The number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed in May at 9.1 million. The number of such workers has risen by 4.4 million during the recession. (See table A-5.)
About 2.2 million persons (not seasonally adjusted) were marginally attached to the labor force in May, 794,000 more than a year earlier. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. Among the marginally attached, there were 792,000 discouraged workers in May, up by 392,000 from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The other 1.4 million persons marginally attached to the labor
force in May had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-13.)
The continuing unemployment issues are going to be a big problem going forward -- especially if we have a slow growth economy once we get out of recession.