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Number of involuntary part-time workers in December 2022 below pre-pandemic levels

January 11, 2023

The number of people at work part time for economic reasons, also called involuntary part-time workers, totaled 3.9 million in December 2022. These workers would have preferred full-time employment but were working part time because their hours had been reduced due to slack work or they were unable to find full-time jobs. This was a half million fewer people than in February 2020, the month before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recession that resulted from it.

Number of people employed part time for economic reasons, February 2020 to December 2022
Month Total Slack work or business conditions Could only find part-time work

Feb 2020

4,389,000 2,817,000 1,287,000

Mar 2020

5,782,000 4,122,000 1,324,000

Apr 2020

10,896,000 9,996,000 716,000

May 2020

10,631,000 9,515,000 873,000

Jun 2020

9,099,000 7,995,000 969,000

Jul 2020

8,413,000 7,253,000 1,005,000

Aug 2020

7,569,000 6,202,000 1,093,000

Sep 2020

6,275,000 4,852,000 1,120,000

Oct 2020

6,645,000 5,265,000 1,156,000

Nov 2020

6,599,000 5,214,000 1,152,000

Dec 2020

6,132,000 4,895,000 1,008,000

Jan 2021

5,962,000 4,767,000 1,016,000

Feb 2021

6,098,000 4,737,000 1,107,000

Mar 2021

5,815,000 4,622,000 999,000

Apr 2021

5,243,000 4,019,000 968,000

May 2021

5,248,000 3,986,000 994,000

Jun 2021

4,630,000 3,466,000 1,049,000

Jul 2021

4,446,000 2,970,000 1,115,000

Aug 2021

4,465,000 3,182,000 1,003,000

Sep 2021

4,450,000 3,143,000 980,000

Oct 2021

4,401,000 3,113,000 975,000

Nov 2021

4,271,000 2,903,000 1,089,000

Dec 2021

3,936,000 2,573,000 1,067,000

Jan 2022

3,735,000 2,412,000 975,000

Feb 2022

4,137,000 2,726,000 1,061,000

Mar 2022

4,168,000 2,883,000 1,045,000

Apr 2022

4,034,000 2,653,000 1,052,000

May 2022

4,317,000 3,000,000 984,000

Jun 2022

3,631,000 2,380,000 910,000

Jul 2022

3,925,000 2,699,000 911,000

Aug 2022

4,140,000 2,767,000 971,000

Sep 2022

3,843,000 2,576,000 942,000

Oct 2022

3,664,000 2,535,000 867,000

Nov 2022

3,688,000 2,546,000 826,000

Dec 2022

3,878,000 2,648,000 911,000

As was typical in previous recessions, slack work was the driving force for the increase in the number of people working part time for economic reasons. The number of people whose hours were reduced due to slack work was 2.8 million in February 2020, peaked at 10.0 million in April 2020, and was 2.6 million in December 2022.

These data are from the Current Population Survey and are seasonally adjusted. For more information, see “The Employment Situation — December 2022.” We also have more charts on employment and unemployment. People at work part time for economic reasons include those who usually work full time (35 hours or more per week) and those who usually work part time.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Number of involuntary part-time workers in December 2022 below pre-pandemic levels at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2023/number-of-involuntary-part-time-workers-in-december-2022-below-pre-pandemic-levels.htm (visited January 30, 2023).

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