$12 for a Big Mac? It Could Happen!
My ultimate dream is to write Bible Studies for women from a Biblical perspective, which would include issues about finance, marriage, relationships, etc., and to continue writing about politics right here at PolitiChicks.tv. However, I know making a living from writing full-time doesn’t come easily. So, I recently began the job hunt. My kids are older and will be going to private school in the fall, I am nearing the completion of a Bachelor’s Degree and will be starting my Master’s, and I am recovered enough from my hip surgery to be able to move forward in my pursuits and goals. While my writing for PolitiChicks will continue, my other writing pursuits will slowdown dramatically.
I went to my first face-to-face interview yesterday, and the manager and I had a great conversation. During the conversation, she shared how they just found out that part-time workers could no longer work more than an average of 28 hour per week per year. Also, “seasonal workers” cannot work more than an average of six months in a given year. The requirement begins now and penalties, which no one knows what they are, will be assessed for not complying with the rules. No, there was no warning, and companies don’t get to plan and start at the beginning of 2014. Where did these new rules come from? They came from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Remember, it had to be passed “before” it could be read and understood. Needless to say, I was astounded.
Who came up with such an idea? I am really curious to know how they thought that regulating employee hours would benefit workers, businesses, and the economy. Not only does limiting hours for part-timers hurt workers, it will also hurt companies. Those workers who like being part-time due to the flexibility it offers in their schedules, and other various reasons, count on receiving extra hours during the Christmas holidays and summer to boost their income to pay for gifts, vacations, and other goods and services that are important to them. Employers like the flexibility of being able to increase employee’s hours during the busy holiday season and summer.
Now, companies will have to acquire more part-time workers to cover all of the shifts, and will experience a revolving door of workers from those who quit because they cannot obtain the amount of hours they desire. The cost to fire, hire, and train is a huge expense for most companies. Not only will companies feel overwhelmed to meet such tight governmental regulations, college students will suffer, too. Many college students prefer part-time jobs over full-time, permanent jobs due to flexibility and depend on the extra hours they can pick up during peak months to help pay for college and living expenses.
Overall, the restraint in hours for part-time and seasonal workers will create a flux of workers seeking two jobs to get the hours they desire. If you add the proposed Federal minimum wage increase to $9.00 an hour, you find a recipe for disaster for workers and companies, which will have terrible effects on the economy. If we look at articles, such as one on MSN Money titled, “Would a $9 minimum wage hurt McDonalds?” we read that a worker at McDonalds, who makes an average of $7.66 per hour would have increased wages from $16,000 annually to $18,720 with an increase to $9.00 an hour. The current Federal minimum is $7.25 per hour. As the article states, that is an increase of $2,788 per year. Now, that’s not a whole lot, so many may think, “What’s the big deal in an increase to $9 an hour? It’s only $2,788 a year for a person.” Well, here’s the big deal. Most employees at fast food restaurants like McDonalds only work part-time. The average number of part-time McDonald’s employees in a given store is 50. Well, I began to wonder how much a part-time worker could really make working at one company, like McDonalds, at $9.00 an hour with a cap of 28 hours per week. Are you ready? It’s a whopping $13,104! Go ahead, get your calculator, I’ll wait. I calculated it three times. So, yes, a person working 40 hours a week would make $18,720 annually at $9.00 an hour; however, people working in jobs in the food and services industry, like McDonald’s and Safeway, which rely on part-time help, will have to work more than one job if they want to make more than $13,104 per year. Those extra hours during peak seasons will be gone.
Now, for those companies who have, let’s say, 20 full-time employees, an increase of $2,788 per year per worker would amount to an increase in annual wages of $55,760. Many companies don’t have enough profit margin to accommodate an increase of wages of that amount, which means lay-offs and increased unemployment.
Ultimately, the increased in the minimum wage and the cap on part-time hours is only going to cause more unemployment and increased prices on goods and services. Increased costs in the minimum wage will most likely be passed onto the consumer in order for companies to be able to survive and stay in business. If you like Big Mac’s, you better enjoy them now before they cost $12 or more in the not too distant future.