Photo: judybaxter via Flickr
New York Times reporter Steven Greenhouse reported this weekend that sophisticated human resources software is turning Americans has substantially increased the number of part-time workers.The technology takes into account things like weather and foot-traffic volumes to schedule employees for hours at a time.
Greenhouse visits a Jamba Juice to learn how this works:
If the mercury is going to hit 95 the next day, for instance, the software will suggest scheduling more employees based on the historic increase in store traffic in hot weather. At the 53rd Street store, Ms. Rosser said, that can mean seven employees on the busy 11-to-2 shift, rather than the typical four or five.
While it’s lowered costs for the establishments themselves, it’s caused chaos in the lives of the workers, he writes:
The widening use of part-timers has been a bane to many workers, pushing many into poverty and forcing some onto food stamps and Medicaid. And with work schedules that change week to week, workers can find it hard to arrange child care, attend college or hold a second job, according to interviews with more than 40 part-time workers.
Retail and restaurant workers have been hit most acutely, Greenhouse says. Retail has cut one million full-time jobs since 2006 while adding more than 500,000 part-time posts, according to the BLS.
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