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Underemployment drops with unemployment

Posted on January 9th, 2012 Read time: 1 minutes

The United States received some positive news earlier this month when the Labor Department revealed the national unemployment rate had dropped to 8.5 percent.

However, Bloomberg reports that another factor not as regularly focused upon is the country's underemployment rate – which includes part-time employees or temporary workers who would prefer to have a full-time position. That number dropped by 1.2 percentage points last month to 15.2 percent.

"It's what will traditionally happen when the job market overall is beginning to improve," Tig Gilliam, chief executive officer of Adecco Group North America, told the news source.

Furthermore, the number of people who put in a full week of work rose to 113.8 million last month – the highest it's been since February 2009. In addition, the number of people who worked fewer hours because they couldn't find a full-time job (8.1 million) was at its lowest point since January 2009.

However, The Hill cautions optimism. There are still a total of 23.7 million individuals who are unemployed or underemployed – a number far too high to trigger a revival in consumer spending, the source claims.

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