Jack Dunn - Reclaiming Common Sense

Difference Between Jobs and Workers

The December Jobs report was released this past Friday, The ADP report that was released the day prior to the jobs report indicated that 250,000 private sector jobs were created during December. The Jobs report reported that only 146,000 seasonally adjusted workers joined the workforce during December. One reason for the discrepancy is the seasonal factor used to convert the non-seasonally adjusted data to the seasonally adjusted data was significantly different from the seasonal factor used during December 2016. Did we add 146,000 seasonally adjusted private sector workers or 256,000 seasonally adjusted private sector workers. Another reason for the difference may be that there were more people working multiple jobs. More people were over-participating while some were "under-participating." What we know is that unemployment is at the lowest it has been since 1981 for the First December of the first year of a Presidency.

The Number of people working multiple jobs increased during December. This is fairly normal. People are looking for extra hours and extra money leading up to Christmas. We had not been over 7.5 million people working multiple jobs for the month of December between December of 2007 and December 2014. The surge in Multiple job workers during the late 1990s was due to an increasing number of jobs with a "shortage" of workers and a historically high participation rate. The current surge is due to a near generational low for the participation rate while jobs are only now being created faster than the population is growing.

We saw the number of people working a full-time job and a part-time job rise during December. The main number is the number of people working a primary full-time jobs and a secondary part-time job. There is an interesting anomaly in the data for the multiple job workers data set where when you subtract the number of people working a primary FT job and a secondary FT Job and you remove the number of people working two part-time jobs , and then you remove the number of people working a primary FT job and a secondary PT job from the total multiple job workers there is a remainder. This must be people who are working a primary PT job and a secondary FT job. Could that be a seasonal FT job? The number of people working a FT job and a PT job rose from December 2016 and nearly matched the level seen during December 2015.

We saw the lowest December level of people working two part-time jobs since December 2010. We frequently saw over 2 million people working two PT jobs during any given month since the start of the recession. People lost FT jobs and good only add PT jobs. It appears that those people who were working two part-time jobs were able to upgrade one of their jobs to a full-time position. This should have an impact on wages. This should have an impact on Medicaid sign-ups for the Health Care Exchanges. Remember that we saw a huge spike in Medicaid sign-ups during 2014 may have been in reaction to the spike in dual part-time workers.

We will always have people working two jobs. Sometimes people are working two jobs, two part-time jobs, because that is all that is available. Sometimes a person works one job for benefits and another for spending money. Whatever the reason, dual job workers are a part of the economy. This month we saw a rise in the number of people working multiple jobs compared to last year. The total multiple job worker level, the dual part-time worker and the FT/PT and PT/FT combined levels are all slightly lower than December 2015. This drop in multiple job holders may mean that people are being paid more for one job than for two jobs. There is a difference between which gender is working full-time jobs and which gender is working full-time jobs. This will be covered in the next article.

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