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No, Obamacare Isn’t Creating A Part-Time Economy

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By Sy Mukherjee

Politicians and media figures opposed to Obamacare regularly insist that the health law is creating a part-time economy. But independent analyses and monthly employment data reveal that claim to be false.

The monthly jobs report that was released on Tuesday found that the U.S. economy had added 148,000 jobs in September and that the national unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent. And as University of Michigan economics professor Justin Wolfers pointed out on Twitter, the report also found that the economy has been adding full time employment while actually shedding part-time jobs.

In fact, full time employment rose by over 1.6 million between September 2012 and September 2013. The number of people saying they worked a part-time job for economic reasons — such as part-time work being the only kind available — fell by nearly 700,000 in that same time period. Michael R. Strain, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, tweeted out the trend in graph form with the caption, “Not much evidence of Obamacare’s part-time America here”:

ndeed, if the Affordable Care Act really were forcing businesses to cut back to more part-time workers, you would expect to see the exact opposite trend.

That isn’t to say part-time work hasn’t seen a rise during certain points of the recession. As Ben Casselman of the Wall Street Journal points out, “[p]art-time employment fell in late 2012, then rebounded in early 2013.” But now part-time employment has dropped for two consecutive months, leading Casselman to conclude that “even if the upward trend resumes, it’s doubtful that the health law is to blame.”

The hard numbers confirm earlier studies showing that very few employers have actually cut workers’ hours because of the health law. In fact, a September survey of chief financial officers found that American companies actually intend to increase their ranks of full-time workers by nearly two percent over the next 12 months, even as Obamcare’s mandate that large companies provide basic health benefits to their full-time employees goes into effect.

Latest Activity: Oct 22, 2013 at 1:55 PM

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gacpl commented on Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013 at 15:31 PM

Sy Mukherjee is a Health Reporter/Blogger for ThinkProgress.org a very liberal group. nothing but lies. not to mention there's a big difference between a blogger and a reporter.

PoliticsNation commented on Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013 at 15:50 PM

@Gacpl-Fox news is a very conservative news station but you follow them. In fact Fox has been caught reporting false information for years-I have found over 10 credible sources that have exposed their lies in the past week alone. Don't lecture me about facts and truth. I've sat back and watch you people post nothing but hate and lies over the past week. That's why the Republicans approval ratings are at the lowest in history because of people in the south-that think like you.

PoliticsNation commented on Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013 at 16:19 PM

@gacpl-seems that every outlet is on board with ThinkProgress story...um...you don't say.


sebekm commented on Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013 at 17:21 PM

PN: Fox doesn't "lie" any more than any of the sites you post here. A lot of it is propaganda, and a lot is a matter of perspective.

As for "you people" post nothing but "hate and lies" - I've noticed when some people can't handle the truth they call it "lying" or a "lie." It's just another way to change the subject, which is what the President is now doing with ObamaCare. But the American people - all but the FAR LEFT - is getting the picture and they're not letting him get away with it.

As for the "part time economy," the NON-conservative Huffington Post reported that through August: "75 Percent Of Jobs Created This Year Were Part-Time Due To Weak Economy, Obamacare Concerns."

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08...

The one month of economic data you cite in your basic blog post is not enough to blow away the previous eight months of data. Also, since the monthly economic data when first posted are almost ALWAYS revised to a less-favorable number toward the incumbent administration, you can probably expect the revised September numbers to fall more in line with the prior eight months.

The American people will judge their experiences with ObamaCare and the economy first at the November 2014 ballot box; then in 2016 when they will be looking at two new candidates atop the each party's presidential ticket. If the ObamaCare debacle continues to play its way out as it has thus far, it will be bad news for the Democrats.

gacpl commented on Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013 at 17:21 PM

seen they pushed back the employer mandate for a year most places are trying to change the full time to part time make up of their companys by attrition. if you read the help wanted adds you will see a trend of offering 20-30 hours top. for every full time employee that leaves they are replacing them with 2 part timers. restaurants and banks locally have already started down that path. the full effect wont be seen until it's too late.

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Oct 23, 2013 at 11:44 AM

I'm not sure it will be too late. I predict the effects will start being reported hot and heavy in the 90 days leading up to the 2014 election. The business sector has been "ramping down" jobs in anticipation of ObamaCare for the past 12-18 months. Another 6-8 months of these jobs reports will provide about two years of economic data. This - coupled with the widespread anecdotal reports of people who can't keep their doctor; can't keep their hospital; can't keep their health plan; and whose insurance premiums have skyrocketed - should be enough to convince most of the people that the Democrats don't have the answers. The Republicans aren't geniuses either, but at least they have a history of placing more emphasis on the economic health of this country, which in the long run helps ALL the people.

This administration should have focused on the economy and jobs BEFORE they tackled health care. If they had done so, they would have laid a foundation for a thriving economy and would have taken the steam out of a lot of the Republican arguments that ObamaCare would hurt more than it helps. THIS is something the Obama administration should have recognized and done everything it could to prevent:


The operative part of this link is:

"In January 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, there were 80,507,000 Americans not in the labor force. Thus, the number of Americans not in the labor force has increased by 10,102,000 during Obama's presidency."

So 10 MILLION MORE PEOPLE have decided to just "give up" on finding a job under President Obama's economic policies and misplaced priorities. Can't blame Bush for that. A huge slice of this number is comprised of African-Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities. The Obama administration has done little to help these people economically, and ObamaCare screws the rest of the country.

This is not "hate" - unless you define it as hating the promotion of injustice and inequality; unless you define it as hating incompetence in government; unless you define it has hating a system which divides a country and pits major factions and special interests against each other BY DESIGN.

For an example of real "hate" see:


Funkentelecky commented on Saturday, Oct 26, 2013 at 18:44 PM

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