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Part-time work, or hourly work, has often been considered to be within the realm of younger workers who are just starting out. As the past six years have proven, however, part-time work is no longer considered to be just for newcomers to the job market. The fact is, many companies are now choosing to either employ more part-timers or exclusively hire part-time workers. There are a number of reasons for this, including:
The Rise of the Job Board
In the past, interested candidates for part-time positions typically had to visit an employer's physical location, fill out a paper application, and possibly interview on the spot. Today, job board software has made it much more simple for employers to post open part-time positions online and receive relevant resumes. For potential employees, this process has also allowed them to submit applications using pre-filled data through a job board that can then be submitted to dozens or hiring managers or more within minutes. While this approach has its benefits and drawbacks, job boards seem to be here to stay.
Health Insurance Costs
Employers are also having to contend with new and upcoming regulations that have been set forth by the Affordable Care Act, or ACA. In the ACA, employers are required to provide health insurance benefits to full-time employees as long as at least 50 exist within a company, and a business must provide up to 95% of full-time employees with at least minimum standard coverage or risk paying a hefty fee for each uninsured employee. As a result of these changes, many business owners have adjusted their scheduling standards in order to classify employees as part-time as opposed to full-time. What this amounts to is salaried workers becoming hourly so that their work hours can be regulated.
How This Affects the Economy as a Whole
The issue at hand is that full-time workers who are being converted to part-time workers is, at least in the short-term, having a detrimental effect on the economy. Workers who are used to enjoying full-time employment are finding themselves seeking other opportunities, and laid-off workers are finding themselves in the same position. Because these full-time workers are used to having a "job", they often look down upon taking part-time work because it either doesn't pay enough, it doesn't offer benefits, or it doesn't carry the prestige that the last position did. As such, many workers find themselves either unemployed or aiming too high for the current economic outlook.
Advice to Job Seekers
If you're currently seeking work, the best advice right now is to keep trying. Recent reports have shown that people dropping out of the workforce and dropping out of the job-seeking process is a real concern. There are many resources available right now, including through the Internet, that can help you get where you need to be. Consider job board sites, visit businesses in person, but whatever you do, don't give up. A part-time job may not be what you're used to, but it can keep you occupied until your next full-time job comes around.