The Part-Time Economy (Redux)

Tyler Durden's picture

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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Global Hunter's picture

I am headed out to an interview for a part time job in half an hour!!!  A few years ago this would have destroyed my self esteem and self worth however today I feel free and fortunate to be have choices outside of the "system".

LongSoupLine's picture

It's called "shifting baselines".  good luck with your interview, as I imagine you need the income.

ratso's picture

The news on the US emplyment front is much better then the gloom and doomers and Obama haters would like to see.. 

Turns out the Obama and Bernanke might really be turning the economy around.

How do you guys like them apples?

Shocker's picture

The current Job Situation is sad to say the least. You can't just say recovery / that jobs coming back.... without any real jobs.

Take a sec, and get informed



battle axe's picture

Sure, and inflation is not really going thru the roof, and we will not be going to war with Iran and the deficit is not out of control. ratso the drugs you are on are way to powerful, you should kick the habit because you are delusional. Also here is a hint, THE EMPLOYMENT NUMBERS ARE BULLSHIT BECAUSE THE BOOKS HAVE BEEN COOKED.

victor82's picture

I will assume that the Obama Campaign pays you to write bullshit like this on websites so you can "influence" people to vote for Chicago Jesus in the fall.

Christ Almighty. Now I understand what was happening in Rome when the Visigoths were at the Gates. People like YOU were debating which of the Emperor's daughters was dowried enough to hand over to the Visigoth King for a sound rogering.

Oquities's picture

based on his stiff rehearsed post, senseless politicizing, inane adage, and the fact that nobody could be stupid enough to miss government obfuscation in employment statistics, i think you are exactly right.

midtowng's picture

Don't feed the trolls.

He came her to start an argument. It happens on almost every web site, left or right.

LowProfile's picture


Don't feed the trolls.

He came her to start an argument. It happens on almost every web site, left or right.


Maybe.  Maybe it's more.


Added to the list







JR in FL






Think I'm paranoid that there's agents here in the comments?

Check it out.  This guy

Then turns into this guy



Cathartes Aura's picture

so tell me, what qualifies a "troll" in your eyes?  anyone who doesn't post from a stance you agree with? 

your list is eccentric, so it's hard to qualify - but most are long time commenters with their own "voice" - ie OPINION, and while I don't agree with some, no way would I call them "trolls" because of that.

Pods? consistently good posts.  JW is the definition of eccentric - he is who he is, and again, he's consistent - you can also engage him should you care to.

just because some here don't follow the majority party line, chiming in with non-sense one-liners every thread, doesn't make them a troll, and the obvious trolls are obvious - this used to be "fight club" not "echo chamber hang with the bros club" - who knows any more though. . .

Jena's picture

Bleah.  Tried to write an something in agreement but it wasn't particularly worthwhile, but yeah.  (We've just moved and I'm taking a break from unpacking so I'm mentally fried.)

Cathartes Aura's picture

full moon solar flare post move fall out - you have my full sympathy!

feet up, glass of wine (insert bevvie of choice) evening. . . best wishes on the move!

ElvisDog's picture

Now I understand what was happening in Rome when the Visigoths were at the Gates

Interesting comment because right up until the end of the Western Roman Empire, there was a large segment of the Roman people who thought that Rome had an inherent greatness, that they would always be great, and that a return to greatness was inevitable. Think of the parallels with the constant "America is the greatest country on Earth" propaganca from our leaders.

disabledvet's picture

What's an income? I feel "solved" on that one as well.

victor82's picture

Excuse me? Let me introduce you to your friends from the Internal Revenue Service.

Know Poverty! Know Despair!

AndTheRest's picture

You still get your monthly welfare checks from the VA office though don't you?  Welfare + bribe to not kill yourself/others, and to keep you off the streets.  Homeless veterans are bad public relations for America's volunteer army.  Gotta keep the propaganda rolling.  Support our troops!  Hire vets!  Etc.  How else are we going to get kids to sign up to be sent some place on the other side of the world that is 0 threat to them and their family?  To be sent back in body bags or missing body parts?



