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What the number of involuntary part-time workers tells us about the economy

Sep 7, 2022
The "I’d prefer a full-time gig, but I can’t find one” measure can give us a sense of how much slack or unmet potential there is in the labor market.
If involuntary part-time employment starts to tick up, that can be a leading indicator of a slowing economy.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Federal jobs survey will replace COVID questions with new queries about telework

Sep 5, 2022
It's the end of an era — the pandemic era — for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Since May 2020, the  Bureau of Labor Statistics has been asking people whether COVID affected the hours they've worked or prevented them from looking for work.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Workers are picking up extra jobs just to pay for daily necessities

Aug 8, 2022
More people in the United States are working two full-time jobs than ever before, says Lauren Kaori Gurley of The Washington Post.
"Most people who have the ability to work from home are probably making a little bit more money, whereas the people who were risking their lives and people who are bus drivers or people who are health care workers are really feeling the pinch right now," says Lauren Kaori Gurley of The Washington Post.
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

What worker productivity numbers can reveal

Dec 9, 2021
Productivity drops can confirm other trends like rising wages and shortages of materials.
Labor productivity is a measure of worker output and can be used by the IRS to forecast tax collections.
xavierarnau via Getty Images

Jobs report reveals alarming level of long-term unemployment

Feb 5, 2021
This has many economists predicting the economic pain of the pandemic will last long after the economy "recovers."
A new study predicts it will take women and people of color an extra two years to reach pre-pandemic employment levels.
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Consumer prices didn't rise in October. That may not be good news.

Nov 12, 2020
Low inflation is a sign that the recovery may be losing steam.
Customers shop at an Arizona mall in June.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Nearly two job seekers for every job: What it's like to look for work now

Nov 10, 2020
The unemployment rate is down, and more people are returning to the labor force. But finding a job isn't easy.
A woman closes up a liquor store in Seattle in July. Job searchers are having a hard time finding work during the pandemic.
David Ryder/Getty Images

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Jobs have bounced back in some parts of the economy. Others face a long slog.

Nov 6, 2020
More Americans are returning to the labor market. But more are also joing the ranks of the long-term unemployed.
A shuttered business district in Brooklyn in May. Jobs in some face-to-face services, like bars and restaurants, are still down 15% to 30%.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The seasonal adjustment to jobless claims has been ... adjusted

Sep 3, 2020
The adjustments smooth out predictable changes in employment, but the pandemic economy has broken them.
This week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics changed its methodology in adjusting for seasonal jobs, like that of a lifeguard. It makes the data more accurate, but also more confusing.
Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Miscalculation of unemployment data not easy to fix

Jul 1, 2020
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said it might have been undercounting the number of workers classified as "unemployed on temporary layoff."
Hundreds of unemployed Kentucky residents wait in long lines for help with unemployment claims in June.
John Sommers II/Getty Images