The ranks of the underemployed are on the rise, according to several sources.

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They show up on the sheet as, "employed," but their post-recession struggle continues.

One measure of this underemployment in the workforce indicates more than 17 percent lack full-time work, and that's down only three percent in three years of recovery.

Workforce watcher Pat O'Keefe, of Cohn-Reznick in Roseland, says New Jersey's underemployment is as big as it gets.

"We don't have state-specific data, but in looking across the data that's available, the expectation would be that in New Jersey, we have a significant underemployment population, as is true at the national level," O'Keefe explains.

"We have in our labor market, areas such as the food services area, retail sales, which tend to be more heavily part-time work, and therefore more heavily represented among the underemployed."

Many labor observers agree that this is one sign the job market, despite recent gains, remains weak.

But O'Keefe adds, "at least they have some work."