This is not good news.
After coming ever so close to taking out the December 2007 level of total part-time employment, part-time work for economic reasons shot up by 490,000 in January. The full definition of part-time work in this category is: “those who worked 1-34 hours during the reference week for an economic reason such as slack work, or unfavorable business conditions, inability to find full-time work, or seasonal declines in demand.”
Why is this important? Because it is not clear whether this is a temporary jump, such as those you from time to time since the last recession, or is it the beginning of a sustained move higher, such as we had during the last recession?