Friday, May 6, 2011

Is America Transforming Itself Into A Part-Time Worker Society? Plus, Thoughts On The Household Survey

While the total payroll number increased by 244K, the household survey indicated a drop of 190K. This may be simply due to a calendar shift in which the Household survey catches up with the Establishment Survey. Observing the Household data breakdown into full time and part time workers, we see that the drop was actually more pronounced: while the March full time (112.755 MM) and part time (27.087MM) total summed nicely to the total headline number of 139,864, off by just 2K, the April data indicated that the component breakdown highlighted a much more pronounced drop in the headline number than the 190K indicated. Summing up the components adds to 139.572 MM, 102K less than the total 139.674 MM disclosed. In other words, the true drop when summed across components was not 190K, but 290K. And next, for the focus of this post, we look at whether this drop occurred in full time or part time jobs. To my complete lack of surprise, of the 290K drop, 291K was from full time jobs. As for part time jobs, you guessed it, increased by 1,000 in April. No need to outsource to Asia any more: America now outsources jobs to temp agencies. And so the transition of America into a part-time worker society.