Part-time hiring is surging in the US, fueled by tepid US economic growth and Obamacare.
Three out of four of the nearly 1 million people hired by US businesses this year are working part-time or paid low wages, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Obamacare, President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, and a struggling economic recovery is pushing businesses to switch to part-time hiring instead of full-time, executives at staffing and payroll firms were quoted as saying by Reuters.
"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."
Under Obamacare, companies with 50 or more employees face fines if they fail to offer “affordable” health coverage for their full-time workers. Any employee working 30 hours or more is considered full-time.
Many 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.
"The difference between 30 and 40 hours can be the difference between being able to make ends meet month-to-month," said Heidi Shierholz, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington.
"That contributes to reduced living standards for American families and translates into having less income to spend on goods and services, which holds back the economy."
Thousands of frustrated fast-food and retail workers in the US are planning another job strike across the country on Aug, 29 to protest low wages and part-time work.