It’s great that the economy created nearly 200,000 jobs in February and the jobless rate dipped down below 9 percent, but for a whole class of workers the job market is still crummy.
The number of part-timers who really want a full-time job is still hovering above 8 million, according to the unemployment report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 8.3 million in February. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
And there are still millions more working temp or contract jobs but really want full-time, good-paying, benefits-covering jobs, with a bit more job security.
Demand for temps is expected to jump 20.3 percent this year, according to a recent study a California staffing firm, G. Palmer & Associates. “Following recent trends, our 2011 first-quarter forecast shows continued steady growth and indicates another increase in demand for temporary workers, marking the fifth-consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases,” said Greg Palmer, founder of Palmer.
The BLS hasn’t really tracked temps and contract workers in any real way, but recently added a new “self-employed” category to its data tracking, and that showed about 14 million in January.
It’s the emerging freelance and part-time nation.
It’s bad news for those of us who just want a regular gig; and lately, I’ve been getting more and more questions from readers about how to break out of this employment purgatory and get your temp boss to become your permanent boss. There are ways to try and do that, but I’m not going to sugar coat it, it’s an uphill battle. (more…)