Marsadeise Barginere, a food service worker in Cleveland, has had her hours cut from full-time to part-time. She’s not alone. Luke Perfect “barely scrape(s) by” at his job in a Subway in Maine. Nonetheless his employer will also put him on part-time status once Obamacare takes effect.
Workers all across America have seen their hours cut. Just search for “work hours cut” on Twitter to see them sharing their frustration. Shorter workweeks and part-time jobs have become the new normal for millions of low-income Americans.
Of course, employers usually reduce work hours in times of economic distress, then increase them once the crisis passes. That’s exactly what happened in the most recent recession … for workers in the middle three income quintiles. But the recovery never happened for workers in the bottom fifth of the wage distribution. Their hours fell and did not come back.