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Work Scenarios and Employment Changes

The percentage of the amount of Utah’s workforce that is employed in part time jobs has increased during the past five years, which is a symptom of the recession. It is a trend that continues to happen on a daily basis. The U.S Labor Department reported that employers in the United States added 162,000 in July when compared with other statistics from June. That helped to drop the unemployment rate to 7.4 percent nationally, which is a number that has drawn the praise of the Obama administration, who is citing it as a sign of economic growth in the country.

From 1997 to 2012, the average percentage of part time workers within the Utah workforce was at 23.3 percent. Last year, 24.7 percent of the Beehive State workforce was known to be part time, which was up from the 23 percent that was present in 2011. That year, only 20 percent of Utah workers were working part-time. However, that grew to almost 25 percent by 2012 according to DWS data. The abundance of the labor has been very good for employers, but not always the best for the employees, according to the Utah Department of Workforce Services chief economist, Carrie Mayne.

“There are many workers out there available for work, so employers are able to hire at lower wages,” she said. “But if and when the momentum of recovery picks up, you’ll see the part-time percentages come back down and you’ll see overall wage growth as well. (Gone) are opportunities that there once were for people with lower levels of education to get “family sustaining” wages,” she said. “There is no indication that is going to change. There seems to be more education required now for (those positions).”

The unemployment rate in Utah currently stands at around 4.7 percent based on information from the Utah Department of Workforce Services. This includes approximately 1.3 million people who are working in full or part time positions. For some people, working fewer than full time hours may pose an economic hardship. However, for others, it may allow them to be able to pursue their goals in life more effectively. For example, this is element is more common in workers who are interested in going to college or going back to school to continue their education because it provides them with time to study and also time to take care of their families.

There are also some who argue that they don’t want to get into full time work until they are in their chosen career field. Working in a field that isn’t their ideal career choice isn’t too bad, but when they have to work full time hours in that field and they don’t have time for family or friends, it becomes frustrating, even if they are making enough money. In that scenario, most people would be interested in working part time instead of full time.


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