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Is Obamacare Really Responsible for Rise in Part-Time Employment? ^ | August 16, 2013 | Mike Shedlock

Posted on 08/16/2013 6:27:07 AM PDT by Kaslin

Inquiring minds are digging into average weekly hours of workers looking for Obamacare effects on which to place blame.

Average Weekly Hours Of Production And Nonsupervisory Employees 

Since this data series began in 1964, the average weekly workweek has been trending lower.

Note the tendency following each recession. 1990-1998 is the only exception to the general rule that hours never recovered to the previous pre-recession level.

Last Five Observations

Lets' zero in to a tighter timeline for a closer look.

The second chart shows that in spite of Obamacare, average weekly hours has been bouncing between 33.6 and 33.8 for quite some time.

Several readers emailed such data is proof that Obamacare is not having the effect that I have repeated stated that it has. 

They are wrong.

Just because hours have stabilized does not mean there is no Obamacare effect. It simply means some industries have not been impacted as much as others.  You just have to know where to look. 

Focus on Home Centers, General Merchandise, Services for Elderly

Jed Graham at Investor's Business Daily highlights select areas in his report ObamaCare Fuels Sharp Workweek Drop In 4 Industries, while coming to the proper conclusion. 
 Anyone who insists ObamaCare employer penalties aren't having a meaningful impact on work hours simply hasn't looked closely at the evidence.

In a private economy with 114 million workers clocking 34.4 hours a week on average, it's easy to miss important changes. What feels like a wave to modest-wage workers getting hit may appear to be a mere ripple from an altitude of 40,000 feet.

After all, 1.4 million workers could lose an 8-hour shift and it would shave just six minutes off the average workweek. But if one looks closely, it's not hard to find industry groups with an unprecedented drop in work hours since ObamaCare became law.

Among retail bakeries, home-improvement stores and providers of social assistance to the elderly and disabled, the workweek for nonmanagers has fallen to record-low levels — by far.

At general merchandise stores, department stores and discounters, the rate at which the workweek has fallen since early 2012 is way off the charts relative to prior data going back to 1990.

The White House pointed to hours worked in the restaurant sector to disprove an ObamaCare impact, but the data don't support the claim. Because average hours worked are already below 25 hours, part-timers hired for 28 hours would raise the average.
Questions and Answers

Q: Why doesn't a chart of average weekly hours show the Obamacare effect?
A: It does. You just have to look in the right places.

Q: Is Obamacare responsible for the overall trend of declining workweek hours?
A: Since the workweek has been declining since the series began, the answer must be no. However, Obamacare has indeed contributed to the trend as shown above.

Q: Is Obamacare to blame for rising part-time employment?
A: Yes 

Obamacare Effects

For more on "Obamacare Effects", please see

As Jed Graham states "Anyone who insists ObamaCare employer penalties aren't having a meaningful impact on work hours simply hasn't looked closely at the evidence."

To which I would add ... the economic distortions go far beyond part-time employment.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: jobsreport; obamacare; parttimeworkers; unemployment

1 posted on 08/16/2013 6:27:07 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
I chat with small business owners regularly and would say that Obamacare is only partly responsible for the shift to part-time employment.

This shift is also due to the general economic confusion in the market due to Obama's effect on the economy.

I am regularly told that if the economic outlook were good, employers might add on full time people, but Obama's war on free enterprise has everyone rattled and unsure of the future. Hence...part-time and contract work is the way to go.

2 posted on 08/16/2013 6:43:49 AM PDT by RoosterRedux
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To: Kaslin

Why not change the Headline from “Is Obama care responsible” to: Is Obama responsible.

Is that easier to fathom.

Damned right he is.

3 posted on 08/16/2013 6:50:01 AM PDT by Venturer ( cowardice posturing as tolerance =political correctness)
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To: Kaslin
ObaMao has effectively doubled employment. Every time someone has to take two part-time jobs to replace the earning from a full-time job, it proves Obamanomics is creating jobs.

When the two part-time jobs total 58 hours to replace the lost earning from the job which was only 40 hours, he is making Americans more industrious.

