Obamacare not costing full-time jobs, White House says

The federal government forms for applying for health coverage are seen at a rally held by supporters of the Affordable Care Act, widely referred to as
The federal government forms for applying for health coverage. Credit: Reuters

The White House said on Tuesday there was no evidence President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare program is driving up the number of part-time workers, challenging the view of many business owners in the country.

Conservative Republicans have pointed to the high level of part-time employment as evidence businesses are cutting hours for their staffs in response to the new healthcare law, which will require them to offer health insurance to full-time workers.

And, indeed, one in five businesses in the service sector think the program, popularly known as “Obamacare,” has hurt employment at their firms over the last three months, a National Association of Business Economics survey showed on Monday.

Many businesses polled by the NABE said they were holding back on hiring due to the costs imposed by the law, and the survey also showed 15 percent of service sector firms planned to shift to more part-time workers due to Obamacare.

But economic data on employment has been less compelling.

The number of people with part-time jobs who want full-time work, for example, was essentially flat in September at 7.9 million.

“We are not seeing any effect in the data,” Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told Reuters Insider.

Also, the number of part-time workers spiked in 2008, well before Obamacare was enacted, and has been slowly falling as a share of total employment since 2010. In September, people working part time because they could not find full-time work made up 5.5 percent of the employed, unchanged from August.

The spike in 2008 and the steady drift downward since then suggests the elevated level of part-time workers is more likely due to the economy’s weakness.

The issue is a sensitive one for the administration, which is also on the defensive over a clunky roll-out of a website workers use to navigate the new health insurance landscape created by Obamacare.

While many economists say there is a logical reason for employers to cut back on workers’ hours, the pressure to do so this year eased in July when the White House delayed the beginning of Obamacare’s so-called “employer mandate” until January 2015.

Under the mandate, which was previously due to take effect in January 2014, firms with more than 50 employees must provide reasonable healthcare insurance to employees who work more than 30 hours a week.

“Health reform’s employer mandate is likely to have some effect on hours worked, but it hasn’t yet shown up in the data,” Paul Van de Water, an analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, wrote in a report earlier this month.

Ron Axelrad, chief executive of Access Staffing, which places part- and full-time employees across the greater New York City area, said his firm had been getting a lot of calls from companies six months ago about how to prepare for Obamacare.

But the delay of the employer mandate has pushed the issue “out of everyone’s mind,” he said.

“Probably toward the second or third quarter of next year, companies will be very aware again that they have to prepare,” Axelrad added.

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Best nature spots for kids in New York…

When it comes to kids and nature, most U.S. parents agree: children should be spending more time outdoors. According to a recent survey by The…

Local

Easter 2014: The year's best bonnets

It's Easter, and that means it's time for Fifth Avenue to turn into a veritable catwalk of bonnet-wearers. The annual march, which kicks off at…

Local

Woman arrested for attempted kidnapping of baby in…

Authorities said that a Queens woman behind an attempted kidnapping of an 8-month-old baby boy was arrested on Saturday.

Local

Hate crime charge in attack on Sikh Columbia…

A man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly pulled the beard of a Sikh Columbia University professor as part…

Television

‘Mad Men’ recap: Season 7, Episode 2, ‘A…

Peggy and Lou are horrible, Bert's racist, Don is honest(ish) and Roger and Pete are frustrated. "A Day's Work" not quite worthy of "This Will Be Our Year."

Television

'Game of Thrones' recap: Season 4, Episode 3,…

The problem with the devil you know is that ignoring them doesn’t mean they simply lie in wait. It allows them time to do things…

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

NHL

Rangers let chance at victory slip away in…

All the Rangers had to do was hold serve in a raucous Madison Square Garden — roaring in anticipation of putting a hated rival in a 2-0 series hole.

MLB

Yankees place Ivan Nova on DL with partially…

Yankees starter Ivan Nova was diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his throwing elbow Sunday.

NHL

Rangers never thought opening round would be 'an…

You might have thought the Metropolitan Division semifinal series was going to be a rout after watching Game 1 Thursday night. The Rangers did not.

NHL

Rangers blow two-goal lead in Game 2 loss…

The Rangers got out to an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 and the Garden was rocking. But it went downhill quickly from there.

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.