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(This report presents detailed estimates based on a special study of part-time workers conducted in February 1955. Preliminary estimates from this study were announced in "The Monthly Report on the Labor Force" for February, Current Population Reports, Series P-57, No. 152)

The number of full-time workers on parttime workweeks because of slack work and other economic factors is continuing to decline, according to a special Bureau of the Census report issued today. At 1.1 million in February 1955,1 the number was one of the lowest recorded since late 1953, when the recent business downturn was in its early stages. An important factor contributing to this improvement was the significant pickup in the workweek in manufacturing industries over the past several months. Many factory workers previously been in the "economic" group are once again working full hours or more a week).

who had part-time time (35

At the same time, the number of persons whose jobs were usually part time but who preferred and could have accepted full-time work (currently around 800,000)1 has not shown any striking change over the year and is still a good deal higher than at the close of 1953. This group of "involuntary" part-time workers was at a peak in the summer months, when it included a number of students who were temporarily available for full-time jobs.

The trend over the past several years in both the "economic" and in the "involuntary" part-time categories is shown in table A. Both categories are shown as a rate per 100 persons

1 These summary estimates are confined to persons loyed in nonagricultural industries.

at work for those months since May 1949 for which data are available.2 The total number of unemployed is also shown, for the same months, as a rate per 100 persons in the civilian labor force.

The "economic" part-time series is highly sensitive to significant changes in employment conditions and appears to be less subject to seasonal fluctuations than the unemployment series.3 For example, the apparent discrepancy in the trends of the two series between November 1954 and February 1955--a rise in unemployment in contrast to the continuing pattern of decline in the "economic" part-time series-is due almost entirely to the seasonality in unemployment, which always increases in the winter months. The rise in unemployment this winter was considerably smaller than usual, however; on a seasonally adjusted basis, the jobless total shows the same general improvement as the "economic" part-time group.

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Table A.--PERSONS WORKING PART TIME IN NONAGRICULTURAL INDUSTRIES BECAUSE OF BUSINESS CONDITIONS, AND UNEMPLOYED PERSONS, FOR THE UNITED STATES: SELECTED MONTHS, MAY 1949 TO FEBRUARY 1955

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1 Revised; see pages 4 to 6, "The Monthly Report on the Labor Force," Series P-57, No. 150, for an explanation of the procedure.

The period between May 1949 and November 1952 was marked by a decline in the "economic" part-time rate, from 3.2 percent to 1.3 percent of all persons at work. Although estimates for this group are not available for the months between November 1952 and December 1953, available data on weekly hours suggest that this low rate continued through early 1953 and possibly even until early fall of that year. By December 1953, however, this rate had increased to 2.6 percent and continued to rise through early 1954 before the trend was reversed.

The "involuntary" part-time group (those with regular part-time jobs who prefer and could accept full-time employment) also fluctuates to some degree with economic trends but with a definite time lag. This series also shows a recurrent seasonal rise in the summer months as students enter the labor market.

The estimates of the characteristics of part-time workers contained in this report are based on special questions included in the Current Population Survey of the Bureau of the Census. Since they are based on a sample, they are subject to sampling variability which may be relatively large in the case of the smaller figures and small differences between figures (see section on reliability of estimates on page 3).

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The estimates present ed in this report are based on data obtained in connection with the monthly population sample survey of the Bureau of the Census. The statistics for February 1955 and for the year 1954 are based on a new sample design instituted in January 1954. This sample is spread over 230 sample areas comprising 453 counties and independent cities. A total of 24,000 to 26,000 dwelling units and other living quarters are designated for the sample at any time, and completed interviews are obtained each month from about 20,000 to 22,000 households. Of the remainder, about 500 to 1,000 are households for which information should be obtained but is not; the rest

are vacant households, or otherwise not to be enumerated for the survey. The data for all previous periods for which similar information was obtained were based on a different sample, which consisted of about the same number of units but which covered only 68 sample areas in 42 States and the District of Columbia.

The estimating procedure used in this survey involved the inflation of weighted sample results to independent estimates of the civilian noninstitutional population of the United States by age, color, and sex. For the figures shown in this report and other reports on part-time workers in 1954 and 1953, the independent estimates used were based on statistics from the 1950 Census of Population; statistics of births, deaths, immigration and emigration; and statistics on the strength of the Armed Forces and separation records. For November 1952 and earlier reports on part-time workers, the independent estimates were based on data of the 1940 Census of Population similarly adjusted to take account of the aging of the population, births, deaths, net immigration, and changes in the size of the Armed Forces.

Since the estimates are based on a sample, they are subject to sampling variability. The following illustration, based upon rough computations from the new survey, indicates the order of magnitude of the sampling errors for some typical statistics in February 1955. An estimated 2,559,000 persons worked from 1 to 14 hours during the survey week. This number was 26.9 percent of the total number of persons working part time. The sampling error of the estimate of 2,559,000 is about 95,000 and roughly 4 percentage points for the estimate of 26.9 percent. The chances are about 2 out of 3 that the estimates from the sample differ from the results which would be obtained from a complete census by the percentages indicated above for the particular items. The chances are about 19 out of 20 that the differences would be less than twice the specified percentages and about 99 out of 100 that they would be less than 2 times the percentages.

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