As part of my research on the Affordable Care Act (aka “ObamaCare”), I used the standard government statistics to look at Part Time Employment compared to Total Employment. Here’s the graph:
Now be careful, there was a change in definitions of “part time” in the mid-1990s, which is responsible for that spike. So arguably you might want to slide the chart down after that point, meaning that the ratio in recent years may not have surpassed the peak back in the early 1980s.
Either way, though, it is crystal clear that the relative growth in part-time work is not merely a standard recession phenomenon, since it is much larger now than it was after the dot-com crash. Whether to attribute any blame to the ACA (which has built-in incentives for employers to limit full-time employees) is debatable, but what seems uncontroversial is that the U.S. labor market is undergoing dramatic changes that do not bode well for the little guy.