Reclaiming Common Sense

Last week this column published a December Employment Situation Forecast article. That article projected real, non-seasonally adjusted full-time job losses and part-time job gains. Last month we saw a record number of people working two part-time jobs and a near record level of people working two jobs (Full-time/Part-time, Full-time/Full-time, or Part-time/Part-time.)This elevated level of people working two  jobs has kept the unemployment rate artificially low - when people who work two jobs lose one job they are still employed. The unemployment rate is also artificially low because of the near historically low level of participation. The effective unemployment rate, when participation is factored into the equation, is not under 5%, it is more likely between 9.52% and 12.18%.

Will we see it recorded that  more people were working Multiple Jobs during December? Will we set another record for people working two part-time jobs?

We had 7.8 Million People working Multiple Jobs Last December, 8.1 million last month. We have seen a huge jump in people working multiple jobs, mostly due to people working a full-time job and a part-time job. The most notable number is the number of people working two part-time jobs.Last month we had 2.3 million people working two part-time jobs, a record for the month of November and a record for any month since January 1994. Last December we  had just under 2.1 million people working two  part-time jobs. It is hard to imagine a situation where 200,000 people would lose one part-time job of two.

We normally see a Jump in December Multiple Job Workers - especially those working a full-time job and a part-time job. We saw regular increases in people working multiple jobs from November to December from 2000-2006. We have seen annual growth, December to December, of multiple job workers , especially those working one or more part-time jobs. Dual FT jobs tend to drop.

If we see a 5% Y2Y jump in Dual Job Holders we will surpass last month's 8.1 Million dual job workers. If we see very little month to month change in multiple job holders we will have a new record. If we see no M2M change in Dual Part-time job holders we will set a new record for December.  A 4% Y2Y change would set a new record. Expect new records.

It's the economy.