Tuesday's tepid brew of jobs data, delayed more than two weeks by the government shutdown, wasn't worth waiting for. It shows an increase in total nonfarm employment by 148,000 in September over August, which is consistent with economic growth crawling along in second gear.
The report's most notable nugget is the change in part-time work. Over the last month the number of workers in part-time jobs for economic reasons--slack demand, cutbacks in hours--has remained stable. Over the last year, however, it has fallen by 681,000. Those part-timers also constitute a smaller share of all workers--5.5% in September compared to 6% a year earlier.
That puts the lie to the popular conservative meme that
Previous employment reports have shown no evidence for that, and the new report undermines the myth further. Moreover, the monthly report defines "part-time" more loosely than the Affordable Care Act -- 35 hours a week or less, compared to the ACA's 30 hours--which means there's even less evidence for the Obamacare/part-time meme.
The jobs data were collected before the shutdown, so that Republican wound to the economy won't show up until the next jobs report a month from now. But this report does sharpen the picture of the effect of another continuing fiscal blunder by Washington--the
That's dismal compared to the robust growth that should be visible at this stage of an economic recovery, and underscores how