The U.S. job market has shown a significant shift in recent months, with a marked increase in part-time jobs and a decline in full-time positions.
Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that since June, the number of full-time jobs, defined as those requiring more than 35 hours per week, has decreased by 670,000. Conversely, part-time positions have surged by over a million. August’s employment data further underscores this trend, with the U.S. adding only 187,000 nonfarm payroll jobs. Additionally, the unemployment rate has risen to 3.8% in August, up from 3.5% in July.
“This is very concerning because employers tend to shift away from full-time jobs and towards part-time jobs as we head into recession,” E.J. Antoni, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, told the Daily Caller. “Similarly, manufacturing has essentially added no jobs this year, up less than 0.1 percent compared to January, and that sector tends to lead the rest of the job market as we transition from job gains to stalling and then to layoffs.”
Manufacturing data further supports Antoni’s assertion. The sector added a mere 16,000 jobs in August, following a loss of 4,000 jobs in July. Since January, the increase in manufacturing jobs totals only 12,000, with the count standing at 12,985,000 in January and 12,997,000 in August.
“These numbers are not surprising, however, as many surveys have been indicating that the labor market and broader economy are slowing down,” Antoni said. “That includes the Federal Reserve regional bank surveys as well as private surveys. We have considerable reason to believe that there are no longer enough full-time jobs for all the people who want them. The vast majority of those who entered the labor market in August were not able to find full-time jobs.”
The report also highlighted several downward revisions. The total number of jobs added in June was revised from 185,000 to 105,000, and July’s additions were adjusted from 187,000 to 157,000.
Another concerning economic indicator is the recent revision of the yearly real Gross Domestic Product for the second quarter of 2023. The measure of economic growth was adjusted downward from 2.4% to 2.1%.
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