Cutting Hours Cuts Profits

by Dish Staff

Over-reliance on part-time workers isn’t good for anyone:

Since 2006, the retail and wholesale sector has cut more than a million full-time jobs and added half a million part-time positions.

A study of one large retail chain, conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, found that scheduling the optimal mix of temporary and part-time workers could increase the profitability of the average store by nearly one-third. But cheaper wasn’t always better. Part-time workers often are not as productive as full-timers, because they tend to be less skilled and less experienced. To maximize sales, the researchers found, the typical store should have four or five part-time employees for every ten full-time employees. “It is possible to have too much of a good thing,” they concluded.

We may already have passed that threshold. Last week, researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago reported that a slack job market continues to limit the paychecks of U.S. workers. An important factor, they said, is the number of part-time employees who would rather have full-time work.