The new 58-hour workweek in America
Going fast is the traditional 40-hour work week with benefits in the U.S. As companies increasingly cut the positions they offer to part-time positions (generally to 28 hours per week) in order to avoid the costs of Obamacare, it is becoming increasingly common for people to need to work two part-time jobs in order to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.
Low-paying and unskilled positions such as in the fast-food industry were the first to come under the hours axe. Some of the major grocery store chains (Kroger, most recently) have also announced that part-time is to be the new hiring and employment policy. The part-time policy is now spreading to skilled employment as well, however.
The first college has just announced the policy, cutting back the hours of the adjuncts — who do the bulk of teaching — to 25 hours a week in order to avoid not only providing healthcare benefits to them but also to avoid the Obamacare tax that would imposed if they worked enough hours to be eligible for benefits. Colleges and universities have increasingly been moving to using more adjuncts (with salaries that are a pittance compared to the faculty-rate and no job security) rather than permanent faculty positions in the past decade and Obamacare is likely to increase this trend. Expect more colleges and universities to deliver the further part-time blow to the adjuncts they employ.
As companies increasingly realize that it will be far cheaper for them to hire two part-timers in the place of each full-time position, working two part-time jobs is going to increasingly become the new norm. Already many skilled jobs are being offered on temporary contract — the position is marked as a temporary position rather than a salaried one based on hours and instead the employee is offered a package sum, sans benefits, for completing a “project” regardless of how many hours the work might entail. Such positions are not subject to the Obamacare tax and, having talked with many of the techie folks taking such jobs, in order to complete the “project” on time they must put in 60-plus hours a week and the financial remuneration is far less than it would be if the position had been a standard 40-hour one with over-time benefits. The 40-hour work week is going out and the 58-hour two-job dash is coming in. Quality of life in America is going to drop dramatically.