10/29/2012 12:13 pm ET

Part-Time Workers Increasingly Desperate For Full-Time Jobs: Report

For many, the new dream job is just working full time.

Since 2006, the number of employees in the retail and hospitality industries that are working part-time but want to work full time has more than doubled to 3.1 million, The New York Times reports, citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Though the shift to hiring more part-time workers may be most stark in the retail and hospitality industries, it's part of a larger trend of many Americans working less than they'd like or in jobs for which they're overqualified. The weakening economy is the main reason for the shift to more part-time work, but despite the sluggish economy, major companies are squeezing more out of their workers than ever.

In the retail sector, competition from big box retailers like Walmart has also contributed to employers looking to cut costs by employing more people with fewer shifts, according to NYT.

And now there's another reason to shift to a part-time workforce: Obamacare. Darden Restaurants, the parent company behind the Olive Garden and Red Lobster, recently tested out hiring even more part-time workers than usual -- about 75 percent of its workforce is made up of part-time workers -- in an effort to avoid the mandate that employers with 50 or more full-time employees provide health insurance benefits.

By limiting workers to 30 hours per week, employers can avoid providing them with health insurance, The Huffington Post reports.



Companies With The Least Valuable Employees