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Businesses are Reducing Workers’ Hours

Some say this is a warning sign for the economy

Businesses are starting to cut workers' hours, forcing hundreds of thousands of people into part-time roles, in what could be an early warning sign for the economy.

The number of people who worked part time, but want to work full time, rose by 452,000 in June, the biggest jump in more than three years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In all, 4.2 million people were employed part time for economic reasons beyond their control, a 12 percent increase from the month before.

Economists warn against making too much of a single data point, but say the latest spike in involuntary part-time work could be a harbinger of future layoffs, especially when combined with other signs of slowing in the job market.

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