Survey: Part-Time Work Growing More Due to Economy Than Obamacare
In defense of his administration’s decision to postpone the provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to provide those workers with a minimum level of health insurance coverage or face tax penalties, President Barack Obama said more than 96 percent of the affected companies provide employer-sponsored coverage already. That argument was also meant to assuage fears that Obamacare would hurt businesses by burdening them with greater labor costs in a tough economic environment — costs so great that as many full-time workers as possible would be shifted to part-time schedules.
Both sides of the debate have a wealth of facts, figures, and anecdotal evidence to support their claims. The latest addition to this store of knowledge is the most recent Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey, which polled 530 chief financial officers of United States-based companies. While employers’ reluctance to hire full-time workers due to economic uncertainty and the coming Obamacare insurance requirements is notorious, the study found that full-time domestic employment is expected to rise nearly two percent in the U.S. If that proves to be the case, the unemployment rate would fall to less than seven percent within a year — that is ostensibly good news for the economy. But 59 percent of the respondents said that they have increased the proportion of temporary and part-time workers in their workforces or shifted toward outside advisers and consultants. Of those, 38 percent attributed the shift to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, while another 44 percent said it was because of extreme economic uncertainty.