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The anecdotes continue to pile up that Obamacare incentivizes employers to hire part-time workers instead of full-time ones. The Washington Free Beacon reports that South Carolina staffing agencies say employers are hiring more part-time workers, not because there’s more part-time work, but because they can’t afford the Obamacare costs associated with hiring full-time ones.
IHT Staffing’s Billie Baggett said, “I would say 90 percent of our employers, businesses today, are hiring part-time as opposed to full-time, because" of health care law.
Under the health care law’s employer mandate, employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees must offer affordable health coverage or potentially pay a penalty. The penalty is calculated based on the number of full-time employees, which has been redefined as those working 30 hours or more per week.
Even Obamacare proponents at the Urban Institute think the employer mandate is not necessary. Eliminating it “will remove labor market distortions that have troubled employer groups and which would harm some workers."
The number of people working in part-time jobs jumped by 800,000 in June. That could be statistical noise, or it could be indicative of Obamacare’s perverse incentives.
Ditching the employer mandate would remove a significant barrier keeping employers from hiring. But a next-best improvement would be to return the definition of full-time work to 40 hours per week. Bipartisan legislation to do that has passed the House, and is awaiting action in the Senate.