Part-Time Work the New American Norm

The U.S. economy is sort of adding jobs, in pieces


Michelle Asci dreamed of capturing life through her camera lens. Asci had her sights set on being a photographer as she graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree from Georgia State University in December.

But the 23-year-old is not working as a photographer. She's at a concession stand, selling popcorn or ushering people into their respective theaters before the midnight screening. Asci's been working part-time at the same Atlanta movie theater since 2005.

"It's going on to be eight years of this," she said. But working part-time at a movie theater was not what she saw herself doing with her degree, and she is not alone.

Last month's surprising drop in U.S. unemployment rates from 8.2% to 7.8% gave many hopes that the economy is improving, and the lower rates even beat the expectations of some economists. But a breakdown of the latest jobs report shows that more than half of the jobs added this month are part-time.