Group identity and competition led to irrational and self-righteous hostility. Doesn’t that sound like the political rhetoric we hear on the daily news?
Greg Mankiw finds A Striking Labor Market Fact:
John Lott points out the following:
So far this year there have been 848,000 new jobs. Of those, 813,000 are part time jobs.... To put it differently, an incredible 96% of the jobs added this year were part-time jobs.
And, when people pointed out to Mankiw that this was just wrong, he didn't use the
strike tag but just bobbed and weaved:
Update: Here is the CEA take on this general topic. And this is from the San Francisco Fed…. Part-time work is notably higher than it has been historically for prime-age workers with little education (no more than a high school degree). Whether this is just due to a weak labor market or other more structural changes is an open question.
And James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute is, right now, the only Republican economist I can find who is keeping it real:
Is Obamacare causing a boom in part-time jobs? Probably not: MKM Partners economist Michael Darda on the part-time jobs issue:
Yet, there is very little evidence that anything unusual is going on with part-time employment which has been falling in a seesaw pattern since the recession ended. There has been a lot of misinformation on this issue, largely due to 1) the political spat over the ACA and 2) the tendency for the part-time labor share to rise in the first few months of the year only to fall back again.
Although the part-time labor share remains historically high, it has been falling in a jagged fashion since the trough of the recession with the entirety of the previous surge occurring during the Great Recession. There does not appear to be any shift in the trend since 2010 when the ACA became law. In fact, the ratio has been coming down faster than it did after the last two recessions.
Indeed, as Mark Perry has noted, if you take out one outlier month, the 2013 growth in part-time employment falls from 59% to 19% of jobs added. Moreover, over the past 12 months, part-timers have only made up 13% of job gains, which is less than usual.
May I beg for more Pethokoukids?
I really think our politics will not improve until more Republican economists are willing to, for example, stop pretending that ObamaCare is not RomneyCare, and stop writing things like:
Ronald Reagan’s 1986 tax reform and Bill Clinton’s 1996 welfare reform were major legislative achievements that garnered support from both sides of aisle. By contrast, the vote on President Obama’s 2010 health care reform was entirely one-sided, so it is no surprise that the law is still the source of much rancor.