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ObamaCare Resulting in Fewer Hours, Less Work for Americans

April 22, 2013

As our economy continues to struggle, ObamaCare is resulting in an alarming trend of both fewer jobs and shifting workers from full-time to part-time.  That number is about to climb even higher as the employer mandate in the Democrats’ health care law takes effect.  Beginning in 2014, any employer with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees will be mandated to either provide government-approved health insurance or pay a fine for each full-time employee (the health care law defines a full-time employee as anyone working more than 30 hours a week).

Despite claims by Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius that nothing in the law affects work hours, reports of ObamaCare forcing employers to replace full-time positions with part-time positions or increase part-time employment are growing:  

  • A New York Times article on part-time employment noted that 7.6 million Americans who want more hours cannot find full-time employment and are stuck in part-time jobs.  Commenting in the piece, Paul Dales, senior United States economist for Capital Economics, suggests that ObamaCare is contributing to the trend saying, “There is another reason to believe that part-time employment will stay higher for longer, namely the incentives to employ part-time workers created by Obama’s health care reforms.”
  • Regal theaters announced last week they would be cutting the hours of thousands of employees as a result of ObamaCare.  One manager noted that the health law “fosters a new business culture where 30 hours is now considered the maximum in order to avoid paying the high costs associated with this law.”
  • According to The Washington Post, “the act appears to create an incentive for companies to do less with permanent workers and more with part-timers, which are the main focus of staffing agencies.”
  • The Wall Street Journal reported several employers who will be forced to cut hours, “Several restaurants, hotels and retailers have started or are preparing to limit schedules of hourly workers to below 30 hours a week….CKE Restaurants Inc., parent of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s burger chains, began two months ago to hire part-time workers to replace full-time employees who left….Home retailer Anna’s Linens Inc. is considering cutting hours for some full-time employees to avoid the insurance mandate if the health-care law isn’t repealed…”

In 2010, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) famously claimed that passage of the health law would create up to 4 million jobs.  Three years after the Democrats’ health care law was signed into law, we see that the promise of full-time work is about to get even further out of the grasp of Americans who need a job.