Cyclical and Market Determinants of Involuntary Part-Time Employment

2015-19 | March 1, 2018

The fraction of the U.S. workforce identified as involuntary part-time workers rose to new highs during the U.S. Great Recession and came down only slowly in its aftermath. We assess the determinants of involuntary part-time work using an empirical framework that accounts for business cycle effects and persistent structural features of the labor market. We conduct regression analyses using state-level panel and individual data for the years 2003-2016. The results indicate that the persistent market-level factors, most notably shifting industry composition, can largely explain sustained elevation in the incidence of involuntary part-time work since the recession.

Article Citation

List, Catherine van der, Leila Bengali, and Robert G. Valletta. 2015. “Cyclical and Market Determinants of Involuntary Part-Time Employment,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2015-19. Available at https://doi.org/10.24148/wp2015-19

About the Authors
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Leila Bengali is a regional policy economist in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Learn more about Leila Bengali
Robert G. Valletta
Robert G. Valletta is senior vice president and associate director of research in the Economic Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Learn more about Robert G. Valletta