WSJ: Restaurants are increasingly moving to part-time hiring

posted at 3:21 pm on July 15, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

As I mentioned last week, even that most excellent of all grocery stores, Wegmans — much like many other businesses — is adjusting to the new costs of doing business directly imposed on them by ObamaCare, and is now preparing to nix their longtime practice of voluntarily offering health insurance options to part-time employees who work even just 20+ hours/week. In that same vein, the “Affordable” Care Act has made hiring part-time employees (i.e., those who work less than the 30 hours over which employers will be required to provide health insurance) over full-time employees an increasingly attractive option for employers, especially as the insurance plans themselves get increasingly expensive — which might help to explain some of the relatively rampant hiring going on in the restaurant and hospitality industry right now. The WSJ reports:

Restaurants and bars have been adding an average of 50,000 jobs monthly since April—about double the rate from 2012. … Overall, leisure-and-hospitality establishments hired more workers than any other industry in June, accounting for 75,000 of the 195,000 jobs added last month, according to the most recent Labor Department report, although economists cautioned against reading too much into one month’s preliminary figures.

But a number of restaurants and other low-wage employers say they are increasing their staffs by hiring more part-time workers to reduce reliance on full-timers before the health-care law takes effect. …

For the entire U.S. workforce, employers have added far more part-time employees in 2013—averaging 93,000 a month, seasonally adjusted—than full-time workers, which have averaged 22,000. Last year the reverse was true, with employers adding 31,000 part-time workers monthly, compared with 171,000 full-time ones. …

Restaurant owners who have already begun shifting to part-time workers say they will continue that pattern.

“Does the delay change anything for us? Absolutely not,” Mr. Adams of Subway said, explaining that whether his health-care costs go up next year or in 2015, he will have to comply with the law. “We won’t start hiring full-time people.”

The potential for a “part-time nation” phenomenon under ObamaCare isn’t a surprise by any stretch of the imagination, but businesses are now beginning to respond to the incentives created by the president’s signature law en masse, along with the many other negative side effects of ObamaCare’ ill-advised prescriptions — and the employer-mandate delay is far too little, far too late to do anything substantive about it.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch

With time running out, U.S. officials are struggling to cope with the task of launching the new online health insurance exchanges at the heart of President Barack Obama’s signature health reforms by an Oct. 1 deadline.

The White House, and federal agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), must ensure that working marketplaces open for enrollment in all 50 states in less than 80 days, and are responding to mounting pressure by concentrating on three essential areas that will determine whether the most critical phase of Obamacare succeeds or fails.

“The administration right now is in a triage mode. Seriously, they do not have the resources to implement all of the provisions on time,” Washington and Lee University professor Timothy Jost, a healthcare reform expert and advocate, told an oversight panel in the U.S. House of Representatives last week.

Current and former administration officials, independent experts and business representatives say the three priorities are the creation of an online portal that will make it easy for consumers to compare insurance plans and enroll in coverage; the capacity to effectively process and deliver government subsidies that help consumers pay for the insurance; and retention of the law’s individual mandate, which requires nearly all Americans to have health insurance when Obama’s healthcare reform law comes into full force in 2014.


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The “new normal” in the hospitality industry.

bazil9 on July 15, 2013 at 3:27 PM

ZeroHedge has a piece on this today too. Bartenders and Waitresses. Does that mean people are drinking more? Had to ask…

dogsoldier on July 15, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Obama will just change the rule to 30 hours to one hour.

albill on July 15, 2013 at 3:30 PM

“The administration right now is in a triage mode. Seriously, they do not have the resources to implement all of the provisions on time,” Washington and Lee University professor Timothy Jost, a healthcare reform expert and advocate, told an oversight panel in the U.S. House of Representatives last week.

Repeal the monstrosity. It’s ok to admit it’s unworkable, instead of stupidly continuing to push a boulder uphill.

dogsoldier on July 15, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Over 9.5 million people worked in restaurants and bars in August of 2011 with 8.6 million working in non-supervisory positions. In 2010, 52 percent of these workers were women, 11 percent were African American, 6 percent were Asian, and 22 percent were Hispanic or Latino.
 
http://www.aspenwsi.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/The-Restaurant-Workforce-in-the-United-States.pdf

 
It’s neat who they voted for in ’08 and ’12.
 
Congratulations, btw.

rogerb on July 15, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Obama will just change the rule to 30 hours to one hour.

albill on July 15, 2013 at 3:30 PM

If he does that, all those places will just close shop until he is flushed out of office, along with his entire crew.

