The Part-Time Economy Consuming America

Economy Watch

Workers on the U.S. west coast are experiencing serious challenges when it comes to landing a full-time job. This is forcing millions of Americans to languish in part-time positions, because there are no other options available. In the state of California alone, over 1.2 million people are underemployed. In total, that number equates to the same population of Oakland and San Francisco.

Some people wonder why you would live in a state that is so anti-business. This is what California has done to itself and they just raised taxes.  

Not Impressive

Although California is a top state for part-time employees trying to find full-time jobs, it is not alone. Oregon, Arizona, and Nevada are all nearly as bad, and Washington has inched above the national average. Well, at least Arizona has not raised taxes and does not hand out welfare checks as freely as California. Many know Oregon does not take economic issues seriously – they are more worried about trees and not about prosperous citizens. You cannot even put gas in your own car in Oregon – that is just an example of how regulations hurt and affect business. Making a business employ people they do not need is ridiculous.

Statistics suggest that workers with part-time jobs are more likely to live in poverty, since they are paid less and do not receive benefits. The health of the US economy is disadvantaged when states have such a high percentage of part-time workers, especially when these employees are involuntarily in part-time positions. According to Robert Valletta, an economist for the Reserve Bank of San Francisco, this is a clear sign that the labor market is suffering, certainly in states like California run by Democrats.

The Worst State

In the nation’s largest economy, California, approximately 7.1% of the complete workforce is involuntary part-time workers. This percentage is significantly higher than the national average released in October, 4.7%. To put it in perspective, California has more than half a million additional workers that are underemployed today than it did in 2007.

Economists have stated that part-time work generally increases during a recession and this recession is not any different.

Moreover, concerns are rising that these problems have not abated by America’s so-called recovery. So far, eight states, including New Jersey and New York, have approximately twice the number of involuntary part-time workers since the recession began. In places like Texas and Florida, the number of involuntary part-time jobs is rapidly increasing.

Growing Concerns

The primary worry is that this part-time job trend may be here to stay. Pennsylvania, for example, currently has an unemployment rate below the national average, but the number of involuntary part-time workers there is around 90% higher than it was at the start of the recession. Even state economies considered reasonably healthy are struggling with the part-time economy.

Obamacare and the Part-time Job Increase

This is also because of Obamacare. The main reason is the Affordable Care Act’s attack on the 40-hour workweek and its emphasis on a 30-hour workweek.

Texas added a large number of jobs during the economic recovery, helping to bring its unemployment rate below the national average and oil shale development in Texas has been wonderful. However, there are about a quarter of a million, or 72%, more unwanted part-time positions in the state than at the beginning of the recession.

Economists are not sure what contributes to some states having higher rates of involuntary part-time work in comparison to others. According to data from the Labor Department, eight out of ten states with the highest part-time position rates also have unemployment rates that are above the national average. The states and cities that are pro-business and have low taxes are doing better than states that over regulate the private sector.

One thought on “The Part-Time Economy Consuming America

  1. Laws and cost. Look at the number of places that worked or work a 6-&-7 day week and pay overtime. Because it is cheaper to work people 12 hours a day than hire a new person to work 8 hours a day. State benifits and such. Tax’s. The bottom line. If they can work 2 people 28 hours a week cheaper than 1 person 40 hours a week they have 2 people scedualled. But if the laws are such that it is cheaper to work 1 person 12 hours a day they have 12 hour shifts.

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