Now, all together:

Seig! Heil! Arbeit Macht Frei!

4 posted on 08/16/2013 7:02:16 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: RoosterRedux; Kaslin

I think ObamaCare, the economy, and the costs of full time employees in general has hurt the 40 hour work week.

The biggest issue, though, in my mind is the huge over-supply of workers. Nothing against female workers, but that was the first influx of volumes of workers. Then came the illegal immigrants, and the mass of low-skill legal immigrants.

This means that employers can GET AWAY WITH part-time instead of full time help. They might have once upon a time valued a hard working employee and tried to keep him on the job by offering more hours.

Now they have a hundred people in line to take his job.

Low pay, low pension, and low benefits....why not go part time when you’ve got a gazillion people in line for the same job.

5 posted on 08/16/2013 7:17:06 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: Venturer

Sorry, I can not change the title

6 posted on 08/16/2013 8:28:48 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Vigilanteman

Excuse me, but what is Seig? It’s Sieg which means victory

7 posted on 08/16/2013 8:31:54 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

Grammar Nazi!!!

8 posted on 08/16/2013 8:32:23 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (21st century. I'm not a fan.)
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To: Kaslin

In my day, I was the classic Entrepreneur.. The phrase.. “in the day”, refers to a time in this country’s past that allowed the average guy that had an idea, rented a store front, and posted a sign, you were in business..

Yes, there were permits, and name ID’s, not to mention, enough money to survive, but starting the ball rolling was nothing more than a creative mind and the courage to challenge yourself..

Not all of us survived, of course, but the last thing that disrupted your dream was the government.. I funded my first venture with less than $1000, which included all necessary furniture, fixtures, and equipment, all second hand, and the total fees for registering the venture was less than $100..

No so today.. I know, up front and in reality.. Our society has allowed the city, state, and federal governments to use the small and large business taxes and requirements to fund their destructive agendas..

My last new business, 11 years ago, required $40,000 just to acquire the necessary ground work, licenses, and permits to open a quality restaurant.. My first business lease, was a single page.. Not a dime of that money was used to design, furnish, or hire a single person..

My last lease was 30 pages, with a law firm, and CPA, needed to read it, with 2 months of negotiations between lawyers, realtors, and tax accountants..

I would not, or probably could not start over again, but 2800 employees would have never had a life long income, and upwardly mobile careers.. Pity, really... :(

9 posted on 08/16/2013 8:52:06 AM PDT by carlo3b (Speechless in Sugar Land)
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To: Kaslin

How reliable is the data, or are they doing tricks like the BLS and Obama are doing with the unemployment numbers.... Ie, making people magically disappear.

10 posted on 08/16/2013 8:58:07 AM PDT by FreeAtlanta (sue the DNC for the IRS abuse! Can RICO laws be used against the DNC?)
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To: whitedog57

Take a lesson on how to properly post an article with graphs.

11 posted on 08/16/2013 9:43:08 AM PDT by upchuck (My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We'll see about that!)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Don't like it? Tough
12 posted on 08/16/2013 10:15:40 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: carlo3b

I second your experience with government oppression of business. I was co-owner of two electronic laboratory businesses. The red tape increased steadily over the years, as did the complexity of tax and accounting requirements. I wouldn’t want to do it again either—or at least I’d have to be even more sure of the venture than otherwise. In other words, it’s chilling.

I had occasion earlier this year to be in China, and I was chatting with someone about what you have to do to start a business there. Suffice it to say it is difficult. She then asked me, “Is it easy to start a business in the US?,” to which I replied, “Yes, but then your troubles start.”

13 posted on 08/16/2013 3:53:17 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Pearls Before Swine

Whatever has this country come to.. I barely recognize it..

14 posted on 08/16/2013 5:29:51 PM PDT by carlo3b (Speechless in Sugar Land)
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To: Kaslin

I have a small business that is finally off the ground. I’m starting to think about the need for employees. Right now, I will only consider part-time. It’s my biggest business concern, along with tax preparation. The worst thing is the free-floating fear of random acts of government.

15 posted on 08/16/2013 5:42:34 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas
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