Dr. Engali's picture

Sometimes you have to do whatever it takes. Eventually it gets better. Good luck.

tempo's picture

With the worldwide labor glut forcing competitive wages down to $25/day for a good job at Foxconn, of course there are only minimum wage jobs are being created in the US/EU.  For the vast majority, these jobs will be temporary and will  outsourced to the lowest cost, least regulated countries.   The monthly record budget USA deficit in FEB does not lie..This is a jobless recovery.  US now must borrow 54% of all its spending just to buy domestic peace.  Party on and stay in school building up max student loans, hopefully having parents and granparents cosigning for that 3 year worthless Masters degree (You might as well ruin any hope of their retirement since you are screwed anyway).   The country will come apart with those older whites with some retirement saving and the angry young and entitlement slaves.   A friend of mine recently attended a college orientation course at a major university and the 1 hour lecture was on how to "milk the system" in other words get entitlements and student aid for your dream college experience.  You deserve it. 

midtowng's picture

Well, President Bush said that having multiple jobs was a good thing.

So I guess if we all had four jobs without benefits, instead of one job with benefits, that would be a great thing.

LongSoupLine's picture

Yeah sure...but they're jobs, and income.  Heck, it must be bullish 'cause they're buying Coach bags (new all time high yesterday) to hold all that income.

(yes, it's sarc for all with challenged perception)

battle axe's picture

ahh Temp jobs, the new  career, you get paid nothing and you do not get health coverage. 

adr's picture

My favorite part about Coach is that they somehow convinced idiot women that they are buying a quality designer handbag, when they are really buying a Chinese made piece of crap the company paid less that $10 for.

In fact most of the knockoff Coach bags in NYC alleys are better quality now because they are knocking of the real European bags, not the US mall garbage.

But hey $350 retail for $10 cost is great for earnings. Too bad the women who buy them are so dumb. I went in with my wife one time because she wanted to look. I told her, honey what don't you smell in here. She said, I don't know and I replied, leather honey you don't smell any leather. All bags in here are vinyl and plastic. They're all made in China for less than $10 a bag.

The moron sales girl overheard me and said, "Sir, I can assure you our bags are made in Europe out of the finest materials."

I said, "Really, please show me. How about that $550 bag right there." She opens it and says, "This bag is handcrafted by skilled artisans from the PRC. Not China, PRC stands for a town in Italy most likely."

I wanted to say you're a fucking idiot. Instead I politely said, "PRC stands for People's Republic of China. You know what is also crafted by skilled artisans for around $10, your shoes. Also made in China, most likey by a ten year old because adult hands are too large."

The stock ponzi doesn't care as long as enough sheeple believe in the publicly traded marketing corporations that masquerade as "brands".

disabledvet's picture

Did she reply "big hands I know you're the one" though?

Shizzmoney's picture

Glad you challenged that Coach worker...although you have to give her some slack.  She IS being paid to say that, and even believe that.  I don't get mad at people who are misinformed because most don't have the problem solving capacity to realize they are getting intellectually rolled in the first place. 

I'm sure if many of the workers of corporations (including mine) actually saw, physically, the Chinese slave labor that is making these profits, especially women.....they'd most likely sing a different tune.  I mean, the fucked thing is that the American worker who does ahve a job ISN"T EVEN SEEING THE PROFIT.  It's all going to the shareholders and the higher boards. 

I mean, the CEOs basically are sitting on the backs of Chinese workers.

But most don't, because of the fact that thanks to our debtor society, so many people are balls deep in debt and really afraid of the prospect of going Galt on it.  And people want to fulfill their finanical committments, which banks take advantge of with higher interest rates and fees.  Plus, I truely believe that people have the capacity of good in the end.  At least the hard working person. 

That's why I think within 10 years, you'll start to see these practice happening....but it going to take a long time, and real defooing of people's need and want for "cool" shit.  I think it will most likely start with the end of the dollar, then China pulling a Japan in the 1700s and going back to isolationism. 

Then, people will say, "You know what, fuck Apple and fuck the iShit....I'm gonna take up coding/open source, and make my own."

People just passively accept it because "it is what it is".....that and things aren't SUPER bad (yet).  What these rent seeking, money changing assholes in banking and retail/goods corporations don't understand is if they keep going the path they are going, a) workers WILL go Galt and b) someone is going to get shot at.

