Greg Mankiw points us to John Lott, who suggests that 96% of new jobs this year are part-time.
I don't have time to delve into this too deeply right now, but one thing immediately jumps out at me - he is comparing January to August numbers.
You know January. It's that month that starts a couple days after Christmas and the holiday shopping season. You may also be familiar with August. It's that month before all the kiddies go back to school.
Something tells me we should wait until January 2014 and do a year-on-year comparison instead of subtracting the nadir of part time employment from its zenith and comparing it to total employment figures that likely are just poking along.
These do not appear to be new hire figures. That was my second thought - since there is higher turnover in part time jobs you don't want to compare new hire statistics either (net job creation would be OK).
How much you wanna bet Casey Mulligan picks this one up?
UPDATE, 11:08 am: One thing I do notice is that they are seasonally adjusted. Does anyone know how seasonal adjustment works for things like part time employment? Is all seasonality in all series completely cleaned out or does it clean out some kind of aggregate seasonality (in which case we'd still expect quite a bit of fluctuation in specific labor markets - this ought to be nailed down.