Americans are being forced to take on part-time jobs to help keep their heads above water.
According to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time jobs have sunk in recent times just as other economic factors such as high inflation are causing many consumers to struggle.
In December, roughly 133.2 million people had a full-time job, which was down about 1.5 million from November, when about 134.7 million people held those types of jobs.
In that same period, the number of people who had a part-time job increased by 762,000. In addition, those who had more than one job also increased by a whopping 222,000, according to the BLS data.
That’s all “alarming” data, for sure, according to the American Institute for Economic Research’s economist Peter Earle. He recently commented to the Daily Caller News Foundation:
“The large and somewhat sudden shift from full-time to part-time work is alarming. That and the record number of individuals working multiple jobs is a major concern from the perspective of financial fragility, the sustainability of consumption, and tax receipts at the state and federal levels.”
Earle highlighted that 8.69 million people in America hold down more than one job. He said that’s a very troubling trend for a hidden reason. As he explained:
“In the vast majority of cases, a second or third job is off-the-books, [so] the actual number of individuals with multiple jobs is probably much, much higher than the Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting.”
The BLS data also showed that from November to December, there were an additional 217,000 people who worked part-time for financial reasons. What this means is that they had their total working hours reduced to less than 35 each week after a business slowdown, or because they only could find part-time work despite their desire to work in a full-time position.
Since January of 2021, when President Joe Biden entered the White House, consumer prices have increased by more than 17%. That has forced many people to seek out multiple jobs, just so they can keep up with being able to pay for everyday essentials.
The way that a lot of Americans have stayed afloat is by turning to debt. This has resulted in the aggregate debt that Americans held last year totaling more than $1 trillion for the first time in history.
Another major challenge with this fact is that interest rates are so high right now, meaning people who are racking up debt on credit cards are being forced to pay much more for the goods they charge now versus even one year ago.
As Earle explained:
“A record number of U.S. citizens having more than one job makes it readily apparent that three years of rapidly rising prices, surging interest rates, contracting credit and spotty economic growth are generating significant financial hardship. The fact that American politicians in the executive and legislative branches are telling citizens that what they see and feel somehow isn’t real is an unmistakable indication of just how lousy the U.S. economy is for many.”