NY Times reports Employers Cutting Full-Time Employees Hours to PT due to Obamacare Incentives

NY Times said Obamacare “sharply penalizes full-time employment in favor of part-time employment.” In response to the employer mandate of Obamacare, many businesses and colleges switched some of their employees from full to part time. Leaders of the Teamsters, UFCW, and UNITE-HERE penned a 2013 letter to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi stating that Obamacare will “destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class… the law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers’ hours to avoid this obligation.”

The article create back and forth between republicans and democrats as to whether Obamacare was actually killing jobs, and the discussion has gone on since 2013.

In June 2016, Ed Morrissey wrote an article and said ‘It Is Time to Blame Obamacare for Losing so Many Full-Time Jobs‘. In the article, he points out that “(On June 2nd,2016) the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the worst jobs report in almost six years. The US economy only added 38,000 jobs, less than a tenth of the estimated 458,000 Americans who left the workforce. In fact, thanks to revisions made to the March and April reports, that exceeds the number of jobs created in the past three months (348,000) by more than 100,000. The workforce participation rate dropped back to 62.6 percent, near a 40-year low, and more than three full points below its level at the start of the recovery in June 2009 (65.7 percent).” The scary thing is that the Obama administration has shown that they are typically more than willing to sugarcoat most government statistics to make them look better than thy actually are so it’s possible that this bad stats could be even worse. This is also based on the sandbagged unemployment rate numbers at 4.9%, but most analysts say it is much higher – probably at least 9.7% (excludes students, retirees, etc.) and Donald Trump has been saying on the campaign trail that the true numbers are far greater than that – maybe as high as 43% (includes seniors, students, etc.).

Morrisey also says, “On top of that, the second estimate of first-quarter GDP growth came in at an annualized rate of 0.8 percent, just short of contraction. The jobs market and the economy have both stalled. We have not experienced annual GDP growth above 2.5 percent in any year since recovery began in June 2009, making this the weakest recovery in the post-war period.” Amazingly, the billions in stimulus money at the beginning of the Obama administration didn’t kickstart the economy. Hmmm, maybe that’s because it all went to line the pockets of the rich and political donors and not to small business or even areas of big business that might have actually stimulated the economy. Ironically,  federal regulation twists incentives and punishes small businesses. In 2010, Kravis notes, federal regulation put a burden on small businesses that cost 20 percent more than it did large companies, thanks to economies of scale.

Obamacare makes that situation even worse. Larger companies can distribute the costs of increased health insurance costs and the employer mandate more broadly. Smaller employers, which have less market clout and smaller room for error, feel the shock of the employer coverage mandate more directly. The ACA directly incentivizes employers to use part-time rather than full-time workers, and smaller businesses have the necessity of grasping at any competitive advantage they can get. Six years after its passage and almost three years after its implementation, Goldman Sachs still sees Obamacare as a prime driver of forced part-time employment.

“One data point in particular might give at least some indication why. The number of part-time workers in jobs for economic reasons shot up by 468,000, apart from the 458,000 that left the workforce altogether.  Slack work or business conditions accounted for 181,000 of these jobs, while another 77,000 could only find part-time work. Analysts at Goldman Sachs have noticed this trend for some time, and put the blame on Obamacare.”

Goldman Sachs economist Alec Philips wrote in a research note “Obamacare had the greatest impact on industries that traditionally do not offer strong health insurance coverage, such as retail stores and the hospitality industry. Phillips noted that these have the highest levels of involuntary part-time workers, and believes that the ACA has forced “a few hundred thousand” to take cuts in hours or accept part-time work as a result.”

That may not seem like a high number, given the amount of people in the US workforce. However, as we approach the seventh anniversary of the Obama recovery, the continued rise in involuntary part-time workers demonstrates a fundamental weakness in the economy, Phillips argues. As Joseph Lawler noted for The Washington Examiner, the number of people forced into part-time work has grown by over 600,000 people in the last seven months. It’s not getting better – it’s getting worse.


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Government health care has never in the history of the world, anywhere, delivered the same quality of medical care as has the free market. As we have lost the battle for competitive health care, today we are traveling along the path to a centrally controlled Soviet-style system that means doctor shortages, limited availability of procedures, scarcity of specialized drugs, long wait times, and an overall increased cost for a decreased quality of our healthcare.  Over half of the surgeons who cover emergency rooms are over fifty years old. Many are retiring early; many are dramatically reducing their patient load. And the new regulations required by Obamacare are only making this much worse. You need to be medically prepared.

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