Declining work opportunities as a result of policy choices in Washington, DC

by Ryan Streeter on October 23, 2013. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

Here are some important data points as we try to understand what’s going on in our labor markets and economy today:

Via Jim Pethokoukis, here’s the increase in part-time employment:

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And then we have these data points in today’s lead WSJ editorial:

With total employment at 144.3 million, for every three Americans over the age of 16 earning a paycheck there are two who aren’t even looking for a job…

[A]mong those in their prime working years between 25 and 64, the number not working has increased by about 1.8 million since 2008. That is on top of the 11.3 million who are officially unemployed…

Easy access to expanded government welfare benefits that substitute for work—unemployment insurance, disability, food stamps and soon ObamaCare—also contribute to the decline, as economists like Casey Mulligan of the University of Chicago have documented.

In August and September combined, public employment rose by 54,000, with all the gains in state and local governments. Government hired more workers in those two months than did any industry other than health care and business services.