BSU Economist: Latest Job Numbers Show Fewer Full-Time Jobs
Almost 200,000 jobs were created, and unemployment held steady according to the latest jobs report from the federal government. But an economist at Ball State says there were also plenty of signs that the labor market is not headed in the right direction.
While the national unemployment rate remained 7.6 percent in June as it was the previous month, Mike Hicks of Ball State's Center for Business and Economic Research says all of the job growth was in part-time employment. The jobs report showed that there were 240,000 fewer full-time jobs in June than in May, which Hicks says means a lot of jobs were generated that will likely disappear once summer is over.
Hicks believes the rapid growth in part-time employment versus full-time jobs is one reason the Obama administration announced that it was delaying by one year the Affordable Care Act mandate that employers provide insurance to employees working 30 hours per week or more. He says the delay will likely not cause businesses who had already cut the hours of their workers to reverse course, since the mandate is still the law.
The long term problem with the jobs market, according to Hicks, is a mismatch of the skills people have with those needed by businesses in the modern economy. While the number of people actively seeking work increased last month, Hicks says labor force participation is at levels not seen since the late 1970's, which means the unemployment rate is not likely to drop significantly anytime soon.