Reclaiming Common Sense

We saw Part-time Jobs Surge by 1.1 Million, Non-seasonally Adjusted.

We saw Women Workers also surge.

The monthly jobs report is created using two data sets that are rarely in sync: the Current Population Survey (CPS) jobs and unemployment data and the Current Employment Statistics (CES) wages and workers data. Each data set is seasonally adjusted with seasonal factors that change month to month, season to season, and year to tear. They are seasonally adjusted because January and September are "unbelievably" bad, non-seasonally adjusted, and March, April and May are "unbelievably" good, non-seasonally adjusted. Some months down is up. This is one of them.


The first article "Sep. Jobs Report: Unemployment Down, Part-time Jobs Up" started the conversation. The article "Strong Sep. Worker and Wages Data" found that All but one sectors added non-seasonally adjusted workers during the past year and that all sectors saw wages grow faster than inflation.  President Trump has overseen the creation of more full-time jobs during his first 32 months in office than did former President Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush or Obama. He has also seen his participation rise to a level comparable to September 2013. This is important. How are men and women doing during this expansion?


There is a record level of women working in the workforce. This was a September record of combined full-time job and part-time jobs and an all-time record. The number of full-time jobs increased by 1.404 million from last September's Record. The number of part-time workers dipped from last September by 166,000 part-time jobs.


Women are Participating more while seeing their unemployment rate fall. The workforce participation rate rose to 57.60% while the unemployment rate was recorded at3.36% This is higher than the September 2013 participation rate of 57.14% when the unemployment rate for women was 7.29%. Remember that a reduction in  unemployed workers reduces the relative participation rate. The effective unemployment rate, compared to September 2013 is actually 2.78%.


This was the best September for Men regarding jobs. Men tend to see "peak jobs" during July. There are 834,000 more full-time jobs this September than last September, and an additional 214,000 part-time jobs. Where women have added 1.6 million total jobs during the past 12 months men have only added just over 1 million jobs. The good news is that men have recovered all 10.6 million full-time jobs lost during the recession and added an additional 2.5 million full-time  jobs since January 2018.


Male workforce participation is finally improving year over year. Last year the September participation rate for men was 68.69%. The participation rate this September was 69.06%. The comparison with 2013 is not quite as good as it was with the women. The Participation rate was 69.66% with a 7.26% unemployment rate. The U-7 effective unemployment rate is 4.13% this year. This is what could be considered "full" employment. We still need full participation in order to have full employment.


What is happening with the Multiple Job Holder Data?  We had a September record for total Multiple Job Holders (MJH.) The September MJH was 8.331 million. The all-time total MJH record was set during November 1996 when we hit 8.494 million multiple job holders. We normally hit the annual peak for total MJH during the Christmas Hiring Season. Normally we hit our peak during October, November, or December.


We set an all-time monthly record of 4.787 million people working a primary full-time job and a secondary part-time job.The previous record was just over 4.4 million during September of 1998. It was only slightly lower during September of 1997.


We set a September Record for dual Part-time workers of 2.114 million workers. The previous September record was set during September of 2016 when we hit 2.087 million. We have been over 2 million PT PT workers ever year since September 2016. The all-time record was set during November 2016 when we hit 2.287 million. We are likely to challenge this record this October, November, or December.


What was the story with regard to men and women multiple job workers? This month, as with prior months, the men work more dual FT jobs than women and women worked more dual PT jobs than men.

  • Men: 3.394 Million MJH, 2.353 Million FT PT, 725,000 PT PT, 211,000 FT FT and the balance 105,000 are either "variable" hours or primary PT secondary FT;
  • Women: 4.3430 Million MJH, 2.435 million FT PT, 1.389 PT PT, 67,000 FT FT, and the balance of 449,000 workers as PT FT or "variable" hours.

Men saw FT PT level rise from September last year and drop slightly from their August level.  Women saw the level of MJH rise month to month and September to September. They saw the number of FT PT workers rise this month, and from last September's level of 1.946 million. They saw the number of dual PT workers rise month to month and from last year's September level of 1.315 million.


This data is good. "All" recessions are jobs recessions. The data has been examined back to the 1980s. All recession a preceded by a same month decline in total jobs. It is a better indicator than the 2-10 bond yield inversion that has been in the news this year. Total jobs are up for men and women from September of 2018. Women are at an all-time record of combined FT and PT jobs. Participation is improving for both men and women. This has not been the case during the past decade.  Multiple job workers are trending higher than they have during prior years. We may set an all-time high for total MJH during the fourth quarter.


It's the Economy.