Walmart, others making a shift in hiring
Data from a recent Reuters survey shows that out of all retail companies that are hiring, the majority are only hiring temporary workers. The remaining companies that were interviewed responded saying that they are hiring a mix of temps, part-time and full-time workers, but none are hiring full-time workers only.
The shift towards hiring more temporary and part-time workers is pretty significant. Prior to 2013, only 1-2 percent of Walmart’s employees were temps, but now the number of temporary workers that Walmart hires is closer to 10 percent of its employee base. However, the retailer is not alone in its practices – many other companies are now turning to temp agencies to fill vacant positions, and critics think that the shift has to do with Obamacare and the increased insurance costs that come along with it.
Out of the 52 stores that responded to the Reuters survey, 27 answered that they were hiring temporary workers only.
Walmart CEO responds
Businesses that are cutting employee full-time hours argue that this method helps them scale back appropriately to meet business needs, and that it is not always necessary to have numerous full-time workers if business does not demand it. “Their hours flex by the needs of the business from time to time,” said Bill Simmons, CEO of Walmart Stores. If hours are busier on the weekends or during the evenings, businesses can call in part-time workers on an as needed basis, and then cut hours when things slow down.
Company spokesman David Tovar says that there is no discrepancy between the pay rates of temp and non-temp employees, and that Walmart’s temporary workers are paid the same starting pay as other workers. The shift to more part-time and temporary workers allows businesses to cut labor costs, but this makes it more difficult for employees to take care of their expenses with less paid hours.
This trend away from full-time hiring, coupled with the fact that employees will likely have to cover their healthcare costs out of pocket, with no assistance from their employer unless they are working more than 30 hours per week, just adds to that financial struggle.