Meijer to hire more than 9,000 in five states

Meijer Inc. plans to hire more than 9,000 new employees in five states in the coming months.
AP Wire
Aug 9, 2013


The Grand Rapids-based company said the hiring is because of growth and preparation for fall and holiday seasons.

Meijer wants to hire 4,400 workers in Michigan, 1,800 in Indiana, 1,600 in Ohio, 900 in Illinois and 500 in Kentucky. The retailer said most of the new positions will be part-time.

Meijer has opened five new stores this year, including one in Detroit, and plans one more this year. It has nine scheduled to open in 2014.



Remember the old Meijer on the corner of Jackson and 31? There were entrance/exits on both sides of the store. I was young, probably in the single digits, but some things bring back memories. Store #18?


Is it a coincidence that Meijer is hiring so many new part time workers before the Affordable Care Act kicks in? Full time workers will not be affected but part time workers hours will be cut back to no more than 24 hrs. per week.


Regularguy, I thought the same thing.


Part time employees at minimum wage........does that mean no benefits? How does that help the economy? Even a kid living at home with his parents can't make a car payment and pay insurance on that kind of paycheck.

Tri-cities realist

Meijer is set to hire a bunch of new employees, and for that they are criticized by some. If you want to blame someone for them hiring predominantly part time workers, blame the federal govt. As any business owner knows (right Lanny), businesses will do what ever they can legally to lower their costs and tax burden, which is what Meijer has chosen to do. While some may not like this, it is far better for them to remain competitive, than go out of business, resulting in many more thousands of unemployed.


TCR - A slew of part-time employees in my situation would be the least productive, efficient, and profitable scenario imaginable. This is true of most small businesses (under 50 employees); the practice would not lower costs or affect our tax burden in any way. Meijer is following the most expedient and cost effective practices that are prevalent with the majority of large retailers - the hiring of part-time workers, especially for seasonal purposes, as the article indicates. As far as Meijer goes, they typically hire on a part-time basis, and then select and offer full-time status from the group. This is nothing new, and has nothing to do with the federal government or Obamacare. It is a trend that has been in the making for decades.

Although we should be grateful for the proposed hiring of 9,000 workers - part-time or not - the fact is that this is a stark example of the corporate mindset that now dominates the workplace.

"AMERICAN companies are more profitable than ever — and more profitable than we thought they were before the government revised the national income accounts last week. Wage earners are making less than we thought, in part because the government now thinks it was overestimating the amount of income not reported by taxpayers".

"Before the figures were revised, it appeared that wages and salary income in 2012 amounted to 44 percent of G.D.P., the lowest at any time since 1929, which is as far back as the data goes.

But the revisions cut that to 42.6 percent, which matched the revised 2010 figure as the lowest ever.

The flip side of that is that corporate profits after taxes amounted to a record 9.7 percent of G.D.P. Each of the last three years has been higher than the earlier record high, of 9.1 percent, which was set in 1929".

Recent government revisions in the amount of taxpayer income thought to be unreported shows another example of corporate profits versus middle class growth, both pre- and post- recession.

Tri-cities realist

I was not referring to your exact situation Lanny. I thought as a business owner you could understand that one way in which Meijer (amongst others) lowers their cost, is to hire part time workers, to avoid paying for health insurance. I'll admit, I guess I was wrong in thinking you would understand.

Which begs the question: what is the purpose of a business, to provide employment for others?

And according to your statistics, do we need to punish businesses more?


I know you weren't. I was simply pointing out that there are many businesses for whom part-time employment is not a sustainable hiring practice, and that there are many businesses for whom part-time employment practices are a necessary and effective way to run specific businesses - and that neither practice has much to do with Obamacare. What I do understand is the timely excuse Obamacare offers to those businesses, such as those in the retail and service industries, to broadcast more part-time hiring, when, in fact, they have already made a shift to part-time hiring years ago due to other factors.

Your next two questions are a bit too simplistic and disingenuous for me to sincerely answer. As for the purpose of business, I direct you to a reading (or re-reading) of The Jungle, Upton Sinclair.