But yeah I can see him doing that, thinking how clever he is.

dogsoldier on July 15, 2013 at 3:33 PM

It’s neat who they voted for in ’08 and ’12.

Congratulations, btw.

rogerb on July 15, 2013 at 3:32 PM

But they did get their free Obama phones, so they have that going for them…..

Johnnyreb on July 15, 2013 at 3:36 PM

The damage is already done. Businesses started making plans to do this years ago. Obama’s delay isn’t going to delay the execution of a business plan. They don’t have the luxury of indecisiveness and are judged by actual results.

RadClown on July 15, 2013 at 3:36 PM

rogerb on July 15, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Yep..my sis worked at a chain restaurant in 08-everyone there but her was whistling for Barry.

Congrats indeed! Watching the unions cry now is also quite delish.

bazil9 on July 15, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Been noticing that quite a few restaurants have been closing down all around the country over the last 5 years…may become a moot point at some time in the not too distant future.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 15, 2013 at 3:39 PM

The damage is already done. Businesses started making plans to do this years ago. Obama’s delay isn’t going to delay the execution of a business plan. They don’t have the luxury of indecisiveness and are judged by actual results.

RadClown on July 15, 2013 at 3:36 PM

^^This.
I have sat in meeting after meeting the past few years regarding business plans around O’Care. You are correct.
Throwing a years bone at Er’s will not stop the bleeding.

bazil9 on July 15, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Epic fail

cmsinaz on July 15, 2013 at 3:45 PM

cms!
Indeed.
Depressing as hell..
Check out rwm’s chart…The new America! Fundamentally reformed and all.

bazil9 on July 15, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Trey Gowdy says we need mo salad bar workers from Mejico!!

gop……no friend of the middle income Americans or restaurant WORKERS.

PappyD61 on July 15, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Part time workers still have to buy insurance.The fun in their life went out of the window.The old joke,no mon,no fun,your son,to bad,so sad,your dad.Part time pay doesn’t flow to the treasury so well either.

docflash on July 15, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Been noticing that quite a few restaurants have been closing down all around the country over the last 5 years…may become a moot point at some time in the not too distant future.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 15, 2013 at 3:39 PM

People don’t need all that salt restaurants use for cooking, anyway.

– Nanny Bloomberg

Liam on July 15, 2013 at 3:56 PM

My liberal friends argued that Wegman’s was a bad company and they were going to boycott them. What are they going to do when all businesses go to this part time model?

Has anyone compiled a list of companies that have already stated or began changing employee hours or laying off people because of Obamacare?

VinceOfDoom on July 15, 2013 at 4:02 PM

SEIU aint’ gonna like this a bit…cause hotels will follow suit.

workingclass artist on July 15, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Chart of the Day: President Obama, King of the Part-Time Job

Resist We Much on July 15, 2013 at 3:39 PM

All Obama has ever had were a series of part-time jobs…including the present one.

workingclass artist on July 15, 2013 at 4:07 PM

My liberal friends argued that Wegman’s was a bad company and they were going to boycott them.
 
VinceOfDoom on July 15, 2013 at 4:02 PM

 
So did they say why they were comfortable with the workers losing their jobs after Wegman’s was financially crippled (just play along) by their actions?

rogerb on July 15, 2013 at 4:08 PM

obamacare “profiles” full-time workers.

ChuckTX on July 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

related…

” SALINAS, Calif. (AP) — On a windy morning in California’s Salinas Valley, a tractor pulled a wheeled, metal contraption over rows of budding iceberg lettuce plants. Engineers from Silicon Valley tinkered with the software on a laptop to ensure the machine was eliminating the right leafy buds.

The engineers were testing the Lettuce Bot, a machine that can “thin” a field of lettuce in the time it takes about 20 workers to do the job by hand…”

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_FOOD_AND_FARM_ROBOTS_ON_THE_FARM?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-07-15-04-32-51

Illegals won’t like that…

nope.

workingclass artist on July 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

So did they say why they were comfortable with the workers losing their jobs after Wegman’s was financially crippled (just play along) by their actions?

rogerb on July 15, 2013 at 4:08 PM

That tactic never works because they inevitably argue that there is some fatcat CEO in the company who could have taken a pay cut to save all the jobs. It always ends up going back to the 1% boogeyman they’ve been conditioned to blame everything on.

