This Chart Shows the True Picture of the Jobs Crisis In America

About that jobs report on Thursday? I won’t quibble over the details. Companies have been hiring. OK, the number of full-time workers plunged and involuntary part-timers who want to be full-timers soared, but hey.

So here is a long-term chart from the Wall Street Examiner. Going back to 1992, it shows the “not seasonally adjusted” (NSA) numbers for the overall employment level (red) and the full-time employment level (blue). Throughout all the ups and downs, the gap between the two has been gradually but steadily widening: more involuntary part-timers, fewer full-timers.


It makes perfect sense for businesses. It’s cheaper and more flexible. They can save on employee benefits. And just forget that 401(k). Obamacare’s definition of part-time workers and their exemption from coverage requirements may have played a role. But it doesn’t make sense for those folks who want full-time jobs and who may be working two or three part-time jobs to make ends meet.

Now note the green series at the bottom: the full-time employment to population ratio. It is one ugly dude. It has been recovering from its horrid dive during the Great Recession, but barely. Nearly $4 trillion of QE handed to Wall Street and nearly six years of ZIRP have done very little to improve it. It’s simply a terrible sign of the current employment crisis in America.

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  2 comments for “This Chart Shows the True Picture of the Jobs Crisis In America

  1. Lee Cary says:

    The relatively few comments that pop up on this site do not reflect the number of avid readers (I’m one), nor the level of appreciation felt for the time and effort that go into writing these pieces. Thank you. And keep it up – please. We’re out here, reading…and learning.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Thanks, Lee, for the kind words.

      This is my brand-new site, just opened for business on July 6. On my predecessor site – and that’s where I transferred all the older posts from – I didn’t allow comments because I’ve had too many problems.

      I’m looking forward to hearing from my readers (this time, comments will be more or less moderated so that everyone can enjoy them).

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