And to answer both, many business owners (including me) have this philosophy: You get what you pay for. An employee who is educated, feels they are respected, and their good work is acknowledged will be an honest, faithful, responsible, efficient and productive employee.

Punishment is in the eye of the beholder. Again, I direct you to a refresher on US history of the early 20th century, seeing as how current statistics show income inequality at it's greatest since 1929.

Tri-cities realist

Well I'm glad that you recognize that for some businesses, part time employees are a necessity. And while Obamacare may not have caused this trend, it will certainly aid in expanding it. And then when Obamacare fails to dramatically decrease the number of uninsured, we will hear cries that the only solution is to go to single payer. Which is the end game, as Harry Reid admits. Ah, that slippery slope that some fail to recognize.

And while I don't currently have the time (too busy working you know) to re-read that über-capitalist Upton Sinclair's book, I am somewhat confident, that according to him, the purpose of an employee is to increase the output of the business, (by employees falling into the rendering vats). Are you too nuanced to state the obvious, that the primary purpose of a business is to make a profit?

First I am incoherent, now I am too simplistic, make up your mind! And I was NOT being disingenuous, I sincerely want to know what you think the primary purpose of a business is.

And so I will ask again, how are we to solve the income inequality issue? Yes, a simple question, fairly coherent, and totally genuine.


Some thoughts, as per your request:

1.) Education: Study and educate yourself on historical conditions during times of income equality and wealth disparity. Read unbiased sources so you have an understanding of what it means and how it affects the country.

2.) Be aware of what our legislators are doing for the middle class. They all campaign on jobs and the economy, but what do they do once in office? Legislators should be balanced in their approach; if they aren't, vote them out. Demand more, be vigilant.

3.) Keep things in perspective. In the current climate of partisan, polarizing politics and opinions, it becomes easy to just blame one entity, but it's never actually that simple. And that also means having a strong work ethic - a workers' sole purpose is to be as productive and efficient as possible to make their employer successful. The responsibility of business is to recognize and reward that effort.

We all know the primary purpose of business, but what do you think is the responsibility of business?

Do you recognize wealth disparity as a problem? Any thoughts?

Frankly, the last time income inequality was as great as it is today, it took WWII to correct it. The middle class really grew and income equality was steady from the 50's to the early 80's, but then the spread steadily grew from that point forward. Read about the 1980's and draw your own conclusions.

Tri-cities realist

1) still searching for unbiased sources, they all seem to lean too far left

2) I am aware, and demand more, well actually less... Less taxes, less govt interference.

3) I keep things in perspective. But instead of focusing on every nuanced aspect of every problem, I tend to focus on the top one or 2. I guess I'm too simplistic.

I recognize wealth disparity as a problem, only to the extent that I want to see those on the lower end to move upward, I'm not interested in bringing the upper end down. There are 2 obvious ways (probably many more, but remember I'm simple) to create more wealth equality.

The first would be to elevate those on the lower end. In my opinion we already have enough social programs that seek to help out the poor. I think these programs can tend to have the opposite effect, thereby creating dependency. People need incentive to succeed. The thought of going without food or shelter provides that incentive. I can sense your blood pressure rising, so I'll remind you that I don't think we should abolish all social safety nets. I think we should structure them, such that they provide temporary aid to those able bodied who need a hand when between jobs. Kind of like the reforms that occurred under Clinton and Engler.

The 2nd would be to confiscate the wealth from the upper end and transfer it to the lower end. We have tried this already. Remember those wonderful 70% tax brackets? Did they produce the desired effect? Thankfully we recognized that in addition to not producing equality, they were highly unfair. Just because someone has succeeded, why should an increasing percentage of their income be taxed, the more they earn? They already pay more dollars because of their higher income. If we really want to be fair, the flat tax is the way to go. But then again, those on the left don't really want fairness.

Thanks but I don't need to read about the 80's, I lived them. And I recall a lot of hard working friends and family move up the pay scale during the 80's, thanks in part to the big tax cuts, they were struggling during the 70's, until Reagan and his "friend after 6pm" Tip O'Neill reduced the top marginal rate significantly.

