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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Dr. Engali's picture

The beneficiaries of the people with moderate wealth have it spent before the bodies are cold.

Caviar Emptor's picture

Xactly, Dr Engali. The .gov sees to that. And besides, if you're living next to trillionaires and quadrillionaires you find out that your own costs rise quick

Shizzmoney's picture

On top of that, what the corporate asshole CEOs and the Federal Reserve don't understand is that in order for the new young blood coming into the employment picture to keep up with the rising costs of living AND the coming ubbble that is student loan debt, that if people aren't getting paid properly and your cutting corners on paychecks left and right, you won't be able to keep up with the rising tides of debt.

Don't even get me started on taxes.  I shipped a NLHE tournament at Foxwoods for $5K last year....the Feds took 20%, and CT took 10%!

Paychecks for young adults getting slimmer

SheepDog-One's picture

Also 90K of the jobs number was birth/death....lulz.

kito's picture

rumor has it the Ministry of Truth is now counting newborns as part of the birth numbers...............

we are at war with eurasia.......we have always been at war with eurasia..................

KandiRaverHipster's picture

does slinging meth count?

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Yes it does, sounds like a job to me.

KandiRaverHipster's picture

i'm also in dental school so yeah i've got all my bases covered.

Rainman's picture

if you can bootleg some of that laughing gas, give me a holler.

besnook's picture

remember.....less is more. the buddhist economy.

PaperBear's picture

Do you want fries with that ?

batz's picture


The change in the number of blog post comments between 9 and 10am are probably a good indicator of changes in unemployment.

Schmuck Raker's picture

Over-used, but I promise to quit.

sablya's picture

iPromise, iPromise...iLOL

cherry picker's picture

I don't doubt the veracity of Zero Hedge's information.  I notice rush hour traffic in LA seems lesss packed than a few months ago.  Customers are taking longer to pay and many are crying the blues.

Yet the MSM flips from great economic news to fear mongering day after day.  I see a steady but slow decline and don't understand how a country such as the US can run such a huge trade deficit and spend twice as much than it brings in year after year without a great depresssion coming on, yet we are not seeing relative concerns from the politicians or official government propaganda.

Do they know something we don't?

sablya's picture

It's more like the masses don't know something they should.  It's all a con-game, built on trust, like any fiat currency.  When the confidence runs out, the the game is runs, etc.  That's the whole entire complete deal that is behind the headline manipulations, the QEs and market manipulations.  The Fed has become the national psychologist, soothing the people, manipulating the national psyche to feel good.  If people were to ever stop, think real hard, and look what's coming, and have some backbone, this jig would be up.

dwdollar's picture

Looks like they've fooled the idiots into going through another inflationary cycle. Each time the real economy gets weaker, each time the idiots poorer. Maybe next time the idiots won't buy the propaganda.

SheepDog-One's picture

Theyre right at the point where theyll go for the 'New World Order', just be a sudden collapse one day and war everywhere and...sorry....only way out of this is the prison planet with 1 central govt and 1 currency controlled by 1 central bank. I dont know when, but thats whats coming.

lizzy36's picture

Game is not built on anything fundamental or tangiable

Confidence is all that matters.

Why the hell you think the Fed has been playing hard offense for 3 straight years.


The issue is that many of those without confidence, cannot concieve of another way, so they go along with the game, even though they know it is all fake.

disabledvet's picture

The question is "do they know something you don't" cuz I wanna be able to do that too.

Rathmullan's picture

Does anyone know if the Labor Dept. adjusts for the leap year. If not, these employment numbers are overstated by 2.7%, ((29/28)-1) X .75, and thus the beat is less.

azzhatter's picture

they currently just adjust for the Ibama election campaign

Cone of Uncertainty's picture

The ironic thing is that these temp jobs are anything but for these people.

Temp jobs are forever bitches--you just need to keep jumping to the next one (plus the second gig too) to make ends meet.

ebworthen's picture

Scads of young guys in my town that I see at two jobs.

20 somethings that can't find career employment to save their lives.

They work at two retail jobs and juggle schedules.  I see them at the grocery checkout, then at Best Buy or Staples.

"Did you change jobs?" I ask.

"No, I work both part time."

One after another, over and over.

The companies won't hire them full time EVER because then they would be required to offer benefits and/or overtime.

The U.S. is a 64 year old with intestinal parasites, a malfunctioning liver, shingles, diabetes, gangrenous toes, and prions in the brain but swears he/she is ready for the Olympics.

AndTheRest's picture

One word.




Corporations now have MASSIVE regulatory incentives to NOT hire full time workers.  Not coincidentally, it drives down "unemployment" by increasing the number of people with shitty, part time jobs.

Shizzmoney's picture

Its actually HeritageCare.  Which bascially = CorporateCare.  But I digress.

You know what could be worse than a government official telling you how much you have to pay, and what care you can recieve?  A government official who used to work at a health insurance agency masquerading as a "social health advisor" telling you how much you have to pay, and what care you can recieve.

People really think Single Payer is worse.  It isn't.  At least workers, voters have a SAY in the single payer benefits they recieve. 

