We develop and implement a protocol to measure U.S. monthly time series of involuntary part-time employment stocks and flows from 1976 until today. Armed with these new data, we provide a comprehensive account of the cyclical dynamics of involuntary part-time work. We find that the recessionary increase in involuntary part-time employment is consistently driven by a jump in the transition probability from other employment states to involuntary part-time employment, and a drop in the reverse transition probability. We compare the dynamics of unemployment and involuntary part-time employment to argue that they reflect the operation of distinct labor-adjustment channels. While unemployment dynamics are driven by movements in job creation and destruction, the dynamics of involuntary part-time employment reflect changes in employers’ labor utilization.
Bibliographical notePublished online: 29 October 2020.
- Involuntary part-time employment
- Labor market flows
- Business cycles