It’s no secret that over the course of the next few years, the United States labor market will be dramatically transformed into a part-time jobs market. What was once the beacon of middle-class jobs for a century will now become a nation whose workforce will consist of individuals working multiple jobs to garner a full-time income because hours will be slashed to less than 30 hours.
As a response to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires businesses with 50 or more employees to purchase insurance, many Chief Financial Officers say they are considering reducing their employment because of Obamacare, according to a new poll by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and CFO Magazine.
The survey found that 40 percent of CFOs are beginning to decrease their employees’ number of weekly hours to below the threshold of 30 hours. In addition, nearly half (48 percent) of CFOs are making plans to reduce their workforce, while 20 percent say they might hire fewer workers next year. Another 10 percent of CFOs might lay off staff members.
Close to half (44 percent) of companies are considering the possibility of reducing health benefits to the present workforce.
“The inadequacies of the ACA website have grabbed a lot of attention, even though many of those issues have been or can be fixed,” said John Graham, Duke Fuqua School of Business finance professor and director of the survey, in a statement.
“Our survey points to a more detrimental and potentially long-lasting problem. An unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act will be a reduction in full- time employment growth in the United States. Companies plan to increase full-time employment by 1.4 percent in 2014, a rate of growth which is down from last quarter and unlikely to put a dent in the unemployment rate. CFOs indicate that full-time employment growth would be stronger in the absence of the ACA.”
On the economy, meanwhile, 46 percent of companies think the U.S. economy will improve next year, but only eight percent say it will be “significantly better.” The top concerns of businesses include consumer demand, government policies, national employment, healthcare costs, attracting and retaining qualified employees and the ability to maintain margins and forecast results.
This isn’t the only survey to suggest negative consequences originating from Obamacare. A study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this past summer noted that nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of just small businesses alone are concerned because the healthcare law makes it more difficult to grow. One-half of small business respondents say they’re going to cut hours or reduce staffing levels in order to comply with the healthcare mandate.
This year, between eight and 10 million Americans work part-time jobs, but it is concurred among economists that the figure is expected to soar in the coming years. On top of job losses and a paucity of benefits, Obamacare is projected to add $6.2 trillion to the budget deficit over the next several decades.
In the end, what does Obamacare provide the nation as a whole? No jobs, more debt and an expansion of government.