Personally, I’d much rather be working a part-time/temporary/seasonal job than collecting unemployment. Getting inside an organization enables you to socialize/network with the full-time staff and to make a good impression with a future employer that might offer health insurance, 401K options and tuition reimbursement. Due to the sluggish pace of the economy and great anxiety over the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare, to those who wish to find blame), many companies are reluctant to give their part-timers the opportunity to move up the corporate ladder. An older part-time worker can result in lower operating costs. If a full-time staff member is needed, better to go younger and not risk higher salaries or larger group medical insurance premiums.
The aversion of organizations from hiring older part-time workers is something I have experienced. I worked as a seasonal worker in the events department for a local non-profit. Even as younger seasonal workers were quitting after one month on the job, I stayed on for the duration each season. When full-time job opportunities were announced, I jumped at the chance to be considered. I applied 3 times earlier this year. I assumed that my dedication to being with the organization would merit a job interview. No such luck. They did say, however, I could re-apply for my old job, which despite having the same title and same responsibilities now paid less per hour. I declined, even though I was tempted to tell them to take their “offer” and stick where the sun didn’t shine.
To achieve The Great Recovery and, to a larger extent, The American Dream, there needs to be more full-time opportunities. If Corporate America (and Non-Corporate America for that matter) doesn’t start investing in Americans, Americans might stop investing in them.