Most 2013 job growth is in part-time work, survey suggests

By:  Kevin G. Hall

The July government employment report released Friday showed the job market treading water.

And a closer look at one of the two measures the Labor Department uses to gauge employment suggests that part-time work accounted for almost all the job growth that’s been reported over the past six months.

Employers added a weaker-than-expected 162,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in July, according to the Establishment Data Survey, which relies on reporting by a large sample of businesses.

The unemployment rate is measured by the separate Household Survey, and it fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 7.4 percent, its lowest level since December 2008. That’s due in part to slow growth in the labor force. The jobless rate is based on a sample of self-reporting from ordinary people across the nation, and it’s the Labor Department measure that shows a very troubling trend in hiring.