June 13 - Wal-Mart is hiring more temporary workers, the first time doing so outside of its normal holiday shopping season increase, according to a Reuters survey of store managagers, employees, and human resources personnel. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Wal-Mart is hiring -but don't go looking for a full-time, permanent job. Reuters surveyed 52 Wal-Mart stores, at least one in every state, speaking to those who make hiring decisions and here's what we found out: more than half those locations were only hiring temporary employees, 20 were hiring a combination of temp, full-time and part-time employees, and five of those stores were not hiring at all. Right now less than 10 percent of Wal-Mart's workforce are temp workers, according to the company. But that's way up from just 1 to 2 percent in years past. Why the change? The largest private U.S. employer says it wants to be more nimble -able to add and subtract workers and shifts based on consumer demand. Wal-Mart could be an example of how companies may approach the expected rise in healthcare costs. A provision of the Obama healthcare reform gives employers up to one year to determine the eligibility for health care insurance for those who work variable hours - ie temp work. Turnover in retail often happens within the first few months. That means at the one year mark those temp workers may have already moved on- and Wal-Mart could avoid that cost.