Halving It All

NewsMax issued the following report on Mortimer Zuckerman’s view of our unemployment crisis:

“Growth of Part-Time Jobs a ‘Burgeoning Disaster’”

“The Obama administration trumpeted the report that the United States gained 288,000 jobs June. In fact, the nation LOST 523,000 full-time jobs last month. What the economy actually gained was about 800,000 part-time jobs in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“These jobs offer lower pay, few benefits, and little job security, notes Mortimer Zuckerman, editor in chief of U.S. News & World Report, in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal.

“Less than half of American adults, 47.7 percent, are now working full time, and the number working part-time due to their inability to land a full time position grew to 7.5 million in June, up from 4.4 million in 2007.

“‘Way too many adults now depend on the low-wage part-time jobs that teenagers would normally fill,’ Zuckerman writes.

“He cites a statement by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in March that the ‘large pool of partly unemployed workers is a sign that labor conditions are worse than indicated by the unemployment rate.’

“One reason for the increase in part-time jobs is the slow growth rate of the recovery. But also to blame is the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to provide health care insurance to employees working at least 30 hours a week, which encourages employers to hire part-time help – the ‘unintended consequence of President Barack Obama’s signature legislation,’ according to Zuckerman.

“In addition, employers are increasingly using part-time and temporary workers to handle short-term projects, Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist of the Economic Outlook Group told USA Today. Baumohl added that the shift toward part-time work is a major reason that wage gains remain modest.

“Low-paying jobs now account for 44 percent of all employment growth since employment hit bottom in February 2010.

“Zuckerman opines: ‘The lack of breadwinners working full time is a burgeoning disaster. There are 48 million people in the U.S. in low-wage jobs. Those workers won’t be able to spend what is necessary in an economy that is mostly based on consumer spending, and this will put further pressure on growth.

“‘We are not in the middle of a recovery. We are in the middle of a muddle-through.’” —