December 2008

"Involuntary Part-Time Work on the Rise," Issues in Labor Statistics

From "Involuntary Part-Time Work on the Rise" (PDF):

Another important indicator of labor market difficulty, the number of persons working part time for economic reasons, has suggested a softening in the demand for labor since about mid-2006. Sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers and viewed as underemployed, these individuals wanted full-time jobs but worked less than 35 hours during the survey reference week primarily due to slack work (a reduction in hours in response to unfavorable business conditions) or the inability to find full-time work. In November 2008, 7.3 million persons were employed part time for economic reasons, up by 3.4 million from a recent low of 3.9 million in April 2006.