Overall, the last 3 months have been the best job producing quarter since prior to the recession.
But despite the good numbers, there was much gnashing of teeth over the increase in part-time employment.
The number of Americans who want to work full time but could only find part-time work increased by 322,000. Total part-time employment increased by 432,000.
This led to a number of stories suggesting the mandated health insurance requirements for full time employees associated with Obamacare is resulting in more companies shifting to part-time employees.
Here's a brief round-up of a few of articles on this topic and their key quote on Obamacare and part-time employment:
The Wall Street Journal's Part-Time America:
One explanation is almost surely ObamaCare. The law requires employers with more than 50 workers to provide health insurance to all employees or pay a $2,000 penalty per worker. The law also defines a full-time job as 30 hours a week. All of this gives businesses that operate on thin margins—and that's most businesses—an incentive to hire more part-time workers.
The LA Time's Part-time worker ranks growing:
Some economists say employers are also cutting worker hours to avoid paying for health insurance benefits ahead of the rollout of President Obama's health care law.
The New York Time's The New Economics of Part-Time Work:
Because part-time workers will be eligible for the subsidies except in the rare instances in which their employer covers them, full-time work will no longer carry the advantage of access to health insurance. That by itself will encourage more people to seek part-time work.
NPR's Who Wants a Part-Time Job?:
... explains that provisions that kick in soon create reasons for employers to hire more part-timers, to maintain current employees as part-time rather than bump them up to full-time, and possibly even to drop employees’ hours to less than 30-per-week. It may also encourage small employers with just under 50 employees to keep their head count below 50, to avoid employer penalties under the ACA.
There are many more examples.
We agree that Obamacare will increase part-time employment. But we also think broader economic and social shifts are bigger drivers of the the growth in part-time work. These include:
- The use of advanced scheduling software to create a just in time workforce.
- Increasing numbers of baby boomers and seniors working part-time in retirement.
- The growth of the independent workforce, many of whom choose to work part-time.
So as you read about the rise of the part-time workforce, keep in mind it's not just Obamacare causing this shift.