(NaturalNews) As the nation gears up to usher in some of the first installments of Obamacare, job growth appears to be grinding to a halt, particularly within the small business sector, according to new reports. An expert economist analyzing the latest employment figures says the rapid decrease in job growth that has been taking place over the past few months is a direct result of employers' hesitancy concerning not only the requirements of Obamacare, but also the penalties for non-compliance.
Many experts have been warning for years that the implementation of Obamacare would result in decreased job growth and job losses. But because the issue became a highly-politicized "left-right" debate, many people did not take the issue seriously, even though its implications affect everyone negatively regardless of their individual political persuasions.
"I think health care reform might be having an impact," explained economist Mark Zandi during a recent segment on CNBC about current job growth trends. "Those companies with employees (totaling between) 50 to 499 -- that's the group that would be affected by the health care reform -- we've seen a rather sharp slowing in job creation. Forty-three thousand in January; 20,000 in February; and minus-5,000 in March."
Obamacare has already resulted in negative job growth -- companies are continuing to shed employees just to stay in business
This translates into a massive 53 percent decrease in job growth between January and February, and negative job growth between February and March. In other words, not only did job growth completely stop beginning in March, but an additional 5,000 jobs were eliminated during the same month. So much for all those baseless claims that Obamacare would result in positive job growth, a talking point that was used to persuade its passage.
"Obamacare's employer mandate forces all employers with more than 50 full-time employees, defined as those who work at least 30 hours per week, to provide health insurance for employees or pay a $2,000 penalty for each employee after the first 30 workers," explains Alyene Senger for The Foundry about the consequences of the so-called Affordable Care Act.
"This creates an incentive for businesses to avoid both the penalty and cost of coverage by hiring part-time employees instead of full-time employees, since businesses will not be penalized for failing to provide health insurance to part-time employees. This affects a wide range of American workers, from restaurant employees and college adjunct professors to state government workers."
Even the private Federal Reserve has admitted that Obamacare's tenets have prompted employers to hire the bare minimum of employees, and to cut workers' hours in order to avoid the burdensome requirements. Others, including many small businesses, have simply avoided hiring new employees altogether as a result of Obamacare, which proves that the legislation is stunting economic growth.