When you go up against a corporation, its a fascist, one way ticket to what our society is headed towards: "Rationism" for the many, and "Porkism" for the few. 

Remember, government doesn't cut costs, corporations do. Governments only cut costs/give tax breaks when corporations tell them to. 

miker's picture

There certainly could be fairer ways to "distribute" the reduced wealth of our economy.  The government, for example, could be pushing out all those 55 and older lard assess that are pulling down 100K per year in worthless, bullshit government jobs.  Not to cut the deficit per se, but to open up jobs for college grads. 

Of course to something like this, they would have to acknowledge that we have a structural problme with the economy; something they are loathe to do.

All this deception will come to no good, I'm afraid.

AndTheRest's picture

What kind of failure works for the government at 55 years old and only makes a pathetic $100K?  What is that?  GS-12 money?


LOL.  You're obviously out of touch with the GS pay schedule + COLA.  55 year old GS-14 step 7 in Washington D.C. or any other high cost of living area is pulling at least $135K no problem.


You're right about most of them being utterly worthless though.  You nailed that part.

azzhatter's picture

I went Galt and now just work part time. When I feel like it. I also pay no more taxes after earning six figures for years. Fuck this government and the pigmen bankers. They can take a suck

AndTheRest's picture

But Juan and Juanita have 6 kids you have to pay for.  It's your DUTY to pay your fair share and help out those less fortunate.

nah's picture

factories make jobs that are necessary and in a recovery provide more work bitchez!

ebworthen's picture

Hilda Solis on CNBC with Cramer pumping the B.S. numbers, then saying in response to a question about Prez crushing the Keystone Pipeline "We need clean refineries that are environmentally responsible and alternative solutions."

What a bunch of bone brained bureacrat beasts!  Live off of our taxes like so many leeches and ticks then pontificate about saving the whales while people can't make ends meet -all the while they bail out parasitic banks and their colloidal corporations.

Worst of both worlds, down the rabbit hole, Mad Hatter tea party.


disabledvet's picture

Somebody' pumping somebody on CNBC? DO TELL.....

Stanwick's picture

Apparently it's not good for gold

Hansel's picture

NFP is never good for gold.  It's S.O.P.

Rainman's picture

At least we have some wiggle room at 19.4 % part-timers. Japan has held steady at 33% underemployed for a long time.

urbanelf's picture

Cat food at the dollar store.  Mmmmmm...

kill switch's picture


Has anyone been able to fire up King World News?  Eric's been missing for three days now...or is this another whistle blower gone down the sink at the hands of the CIA's heart attack gun!!

Rubicon's picture

Who needs a workforce when you have Ctrl P. 


In fact why have a population!

adr's picture

Well I was right on the money yesterday, I said +224k. I also said there would be an uptick in the number of people re-entering the workforce to make it look like the job market is getting better. Where's my six figure analyst job?

How was I so accurate? Because I took all logic and reason and threw it out the window. When you realize the number is not based on reality and is only a political tool, you can estimate the number based on the desired result. The number needed to be above 200k but below January's number to keep QE on the edge of the table.

I really like the bullshit higher revision to January when we know the actual non adjusted loss was more than 7 million jobs, there were no actual gains for the month. But that loss was smaller than 2011 so seasonal adjusting gave us +275k, bullshit.

Ol Man's picture

I have worked as a "temp" for 25 months now.  Started on a production line as an "operator".  Then the boss found out I had maintenance skills and moved me to a maintenance position, still as a temp. 

I refer to myself as the "perma-temp". 

I am making less than half of what I used to make (pre-crash).


riphowardkatz's picture

You doomers fail to see the upsides to the part time economy: more time to consume. Its stimulative.

Sunshine n Lollipops's picture

Wanna know a great part-time job? Bank robbery. Depending on your skill level and income requirements, a few hours a month is all you need. You know what they say: When the going gets tough, the tough turn to crime. Got a gun? Get some cash!

jplotinus's picture

"I've been self employed since 2000 in a constuction related field.  In 2006 I made $101,620.00.  In 2011 I made $14,200.00.  Retirement is 100% gone.  Savings is 100% gone.  Emergency fund is 100%.  Health insurance is gone.  Cell phone is gone.  I'm one doctor's visit away from living under a bridge.  I've never been unemployed in my entire life until now."


I, for one, hear you. I think you are far, far from being alone. Capitalism has failed you and all the rest of us 99%ers.

The question is: WTF are we going to do about it? Voting for DwittleyDee or RwittleyRum won't help at all.

All the best to you. I hope things get better for you and the rest of us.

AndTheRest's picture

You obviously fucked up by building up a life style that maximized your available income.  You really expected to pull 6 figures forever?


I see people like you ALL the time, and I have zero sympathy.  You put all your eggs in one basket, the "I sure hope this company keeps sending me fat pay checks forever" basket.


That year you grossed 101K you should have SAVED at least 40K for a rainy day.  'Bu...bu...but, I have expenses!"  Yea?  And where do those have you now?  About to be living under a fucking bridge.

Saro's picture

Since we don't have capitalism in the US, I fail to see how capitalism has failed you.

Perhaps you meant the fascist, corporatist state?