Truly shocking news, but at least it’s being reported:
(Reuters) – U.S. businesses are hiring at a robust rate. The only problem is that three out of four of the nearly 1 million hires this year are part-time and many of the jobs are low-paid.
Employers say part-timers offer them flexibility. If the economy picks up, they can quickly offer full-time work. If orders dry up, they know costs are under control. It also helps them to curb costs they might face under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
People are responding to incentives.
Executives at several staffing firms told Reuters that the law, which requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to provide healthcare coverage or incur penalties, was a frequently cited factor in requests for part-time workers. A decision to delay the mandate until 2015 has not made much of a difference in hiring decisions, they added.
“Us and other people are hiring part-time because we don’t know what the costs are going to be to hire full-time,” said Steven Raz, founder of Cornerstone Search Group, a staffing firm in Parsippany, New Jersey. “We are being cautious.”
Raz said his company started seeing a rise in part-time positions in late 2012 and the trend gathered steam early this year. He estimates his firm has seen an increase of between 10 percent and 15 percent compared with last year.
Other staffing firms have also noted a shift.
“They have put some of the full-time positions on hold and are hiring part-time employees so they won’t have to pay out the benefits,” said Client Staffing Solutions’ Darin Hovendick. “There is so much uncertainty. It’s really tough to design a budget when you don’t know the final cost involved.”
One hundred percent the result of an administration that has never had to “do” anything but win votes.
Obama will point to the fact that he’s delayed the mandate:
The delay in the Obamacare employer mandate “confused people even further,” said Bill Peppler, managing partner at Kavaliro, a technology staffing firm in Orlando, Florida. “When we talk to customers, I still don’t think anyone has a handle on this.”
But this will HELP employees:
Some businesses are holding their headcount below 50 and others are cutting back the work week to under 30 hours to avoid providing health insurance for employees, according to the staffing and payroll executives.
Under Obamacare, any employee working 30 hours or more is considered full-time. An effort to trim hours might have helped push the average work week down to a six-month low in July.
“As organizations and companies reduce the hours of part-time workers, they still have to replace the capacity, so they go out and hire additional part-time workers,” said Philip Noftsinger, president of CBIZ Payroll in Roanoke, Virginia, which manages payroll for more than 5,000 small businesses.
This is a train wreck. And we’re all in for the ride.