ElvisDog's picture

I have a similar story. I needed a new computer carrying case. I didn't want to buy anything made in China, because I wanted it to last more than a year or two. I eventually found an upscale travel store in Edmonds, WA that had a $200 bag made in Switzerland. But the point is, the bag is worth $200 because it's sturdy and well-made.

jplotinus's picture

"Yeah sure...but they're jobs, and income.  Heck, it must be bullish 'cause they're buying Coach bags (new all time high yesterday) to hold all that income.
(yes, it's sarc for all with challenged perception)"

Let's think about this for a moment. The US manufacturing base has already been irrevocably lost, hammered and otherwise destroyed. Do posters agree?

As such, there is no viable alternative but that of holding down 2 or more McJobs. Coach bags appear to be selling well enough because people cannot resist subliminal tv ads and subprime credit.

This results in an ongoing downward economic spiral, to be sure, but, unlike the Titanic, the ship won't sink in an hour.

Buying time is not a bad strategy. Keynesian economics may have more merit than it is given credit for around here.

chinaguy's picture

Let's think about this for a moment. The US manufacturing base has already been irrevocably lost, hammered and otherwise destroyed. Do posters agree?

Well, not destroyed. The US is still the 2nd largest manufacturing country in the world. We lost first place to China only last year.

SeattleBruce's picture

"Keynesian economics may have more merit than it is given credit for around here."

In that they're able to kick the heavy, heavy can down the road for another 12, 24 months?  Debt saturation has so overwhelmed the developed world that Keynesian concepts of government stimulus won't work any longer.  Soon there will be no way to move the can and the Keynesian dream, at least for this season, will be over.

The Axe's picture

Must feed headline machine algo running bastards....wealth effect    fools.......God help me.

Caviar Emptor's picture

Right on, Tyler. 

And the bigger picture to the "part-time economy" is diminishing economic and advancement opportunities and social mobility. The class structure in the US is reverting to a pyramid shape after decades post-ww2 where it was said to be diamond shaped with a bulging middle class. No more. Think banana as in republic! At least we'll be Top Banana

JPM Hater001's picture

Yep...This is all very predictable of what happens when a society stops wanting their children to do better than them and instead want them to have more stuff than they did.

Caviar Emptor's picture

Totally tubular JPM. That is one of the tragedies 

Dnice0123's picture

Sorry but thats ridiculous. The normal feeling is for a parent to want to provide a better life for their children. What is happening here is that the engine for growth has stalled and they are desperately hoping for something to take its place. In the meantime those in charge are scrambling to cover their arses.

JohnnyBriefcase's picture

It's totally depressing when your children are better off than you are.

Totentänzerlied's picture

More debt, more balance-carrying maxed-out credit cards, more service jobs, more bankruptcies, more unemployment, more welfare, more foodstamps, more health problems, more drug problems, more serfdom.

/S/A/R/C/ Nope, the last 3 generations had nothing to do with it! /S/A/R/C/

disabledvet's picture

Well with "border out of control" going on thirty years now I'd say "we've had a lock on that" for some. Now what was that about bananas again?

mrdenis's picture

What message were these protesters trying to send Obama .....

francis_sawyer's picture

Idiots ~ They should have just bought themselves a 5,000 sq. foot house in Fort Washington, Maryland & they'd have been livin' large...

Shizzmoney's picture

This is the "New Normal" for most people.

It's not about "what" jobs are being created, its the quality of jobs: benefits, pay that keeps up with true inflation, that provide security.

I just got a raise at my job for the year of 2.5%, no bonus.  The amount added up to less of a biweekly paycheck.  A slap to my face, although I technically have to be "grateful" I got a raise. 

The thing is, I have no kid, no car, and no mortgage.  But I'm in the minority.

If *I* am struggling, what the fuck about families making less that 60K?  Even 80K?

It's basically two economies; and those in Washington only deal with the top 20%.  They don't *give* a shit about the rest of us.  Even in election years; its all a big economic circle jerk neo feudalism.

adr's picture

I make $60k but I'm in Ohio where you can still live in a decent area and pay $140k for a house. I should be making at least $100k but in order to stay by my family I had to take less. A company in LA wanted to hire me for $80k but I turned them down because $80k in LA would get me less than what $30k would in Ohio. Still gas and food are eating up a large portion of what would be disposable income.

The problem really isn't overall pay. It is where the only high paying jobs are left. Unless you land $150k or more you can't even live comfortably let alone well.

Grey-Ghost's picture

The problem really isn't overall pay. It is where the only high paying jobs are left. Unless you land $150k or more you can't even live comfortably let alone well.

