Full-Time Pain: Mort Zuckerman Says Most Americans "Wouldn't Call This A Recovery"

When we first brought the transformation of the American economy into a part-time worker society in 2010, many scoffed and suggested that when the 'recovery' really gets going the temp jobs will all be morphed into high-paying full-time jobs. That hasn't happened, and in fact, as we noted most recently, it's got worse.

As Mort Zuckerman blasts in his rampagingly honest WSJ Op-Ed, "Most people will have the impression that the 288,000 jobs created last month were full-time. Not so." And more directly, "most Americans wouldn't call this an economic recovery." The lack of breadwinners working full time is a burgeoning disaster that we have covered extensively. There are 48 million people in the U.S. in low-wage jobs, resulting, as Zuckerman concludes, "Faith in the American dream is eroding fast."

 

Via The WSJ,

As Mort Zuckerman rages - echoing our analysis...

There has been a distinctive odor of hype lately about the national jobs report for June. Most people will have the impression that the 288,000 jobs created last month were full-time. Not so.

 

The Obama administration and much of the media trumpeting the figure overlooked that the government numbers didn't distinguish between new part-time and full-time jobs.

 

 


On July 2 President Obama boasted that the jobs report "showed the sixth straight month of job growth" in the private economy. "Make no mistake," he said. "We are headed in the right direction." What he failed to mention is that only 47.7% of adults in the U.S. are working full time.

There are numerous reasons for this but the most recent and most-telling is Obamacare...

But there is one clear political contribution to the dismal jobs trend. Many employers cut workers' hours to avoid the Affordable Care Act's mandate to provide health insurance to anyone working 30 hours a week or more.

 

The unintended consequence of President Obama's "signature legislation"? Fewer full-time workers. In many cases two people are working the same number of hours that one had previously worked.

As Zuckerman concludes...Most Americans wouldn't call this an economic recovery.

Yes, we're not technically in a recession as the recovery began in mid-2009, but high-wage industries have lost a million positions since 2007. Low-paying jobs are gaining and now account for 44% of all employment growth since employment hit bottom in February 2010, with by far the most growth—3.8 million jobs—in low-wage industries. The number of long-term unemployed remains at historically high levels, standing at more than three million in June. The proportion of Americans in the labor force is at a 36-year low, 62.8%, down from 66% in 2008.

Part-time jobs are no longer the domain of the young. Many are taken by adults in their prime working years—25 to 54 years of age—and many are single men and women without high-school diplomas.

 

Why is this happening? It can't all be attributed to the unforeseen consequences of the Affordable Care Act. The longer workers have been out of a job, the more likely they are to take a part-time job to make ends meet.

The result: Faith in the American dream is eroding fast.

The feeling is that the rules aren't fair and the system has been rigged in favor of business and against the average person. The share of financial compensation and outputs going to labor has dropped to less than 60% today from about 65% before 1980.

...

The great American job machine is spluttering. We are going through the weakest post-recession recovery the U.S. has ever experienced, with growth half of what it was after four previous recessions. And that's despite the most expansive monetary policy in history and the largest fiscal stimulus since World War II.

That is why the June numbers are so distressing. Five years after the Great Recession, more than 24 million working-age Americans remain jobless, working part-time involuntarily or having left the workforce.

 

We are not in the middle of a recovery. We are in the middle of a muddle-through, and there's no point in pretending that the sky is blue when so many millions can attest to dark clouds.

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Nothing to add but "bravo"