Part-Time Jobs Soar By 430,000 As Multiple Jobholders Surge To August 2008 Levels

While today's headline jobs print was somewhat disappointing, with the Establishment Survey missing the expected print of 175K, and growing by 156K, it was offset by a far higher 354K jump in the household survey which offset last month's weakness. But while the quantitative headline aspect is open to interpretation, the qualitative component of the September jobs print was clear beyond a doubt: it was ugly.

First, looking at the reported composition of jobs, while full-time jobs actually declined by 5,000 to 142,296K part-time jobs soared by 430,000...


... the biggest monthly jump since February.


Curiously, if only looks at the unadjusted data, the spread between part and full-time jobs explodes, with some 1.2 million full-time, unadjusted, jobs lost in September, offset by a surge in 1.3 million part-time jobs.

But perhaps even worse than the breakdown in September job quality, was another seldom-touted series: the number of Multiple jobholders, or people who are forced to hold more than one job due to insufficient wages or for other reasons. It was here that the red flashing light came on because as a result of the 301K monthly surge in Americans holding more than one job, the 5th highest monthly spike in the past decade, the total number of Multiple jobholders soared to 7.863 million, the highest number since the financial crisis, and a number surpassed just once in the past decade: in August of 2008, just before all hell broke loose.

It also begs the question how many of the 156K jobs "added" were double counted as a result of a number of multiple jobholders that was double this amount.

So yes: overall job growth continues to chug along, if at a modestly disappointing pace, at least in September, the quality of the added jobs was absolutely woeful.

Source: BLS