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Originally published July 10 2013

Obamacare means fewer jobs and work hours as employers slash workforce

by J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) Millions of Americans remain out of work years after the Great Recession ravaged the U.S. economy in 2008-2009. Today, the unemployment rate remains 7.6 percent (the same as May 2013), and while that is down from a high of 9.5 four years ago, the fact that the figure has come down isn't really good news.

That's because more Americans than ever are only working part time, and you can thank Obamacare for that.

I'm not just saying that because I'm no fan of our president's signature piece of legislation. I'm saying it because that is a fact.

According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report of U.S. households:

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 322,000 to 8.2 million in June. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

The figure of 8.2 million is the highest part-time worker figure in recent years; in 2007, the average figure was just under 2.9 million.

Part-time jobs for a full-time workforce

But is that the fault of Obamacare? Yes, say a number of employers.

In case you didn't know or remember, Obamacare requires employers with more than 50 full-time employees to provide them with ever-more-expensive health insurance. Now, having said that, Obama announced the week of July 4 that his administration has decided to delay the so-called "employer mandate" for a year (a decision that, by the way, could very likely be unconstitutional).

Well, for some employers that decision did not come soon enough; many have either eliminated positions altogether by closing stores or have cut their number of full-time employees to less than 50, putting them at part-time status (which is less than 30 hours per week). Also, few employers were buoyed by the decision since they know that, in a year, they will be faced with the same problem - being required to purchase expensive health insurance for their employees.

Reports Pittsburgh's CBS affiliate, KDKA:

Some employers say they find the Affordable Care Act - unaffordable. Instead of extending coverage to some employees, they're cutting their hours.

Clint Benjamin cobbles together a living teaching writing at both CCAC and Duquesne University, but this school year CCAC cut his hours.

"I've got a kid to raise, bills to pay, etcetera, etcetera. Everyone has those issues, but it certainly makes the limited dollars leaner and scarcer," Benjamin said.

That's not the only example.

Let the job killing begin

"At Red Lobster and Walmart, they're doing the same thing. The people working part-time who are already working jobs where they're not making enough to live are having their hours cut," union organizer Robin Sowards told the station.

In April, the Regal Entertainment Group announced that Obamacare had forced the company to cut back on its number of full-time employees; when the theater chain made the announcement, it was attacked by Obamacare supporters. One wrote on the company's Facebook page, "Greed and selfishness make me sick." Other companies faced similar backlashes.

But, explains John Merline for Investors Business Daily, companies aren't the only ones making these decisions:

...[W]hile private companies are getting all this unwelcome and hostile attention, local governments across the country have been quietly doing exactly the same thing - cutting part-time hours specifically so they can skirt ObamaCare's costly employer mandate, while complaining about the law in some of the harshest terms anyone has uttered in public.

Merline goes onto list several examples of local governments and governmental entities complaining about the mandate and what it will do both to their budgets and to their employees.

But the best that Obama can do is delay the implementation of this job-killing mandate. And his congressional supporters - many of whom voted for the law - remain shamefully silent, mindful that fallout from Obamacare is likely to be an issue during the 2013 midterm elections.

The better idea would be to kill the mandate by scrapping this destructive law altogether.


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