Having worked in the grocery retail business for over 12 years, I understand how not working enough hours is problematic. When I worked 40 hours per week, I had enough money to pay my bills and maybe even go out to eat or to a movie once in a while, while still managing to put a small amount of money into a savings account.
When my hours dropped closer to 30, this all changed and I began to struggle. The reality of today is one where the profits of corporations are at an all-time high and the gap between the rich and the poor is causing our middle class to vanish. Current scheduling trends in retail, which predate the Affordable Care Act and started back in the 1990s, include hiring more workers, scheduling them less hours and often scheduling them on call.
Two decades ago, 70 percent of retail workers were full time, but today only 30 percent are full time. We are building a class of underemployed workers. We need more 40-hour-per-week jobs to boost Spokane’s economy and to grow our middle class again.