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The Rush to Hire ‘Flexible Workers’

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The Rush to Hire ‘Flexible Workers’ 

Ginny Morgan, Senior Recruiter

Trinity Employment Specialists

 A recent www.reuters.com article stated that Wal-Mart has shifted their hiring strategy to hiring more temporary and part-time workers. The article states it is to ensure the stores have adequate workers during peak and slow times, and it is not a cost-saving move. However, it does lead into a perfect discussion of the leaning of businesses to hire temp and part-time employees. Many are stating the obvious reason of the uncertainty associated with Obamacare. Others are say it is due to straight cost-cutting measures in this tough economy.

In 2012, Atlanta Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken franchiser David Barr stated Obamacare was going to slash profits in half. He said the only way to combat this was to cut employee hours. Cutting hours to part-time would avoid the mandatory $2000 per employee fee for not providing health insurance. This, unfortunately, is the way many employers are thinking. Looking at the books it will just be too costly to pay a full-time employee and provide health insurance for many small business owners.

The trend to hire more flexible workers in today’s job market is growing. Part-time, seasonal, and flex employees are cheaper to hire and easier to let go. Not as much is required and they are seen as more expendable. Companies to not have to pay benefits to these employees such as health and dental insurance and they avoid the tax if they do not. Many businesses also do not offer paid time off (PTO) or holiday pay to employees that are not full-time.

The push to move away from full-time to part-time workers is largely in the service industries. These employees are lower skilled and lower wage employees. Regrettably, many of these workers already teeter on the poverty line. To have hours and wages cut can be devastating. And, these changes may also drastically change the level of service in many industries.

So, is part-time going to be the new full-time? It is starting to look that way. Some maybe even forced to work two or three part-time jobs just to make ends meet. Roman Schlesinger, contributor to the on-line site Analyze Politics argues that this is just another move by government to make is the best way to move forward to compete against cheap labor abroad. This may be true, but it is killing the American workforce and the economy. This may be true, but it is killing the American workforce and the economy.

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