A better than expected April Jobs Report came out today driving the stock market over 15,000 for the first time in the history of the U.S. This unexpected increase of jobs last month, which created 176,000 jobs in the private sector and dropping the unemployment rate to 7.5%, sent stocks soaring. Are we are in for a solid jobs recovery? The numbers for February and March were also revised up in February and March, which left investors giddy with excitement.
Still, experts warn that there is still an underlying weakness in this current job recovery. The official count of unemployed is 11.7 million with 37% characterized as long-term unemployed (without work for over 6-months). This number also does not include the 2.3 million workers who have given up looking for a job.
And what about the 7.9 million who have found part-time work but need full-time wages? This class of workers are called “involuntary part-time workers” and may represent the future of our economy as companies are dodging paying health insurance under Obamacare by hiring workers on a part time basis and under 27 hour criteria.
The jobs added last month were also low paying. Retail added 29,000 jobs, restaurants added 38,000 and 31,000 temporary workers were added. The government sector lost 11,000 jobs. Are we settling for lower paying part-time jobs just to survive?
It appears that this is the trend in hiring. With companies looking to cut costs, healthcare coverage is becoming a real issue in hiring full-time workers. They are using the very system that was created to provide more healthcare coverage to those unable to secure it as a vehicle not to hire full-time workers. It seems that many companies are turning their full-time positions into part-time work.
The U-6, a broader measure for calculating unemployment, suggests that the number of discouraged and part-time workers looking for full-time work rose in April 13.9%, 1% higher than the previous month.
Will we need to work two to three part-time jobs to be able to provide for our families? And, if by working part-time, who will provide our health insurance? It is a dangerous trend in hiring that needs to be addressed.