When you need a fulltime job, a fulltime job is what you need. A part-time job is not a fulltime job. Unfortunately, finding that fulltime job may be getting more difficult given some economic and regulatory factors.
First, the recovery from the recession has been slow. This causes employers to be reticent to hire fulltime workers. What if the economy goes south again? Companies do not want to hire new employees only to dismiss them.
Second, the Affordable Care Act places some new requirements on employers that are based on their number of fulltime workers. For example, starting in 2014 any employer with more than 50 fulltime-equivalent employees must provide its fulltime workers with access to a medical plan or pay a $2,000 penalty per worker. Some companies are trying to get out from behind the eight ball, as Diane Stafford reports (“Trends Fueling Part-time Hiring” The Kansas City Star, May 28, 2013, pp. C1, C7, C8):
“Some employers have acknowledged they’re cutting workers’ hours because of the Affordable Care Act. Among them: Regal Entertainment Group, which operates Regal Cinemas and United Artists movie screens; a Five Guys franchise owner; an Applebee’s franchisee; the owner of Papa John’s pizza chain; and a Denny’s franchise owner.” (p. C7)
From a businessperson’s standpoint, we can understand this response based purely on economics. From a worker’s standpoint, we can feel the pain, also based purely on economics.
The necessary transitions imposed by the Affordable Care Act are not going to get any easier, for businesses or for employees. The challenge for businesses will be to adhere to the new requirements while restructuring their labor pool in a way that works. The challenge for workers will be to rethink their career paths, and perhaps even make tough decisions about new directions in their professional lives. The way I see it, adjustments will be needed in both camps, and neither camp is necessarily going to be thrilled with the outcomes.
In spite of all the difficulty, it is in times like these that new and fresh directions can arise. Just because times are tough does not automatically mean our human and corporate creativity vanish. Although not everyone or every company will be happy, I happen to be enough of an optimist to declare the future is bright. I believe we will see some companies creating some new policies and directions that will revolutionize how we manage labor and how we do healthcare. Equally so, I believe we will see some workers creating some new directions in their lives that lead them into new vistas of opportunity unlike they have ever experienced.
Today is not the day to give up. Today is the day to make a fresh start in whatever way you can.