Wages of Obamacare

Obama administration flack Jay Carney denies that some employers are hiring more part-time employees because of Obamacare. The Hill quotes Carney: “The data reflects that there is not support for the proposition that businesses are not hiring full-time employees because of the Affordable Care Act,” Carney told reporters. What do the data show? Carney said this:

“I would say broadly that if you look at the economic data, the suggestion that the ACA is reducing full time employment is belied by the facts,” Carney said.

“What the ACA allows is the opportunity for individuals who could not prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act afford insurance to get insurance,” he continued. “And it provides subsidies for those who need help affording it, and it assists businesses in that effort, so they can offer insurance to their employees.”

Carney doesn’t say what the data show. He just changes the subject. I’ve had tougher days in conciliation court than Carney has with the White House press corps. Is Carney’s job really this easy? The answer is that the suppression of growth in full-time jobs is just part of the price you have to pay.

Obamacare is suppressing growth in full-time employment because employers seek to escape coverage of the law. The law’s requirements kick in for employers with 50 or more full-time employees as defined by the law.

One can easily see the effects of Obamacare, to take just one timely example, in the Wall Street Journal report, linked by the Hill, indicating that “employers have added more part-time employees — about 93,000 a month — in 2013 than full-time workers — averaging about 22,000 per month. That’s a reversal from 2012, when employers hired 31,000 part-time workers and 171,000 full-time ones per month.” The linked article, behind the Journal’s subscription paywall, is headlined: “Restaurant shift: Sorry, just part-time.”

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