel describes it) recovery. About 160k of private jobs added in Feb are 'low-paying work' which left average hourly earnings up only 0.1% (notes David Ader at CRT) - hardly the recipe for a sustainable recovery and perhaps the slow leak in stocks post the number is the rude awakening to that reality.
As we pointed out before:
Finally, and most, importantly, we hope that this analysis has proven that while the BLS may play around with various numerators, denominators, seasonal adjustments, and other irrelevant gimmicks which are only fit for popular consumption particularly by those who have never used excel in their lives, a deeper analysis confirms our concerns, that not only is America slipping ever further into a state of permanent "temp job" status, but that a "quality analysis" of the jobs created shows that the US job formation machinery is badly hurt, and just like the marginal utility of debt now hitting a critical inflection point, so the "marginal utility" of incremental jobs is now negative, which means that Obama, or whichever administration, can easily represent to be growing jobs, and declining the unemployment rate by whatever gimmick necessary. Yet these very jobs are now generating far less in so very critical tax revenue for the US treasury, and continue to declining steadily in quality.
Finally, two more charts, the first showing the NSA number of Part-Time jobs from the Household Survey. At 28,096,000 this number is just shy of the all time high of 28,106,000, and represents 19.4% of total employment. Second, as JT Smith reminds us, the number of people holding Multiple Jobs rose by 286K in February, more than the entire employed increase announced in the Establishment survey, and at 7,116,000 is now back to the highest since May 2010.
NSA Part Time:
And Multiple Job Holders:
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