White House states: Obamacare not causing employers to cut hours
Since the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act many companies and most notable chain businesses have stated they will hire less employees due to Obamacare. Opponents of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have claimed the law will cause employers to drop health benefits to employees, discourage businesses from hiring any full-time workers, and push employers to limit hours of full-time employees to avoid providing health benefits. Many have wondered if this is an accurate analysis or statement, and are employers really hiring fewer employees, and cutting hours due to Obamacare?
Several reports and surveys conducted to answer this exact question have been done this year. In May 2013 the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plan conducted a poll that found 69% of employers definitely plan to offer health benefits to their full time employees, even though those same companies are expecting health care cost to rise when the exchange begins in 2014, additionally less than one percent of company surveyed stated they were definitely planning on discontinuing their health benefit plans.
Yesterday, Friday September 6, 2013 the White House Council of Economic Advisers released a memo on their website answering this same question. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will not have the detrimental effect on workers as have previously been stated. The White House used the latest jobs report number to provide insight on the type of employment that have occurred since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been in placed. The data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Monthly Employment Report shows an increase in employment since the Affordable Care Act became law, and more than 9 out of 10 positions have been full-time. The report further states several data points that supports that analysis.
1. Private sector employment has risen for 42 consecutive months, with businesses adding a total of 7.5 million jobs over that period.
2. The overall unemployment rate ticked down 0.1 percentage point to 7.3 percent, the lowest since December 2008, with long-term unemployment remaining elevated.
3. The economy has been consistently adding jobs at a pace of more than 2 million per year
4. CEA estimates that if state and local government employment had held steady during the recovery, the unemployment rate would currently be below 7 percent.
5. The number of persons working part-time for involuntary “economic reasons” has fallen by 152,000 over the past twelve months.
In addition to the memo released by the White House, it is also necessary to remember the Employer Mandate requirement have been delayed and will not go into effect in 2014. Beginning in 2015, Obamacare will require companies that have 50 or more employees to provide health coverage for all full-time workers, or pay a fine.