Is Part-Time The New Norm In This Economy?

Reports have been telling consumers that the economy is recovering, more jobs are being made available, and that the national unemployment rate is continuing to fall.

According to USA Today, the national unemployment rate fell from 7.6 percent to 7.4 percent, which is good news, right?

“My parents are pressuring me to get a full-time job, even if it’s not in law,” said Scott Neal, 26, who lives with his parents in Lake Orion, Michigan.

That is something many recent college grads are hearing, but they aren’t alone.

USA Today reports that “of nearly 1 million U.S. jobs created this year, 80% — four of every five — were part time and most had meager or no benefits.”

During recessions such as the one the U.S. has seen, economists expect to see spikes in part-time jobs.

Generally, part-time employment tends to drop off as the economy recovers and as more full-time positions become available.

According to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, this recession isn’t moving along as expected.

The study reports that part-time employment is falling much slower then in previous recoveries.

The report also said young workers were more likely to work part time than older ones, which goes against the “norm.”

USA Today reported that involuntary part-time workers — those who are seeking full-time work or holding multiple jobs — remain between 19 percent and 20 percent of the nation’s workforce, up from 17 percent in 2007.

Carl Camden, president and CEO of Kelly Services, a global temporary staffing agency, based in Troy, Michigan, stated the following:

“The number of jobs that need to be done by full-time employees continues to diminish. Work has become more fragmented, and more people are willing to work in non-traditional environments.”

This economy has many frustrated. The idea of part-time becoming the new norm has many uncomfortable and uneasy about the future.

Lynn Spinelle, 58, of Dearborn, Michigan expressed her frustrations. After quitting her job and going to school for six years, she is worried about how she is going to survive.

“I don’t just want a job, I want a career,” she said. “But I just can’t give up. I just don’t have that choice.”

Many share Spinelle’s worries, and don’t have the choice to make, meaning that settling for part-time work, and in many cases, multiple part time positions, is becoming the norm for many in this economy.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]