So to sum up, my solution is for people to work hard, apply themselves physically and mentally, and get the govt. out of their way. I know, probably way too simplistic. What's your plan?


1.) If you can't find any good books or articles that provide a historical perspective that you deem to be not "too far left", then I suspect the problem lies with you.

2.) I hear ya'....which is why I'm concerned that our Michigan Republican legislature wants to raise middle class taxes while cutting in 1/2 the corporate income tax rate, and yet also spends time on social wedge issues that should not be on the agenda right now (or ever, as far as I'm concerned).

3.) Your thoughts on incentives to succeed are exactly right. Obama's stimulus during the 07-09' recession was to shore up a critically damaged labor force during times of extreme duress - extremely high job loss, foreclosures, uninsured, and to create an environment that would stop the financial hemorrhaging and encourage businesses to hire again.

Most of the stimulus spending has now expired as the country stabilizes. The hoopla about Obama as "food stamp president", etc is manufactured. I'm not aware he is attempting to permantently undermine the reforms that occurred under Clinton and Engler (although I know you are not criticizing Obama directly here).

Inflation was the struggle in the 80's (early). Actually, there were many tax increases under Reagan, as well as Bush Sr. Don't take my word for it, look it up! This is a really good article that compares Reagan vs Romney in terms of tax reform:

Also, as wealth disparity between the middle class and corporate businesses began to grow, it was also the start of the demise of defined benefit pensions, full coverage of health insurance, and other erosion to the middle class.

I agree with you on hard work. My entire background beginning with my childhood to the present is based on the principles you set forth. The government part, well, I can't make such a blanket statement. Government will always be with us to some degree, right?


Fly on the wall here.

Interesting conversation, Lan/TCR and if I may butt (spelled wrong for your enjoyment Lan) in and ask one question. Why do you think the 80's turned around so quickly and what was the key that caused the economy to expand for so long?


You really need to start reading from other sources before you go out of business.

Your understanding of Meijer practices holds only a kernel of truth. As usual, you run on tangent to what is really happening.

Meijer hires many entry level jobs and is an incubator for young workers at their first job. Many in the service industry do the same. These starter jobs typically have high turnover rates and it does not make sense to invest heavy in the positions until skills an attitude for the job has developed. In a business of pennies, you need to be lean and nimble to survive in such competitve markets.

All those big bad corporations started as small business. They figured out how grow and become successful big business and provide thousands of jobs.

Eliminate the IRS and go to some form of flat tax to fix the cheating.

Funny you wax and wane about corporate cheating on a government control entity (IRS) and then want your health care control by gubment! No thanks, not me.


Talk about a kernel of truth! I wasn't in any way casting aspersions on Meijer, but simply saying that in the retail and service industry, part-time hiring is a very common practice because it works for them, not because of the implication from the other comments that it has something to do with Obamacare or is a direct result of federal government. Hours of operation, type of work, degree of technical training required, amount of on-the-job training, etc all enter into the equation. A good business stays lean and nimble, yes, but there must always be a balance.

Of course, I'm all for American entrepreneurial spirit. That's not the point - the numbers don't lie, and they show corporate profit at its highest levels since 1929, and middle class income growth at its lowest since 1929. That's all I'm sayin'.

Eliminate the IRS and reform tax rates? It will only happen if the top 1%, which controls $52.8 Trillion of the world's wealth, wants it. In a country where behemoth General Electric paid no taxes in 2010 and paid an average corporate income tax rate of 1.8% between 2002-2011, in part by shifting $108 Billion in profits overseas (all perfectly legal and done by tons of corporations), any US tax reform will more than likely not be drawn up to favor the middle class.

Corporate control or government control? Both seem unsavory, but at least we can vote the government bums out. As for corporate control, look how they have indoctrinated citizens....".. you need to be lean and nimble to survive in such competitve markets".

Looks to me smart global companies are able to do better in global markets. Maybe if corporate tax rates on US soil were not so punitive they would produce more here and help our job markets!

