Multiple Jobholders Hits 21st Century High, As Full-Time Jobs Tumble

While today's headline jobs print was somewhat disappointing, with the Establishment Survey missing the expected print of 173K, rising by 161K, it was offset by upward revisions to previous months. But while the quantitative headline aspect is open to interpretation, the qualitative component of the October jobs print was - just like in the case of September - all too clear: it was ugly, again.

Recall that in September, the Household Survey revealed that the number of part-time workers soared by 430,000 as full-time workers actually declined by 5,000. The trend continued in October, when another 103,000 full-time jobs were lost, which was offset by a 90,000 increase in part-time jobs. In other words, the transition to a part-time worker society appears to have resumed after a hiatus.

The same series on a historical basis, shows that full-time jobs have been giving way to part-time jobs in recent months as Obamacare starts to bite, and as retail hiring picks up a the expense of all else.

But perhaps even more troubling 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 when looked on an actual, unadjusted basis, the number of multiple jobholders rose to 8.050 million, the highest number this century.

The begs the question how many of the 161K jobs "added" were double counted as a result of the ongoing rise in the number of multiple jobholders.

So yes: overall job growth continues to chug along - and paradoxically wages continue to grow - if at a modestly disappointing pace at least in October, but the quality of the added jobs remains woeful.

Source: BLS