Wages of Welfare

…or, in this case, Obamacare, or maybe just generalized government meddling in people’s lives through our free market.

Ken Adams has been turning to more part-time workers at his 10 Subway sandwich shops in Michigan….

He added approximately 25 part-time workers in May and June as he reduced some employees’ hours and replaced other workers who left.  The move showed how efforts by some restaurant owners and other businesses to remake their workforces because of the Affordable Care Act may be turning the country’s labor market into a more part-time workforce.


For the entire U.S. workforce, employers have added far more part-time employees in 2013—averaging 93,000 a month, seasonally adjusted—than full-time workers, which have averaged 22,000.  Last year the reverse was true, with employers adding 31,000 part-time workers monthly, compared with 171,000 full-time ones.

Because delays in enforcing Obamacare notwithstanding, businesses need both to get their full-time numbers down in order to reduce their Obamacare cost baselines, and absent repeal, those delays will come to an end in just 12 short months.  Indeed, the practical effect of the delays is simply to prolong and enhance the hiring of part-timers rather than full-timers.

Here’s a more direct example:

Rod Carstensen, owner of 11 Del Taco restaurants around Denver, began in April converting his mostly full-time workforce into one comprising mostly part-time help to minimize his health-care costs.  He estimates the costs could have climbed by as much as $400,000 a year without the change.

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