Part 1: Part-time employment
You’ve heard that since ObamaCare was instituted, full time employment is down and part-time employment is up as employers scramble to adjust to the new economics: that full-time employment (defined by the government as working 30 hours or more per week) costs employers more as they have to cover the insurance costs of those full-time employers, so they are trying to made due with part-time employees. It also “allows firms to act nimbly” (according to the article cited below.) Makes economic sense, right?
Well, it turns out not to be the slam-dunk most of us thought. In an article titled “Full-Time Hires Buck Trend at some Chains” in the April 27th issue of the Wall Street Journal, the author, Rachel Feintzeg, reports that
“At a time when many chains are shifting workers to part-time, the Altoona-PA based Sheetz Inc. convenience store is making a big bet on full-time hires… Leaders at the convenience store-and-gas station say having full-time workers behind the register results in
- Better customer service,
- Lower turnover, and
- A more engaged workforce
“Sheetz and others, such as beauty retailer Bluemercury Inc., acknowledge that full timers might cost more at first, but say they are more reliable – 27% of full-time hourly workers leave their jobs a year, versus some 69% of part-timers. Lower turnover saves on training and hiring costs.”
But wait, it gets even better. “…some report that their customers spend more when full-timers take orders and ring up purchases!” “At Buffalo Wings & Rings, a restaurant with 50 locations in the U.S., full-timers ring up 6% higher sales and have far lower rates of absenteeism than part-timers do.”
I must admit: this was all a surprise to me. But when I read the WSJ article, I thought to myself: well, sure, this makes sense!
So, if you think you understand economics, make sure you check the research data to see if it bears out your expectations.
What has the experience been for your company? Going with more full-time employees or hiring more part-time employees?