VinceOfDoom on July 15, 2013 at 4:16 PM

workingclass artist on July 15, 2013 at 4:11 PM

It was similar when the auto industry began increasing use of robots. The unions were going nuts.

Some industries can’t be automated well, but those that can will likely do so in increasing numbers. Why pay ludicrous premiums or fines/taxes when one robot can replace three or more workers?

Liam on July 15, 2013 at 4:19 PM

It always ends up going back to the 1% boogeyman they’ve been conditioned to blame everything on.
 
VinceOfDoom on July 15, 2013 at 4:16 PM

 
Ha. Good point. I forgot about that variable.

rogerb on July 15, 2013 at 4:22 PM

You know the MSM will just be all over that “large increase in part-time workers who wanna be full-time” story.
From the angle of course that eeeeeeeeeevil entrepreneur business-owners are screwing the little worker. Not a peep about government regulations or ObamaCancer.

Marcola on July 15, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Sooooooo, we’re cutting Americans down to part timers at the same time we’re opening the gates to illegals. Seems to me the competition for jobs, especially entry level jobs is heating up.

Another tidbit, in my area of the country, employers are cutting off adolescents. Last year, my 16 year old daughter was able to get retail job offers and took one. She has since left that job and now finds that places that took 16 & 17 year olds last year are setting the limit at 18 this year. Several teens she worked with at her old job have been let go and tha company rasied it’s age limit to 18.

Anybody else hear of this sort of thing?

Cricket624 on July 15, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Less than 30 hours a week… it’s the new 40.

Hill60 on July 15, 2013 at 4:36 PM

It always ends up going back to the 1% boogeyman they’ve been conditioned to blame everything on.

VinceOfDoom on July 15, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Ah, yes! The classic liberal/logic block. It’s like matter and Anti-matter: whenever they meet, there are explosions.

squint on July 15, 2013 at 4:44 PM

A very good friend of mine, a single mom, worked sixty hours a week for the past ten years. Not a great job or pay, but the overtime helped a lot. The company also gave her health care.

She lost the job (the company closed down), and now she works sixty hours a week, but it is for two different companies and she has not health care. Next up, she has to pay a penalty, because she has not health care.

Why are the Democrats waging war on women?

patch on July 15, 2013 at 4:46 PM

It always ends up going back to the 1% boogeyman they’ve been conditioned to blame everything on.

VinceOfDoom on July 15, 2013 at 4:16 PM

To which I had to dig up one of the greatest scholars on the matter:

Majority of the voters are in the 99%

liberal4life on April 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

I checked her math. She’s correct.

Chuck Schick on July 15, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Majority of the voters are in the 99%

liberal4life on April 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

I checked her math. She’s correct.

Chuck Schick on July 15, 2013 at 4:49 PM

That’s such a dumb comment that it is almost as if the blind squirrel stumbled onto a nut.

Resist We Much on July 15, 2013 at 5:12 PM

A very good friend of mine, a single mom, worked sixty hours a week for the past ten years. Not a great job or pay, but the overtime helped a lot. The company also gave her health care. She also earned her health care benefits as a form of compensation for her labor from that company.

patch on July 15, 2013 at 4:46 PM

They didn’t “give” her anything.

LOL, I know what you meant, but I’m trying to get away from the notion that companies “give” people stuff, including giving them jobs, or the jobs we have as being “our jobs”. Their employees earn these things in exchange for the work they do. It’s a business arrangement, not charity.

Dr. ZhivBlago on July 15, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Obamaconomy: Instead of 30 workers at 40 hours each, they hire 40 workers at 30 hours each. Net jobs gained: +10! LOL!

Dandapani on July 15, 2013 at 8:53 PM

So the govt’s going to say that we need single payer on health care. And… single payer on everything. So the govt will take over all the restaurants. And wait and see the mess as our econonomy and life becomes a horror but the govt will revamp the menus to serve healthy food, so we wait in line for bacteria-laden tofu & hummus.

anotherJoe on July 15, 2013 at 9:29 PM

There was a young 2nd grader who insisted on praying alone before class started. The liberal teacher was outraged, saying that there can be no religion in school.
The child replied “I only want single prayer.”
Off course the lib teacher liked the sound of that.

anotherJoe on July 15, 2013 at 9:34 PM

Majority of the voters are in the 99%

liberal4life on April 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

“Ninety percent of this game is half mental.” – Yogi Berra

RadClown on July 16, 2013 at 8:32 AM