This statement – in a world in which over 3 billion people live on $2.00 a day or less – illustrates the deep root of the problem.

Americans do not realize their economy is based on the Three Pillars of Pillage:

a) Financial fraud (40% of the GDP comes from the “financial industry” i.e. financial crime cartel and its funny money) and debt export based solely on the post World War II privilege America got; the dollar as the world’s reserve currency;

b) The Military Industrial Complex and its exports: destruction and death and more recently its branch,

c) The Police State structure with all those STASI-like TSA child molesters with some 2,000 ++  “agencies” dealing with the “security”.

The Federal, State and local governments are bloated leeches paying quite a buck to its numerous employees.

Strip the USA from all those “industries” and what’s left is a GDP of perhaps 30% - 40% from what is publicly acknowledged as such.

America cannot afford honesty anymore (granted it has never been too honest). America cannot afford peace anymore (granted, as a war-waging monster for centuries, America has been in a perpetual war for over 80% of its unfortunate for the world, time on this Earth). America cannot afford democracy anymore. (OK, it hadn’t had one for ages, since the both Repulsive and Despicable parties are sleazy and insane face of the same fascist oligarchy)

As such, America sinks into medieval madness as its white majority is going to lose, well, the majority (it has never been such a gigantic shift in demographic of a huge country throughout the history – never, ever), and the dystopian world of a two-tier society is a given.

Americans lived in an economy that paid them well above their abilities / intelligence / integrity / morality / for several decades. This is changing and the happy times for the global leeches that Americans (even unwittingly) had been for decades are never coming back.

Cathartes Aura's picture

I'm honestly having a hard time understanding how a single person, no family to support, is struggling on wages of over $50k a year - unless one is paying a mortgage or rent, and subsequent utilities, maintenance,  on a dwelling that is unnecessarily large (for one person), or drving a trophy vehicle, or ?? what?? where's the money sinkhole?

most people making under $40k yearly pay about 30-50% of their wages for their dwelling space, unless they're savvy and creative - but that still leaves a lot of fiat to use as you like - again, if you're single, where are you using that fiat?

Americans lived in an economy that paid them well above their abilities / intelligence / integrity / morality / for several decades. This is changing and the happy times for the global leeches that Americans (even unwittingly) had been for decades are never coming back.

trim the sails folks.

Shizzmoney's picture

Right, and the jobs are mostly in high cost, low vacancy areas like SF/NYC/Boston. 

Dylan Ratigan talks about how social mobility is being stripped from our minds AND our wallets, and how this affects true entreprenuership.  But in an economy that protect monopolies, this is EXACTLY what TPTB want.

Instead of challenging Google with a new idea, people instead just come up with that idea, and sell it to Google (youtube).  NOT a good sign.

Also agree with the Pillage point, which goes back to all of this.  The rent seekers conquered the small fry aroudn the rest of the world; now they are going for the rest of us.

VelvetHog's picture

Piss on it I'm going fishing.

Lil Ms.Homesteader's picture

The New Normal can vary from day to day, and week to week-it's anything but Normal. It is an adjustment-a reassessment of what is important and what is not. I am one of the long-term unemployed, free from the corporate monstrosity I once called my employer. I was making 50,000/year with full benefits, and no life. I was relieved of my duties in November 2008, searched desperately for a new job, across the U.S. and Canada, but had little or no luck. Eventually, I had to put the resume down and decide for myself, exactly what the New Normal would be for me, and it didn't look familiar. Finding a quality job that provides security seems like a thing of the past, or maybe I'm just unwilling to play by someone else's rules, however, reassessing my lifestyle was necessary. I called WF and told them to come a get the SUV-they did. I shut off the cell phone. Got rid of cable. I quit buying Starbucks. I quit going out to eat. I started changing my life, and my life has changed. It hasn't been easy, but it has been necessary. This is my New Normal.


Cathartes Aura's picture


bravo! - none of that stuff was necessary, and it just brands you as a consumer anyhow.

working to pay for stuff is what "they" have sold you is "life" - it's not, having your own time, the freedom to think and explore, this is life.

Caviar Emptor's picture

In the coming economy, it will be more likely that Americans inherit wealth than aquire it themselves as the upper 01% get richer and gravity tugs at the lower 90%.