Wow, Who Could Have Predicted This?

Full-time employment in one fast-food survey drops over last several years from 50% of workers to less than 2%.

This is the conclusion I draw from my survey in December of 136 fast-food restaurants (franchisees) that employed close to 3,500 workers. Before 2014 about half the employees were “full time” as defined by ObamaCare; that is, they worked 30 hours or more a week. The potential cost to the employers of providing mandated health insurance to their full-time staff would have been about $7 million a year. But by the time the employers took advantage of all their legal options they were able to reduce their cost to less than 1% of that amount.

The first step was to make all hourly workers part time. That may seem easy to do, but in the fast-food business it’s not uncommon that employees fail to show up for work. Other employees are asked to work additional hours to prevent the restaurant from shutting down. By the end of 2014, 58 employees had crossed the line to full-time status and were eligible for mandated health insurance in 2015.

My 2012 article about the end of full-time work in the retail service sector.  The follow-up at Forbes was here.


  1. Onlooker from Troy:

    Ah, those evil capitalists. We clearly need MORE draconian laws to somehow force them to give full time, high paying jobs with full benefits to low skilled workers.

  2. sch:

    And if full time is redefined to 40 hours, then will it be even easier to reduce hours to under 40 for the purpose of the ACA?
    Seems likely to me. An unintended consequence may be to facilitate one payer in the future..... The red staters in Congress
    may want to think about that.

  3. DirtyJobsGuy:

    I was just in a jam-packed McDonalds in Monaco (the Princess Grace Monaco) and you could dramatically see the impact of high minimum wages. You ordered and paid from one of the many computerized kiosks the picked up your order from the counter. Not only are the kiosks exempt from work weeks, benefits packages and minimum wages, but they do not quit, fail to come to work on time, and are retrainable easily

  4. MNHawk:

    Certainly no one coming out of our Schools of Government or Journalism could have possibly predicted this.

  5. irandom419:

    There is a weird push for only full time employment where I work and letting go those who don't want the additional hours. It complicates scheduling, because a part timer can work an additional 10-20 hours without incurring the dreaded overtime. I guess if you are going to have to provide benefits, you want to get the most out of them. Also, a lot of the temp agencies I'm looking at, for someone, only want full time too where the job requires something resembling a skill.