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The princess castle at Disney World in Orlando. Photo: Mark Ashman/Disney Parks via Getty Images

Disney World's unions will vote this week on a deal with the company that would raise the minimum wage from $10 to $15 over three years. But there's a big catch: it would also allow Disney World to hire more part-timers.

The big picture: Disney's move toward an increasingly part-time workforce is part of a national trend. Conventional, family-supporting, low-wage jobs are eroding, says Mark Muro of Brookings — and they're being replaced by part-time gigs.

By the numbers: 94% of the net increase in jobs between 2005 to 2015 was in "unsteady" employment — gig, contract, free-lance or temporary work — according to research conducted by Harvard's Lawrence Katz and Princeton's Alan Krueger. When people are in such jobs, it’s harder to establish a career path and move up, says Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. As a result, "there is less mobility out of the low-wage sector than there should be," Bernstein tells Axios.

The details:

  • The Disney World park in Orlando employs 70,000 people, making it the largest single-site employer in the country.
  • The agreement to raise the minimum wage, to be voted on Wednesday, will apply to part-timers as well as full-time employees, Matt Hollis, president of Disney's coalition of unions, told Axios.
  • Through the proposed deal, Disney is only raising its cap on part-time workers slightly — from 35% to 38% of the total workforce.
  • Currently, Disney World isn't close to reaching its part-timers cap — 31% of its workforce is part-time. But the fact that that Disney bargained for a higher cap indicates that the company wants to flexibility to grow its fleet of part-timers, experts say.

What to watch:

  • Companies keep making headlines for increasing minimum wages, but often those hikes come with some caveats, like in Disney's case, Muro says. For example, the Washington Post reports that higher entry-level wages at Walmart, Target and CVS have not translated to raises for middle-career workers.
  • The part-timers trend extends beyond low-wage work. Companies in all industries are moving away from full-timers, says Bernstein. Major tech companies like Microsoft and IBM are outsourcing a growing number of office jobs to contracting agencies, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Go deeper

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will not seek re-election in 2022

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) speaking during a press conference in November 2021. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), a moderate who typically ranks as one of the nation's most popular governors, said Wednesday that he and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (R) will not seek third terms in 2022.

Why it matters: The decision leaves the gubernatorial race wide open and will likely affect multiple down-ballot races next year. Baker was expected to be the front-runner had he joined the race.

3 hours ago - Health

CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers

Travelers with their luggage arrive at a COVID-19 testing location at the airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday night that it is working to impose stricter testing requirements for international travelers due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The big picture: The new rules would require all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative test taken a day before their flight to the U.S. Currently, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to show a test taken no more than three days before their departure, AP reports.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

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