If you want less of something tax it more. Guess what, corporate companies that operate on a global scale just pick up there marbles and play somewhere else! Your attacking the wrong side of the equation!

I take it by your qouting of my statement on markets competitveness that you think I'm indoctrinated. I see a large corporations numbers daily so I know what I speak of. Maybe your small business does not have competitve forces like others, good for you. Enjoy it while you can because if its lucrative it will be only a matter of time until competition starts to chip away at your market share. This is as it should be as it makes good business stronger, weak ones go away and consumers win. Its called free market Lan.


Thank you for your tutorial on competition and the marketplace. I will hold it in good stead in the coming years.

Isn't it grand that Obamacare establishes insurance marketplaces where companies are encouraged to offer more competitive policies? And that in states like New York and California, people are being offered more selections with greater benefits, and for less costly premiums? The joys of free markets, rather than the monopolies of yester-year!

Tri-cities realist

Sorry to interject on your conversation with Wing, it is a public forum you know. So we needed 2000+ pages of new law to create competition? Now that is funny! Thanks for the laugh.

"companies are encouraged" or put another way "forced through a draconian $2000 fine per employee"

Less costly in California, my what a short memory you have. I believe that one was debunked a few short weeks ago. Pass the kook-aid (ok I meant to say kool-aid, but when the auto correct said kook, I had to leave it. Now THAT is a smartphone).


Its called socialism justice. Wait until all companies and small business (+50) learn they must "educate" their employees regarding Obama care and or face additional penalties for failure to do so. What is considered adequate "indoctrinat...I'm mean education?"

"The Department of Labor has delayed release of regulations requiring employers to provide employees written notice concerning (1) the existence of an exchange, including services and contact information; (2) the employee’s potential eligibility for premium credits and cost-sharing subsidies if the employer plan’s share of covered health care expenses is less than 60%; and
(3) the employee’s potential loss of any employer contribution if the employee purchases a plan through an exchange. According to a recent Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), the Department of Labor expects the timing for distribution of notices will be the late summer or fall of 2013 which will be coordinated with the open enrollment period for Exchanges.

Oops... "The Congressional Budget Office estimated in May that employers would pay $10 billion in penalties in fiscal year 2015, which starts on Oct. 1, 2014.

From 2014 to 2023, the CBO projected $140 billion in revenue from employer penalties, money that was supposed to help offset the law’s new costs of expanded Medicaid eligibility and tax credits to help the uninsured buy coverage.

Oh man this Chicago math is hard!


Businesses have relied heavily on government to subsidize their business practices for years. For example, Wal-Mart workers work for such low wages, they still qualify for food stamps..

As for the business penalty dilemma, this is interesting:

Tri-cities realist

Hmm no response on my comment above?


Without an exemption, “increased penalty liability could cause a more rapid erosion of employer-sponsored health insurance and increased costs to federal taxpayers.”

This is part of the plan to get to single payer!

Maybe we should all look at it like this guy (last link), ya know just chill out and bring some juice down to the city beach and hang out in a Lani's-van, waxing lyrical about being youthful rebels and listening to
Do ya think he cares if we are paying for his appendectomy if he ever needs one? Peace out!


I beg to differ with those who hold the opinion that retailers decreasing the hrs of current part time workers to 20 hrs and hiring thousands of new part time workers has nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act. It has everything to do with the Affordable Care Act. If the ACA were not soon to kick in there would be little point in making sure that part time workers put in less than a certain number of hrs. Retail workers I know are now scrambling around trying to find another job or taking cuts in pay to take full time positions. It will be one thing for single folks but quite another for those with a family especially if their significant other does not have medical ins. on their job. We pay plenty in taxes now subsidizing these companies now because they don't pay a living wage and if more families qualify for assistance our taxes are just going to go up.

Say no to new taxes

Do these company's really think a part time worker making minimum wage is going to be a good employee? I saw a kid going into work at Meijers in Muskegon yesterday, his pants were filthy dirty and he's going to work around food items? We're becoming more like a third world country everyday thanks to the greed of corporations and a government that's for sale to the highest bidder.


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