7.5M Americans Working Part Time, But Not by Choice

By Susan Jones | July 3, 2014 | 9:32am EDT

(AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The nation's unemployment rate dropped in June, but the number of involuntary part-time workers increased by 275,000 to 7.5 million (7,544,000), the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Thursday.

The number of people employed part-time for economic reasons include those individuals who worked 1 to 34 hours during the reference week for an economic reason such as slack work or unfavorable business conditions (hours cut back), inability to find full-time work, or seasonal declines in demand.

Of the 7,544,000 involuntary part-time workers in June, more than half (4,525,000) cited slack work or unfavorable business conditions as the reason.

The number of involuntary part-time workers is down year-to-year, the BLS noted, and "has shown no clear trend in recent months."

The number was 7.2 million in February, 7.4 million in March, 7.5 million in April and 7.3 million in May.

In the past decade, the number of involuntarily unemployed people remained in the 4-million range from January 2004 through March 2008.

In April 2008, the number began to climb -- reaching 8 million by December 2008. Since then, the number of involuntarily unemployed has fluctuated in the 7-million/8-million/9-million range, never dropping below the 7,186,000 recorded in February 2014.

Overall, the nation's employment rate declined by two-tenths of a percentage point to 6.1 percent in June, as the number of unemployed people dropped by 325,000 to 9.5 million.

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