Is Obamacare at least partially behind last month’s disastrous job creation numbers?
At least one prominent traditionally pro-Obama economic analyst, Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, thinks so.
Appearing on CNBC, Zandi said “the retail trade number would be consistent not only with the payroll tax but, again, I think the health care reform may be having an impact. Remember the ADP number that said [that] for those companies with employees [from] 50-499, that’s the group that would be affected by the health care reform — we’ve seen a rather sharp slowing in job creation: 43k in January, 20k in February, and minus-five [thousand] in March.”
Zandi’s magic number of businesses that employ 50 or more employees is due to the law exempting anyone with 49 or fewer employees from its impact.
The rational business decision is to not hire the 50th employee, or begin consolidating work or purchasing technology that allows you to get under the 50 employee threshold and stay under it.
Another Obamacare employment impact is that as employers become more informed about the health care law’s implementation, they are quickly learning that actions they take in 2013 will dictate how the law impacts them in 2014.
A prime example is the classification of employees as full time. If an employee works over 30 hours a week, they are classified as full time under the new law, and the federal government will use 2013 employment data to determine the number of hours an employee works.
Many employers fearing the unknown costs imposed by Obamacare are making the rational decision to reduce employees hours from full to part-time, and avoiding expanding the number of employees to the threshold.
Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the Vice President of Public Policy and Communications for Americans for Limited Government.