Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


White House: Obamacare not costing jobs

23 October 2013, 12:05

Washington - The White House said on Tuesday there was no evidence President Barack Obama's signature healthcare programme is driving up the number of part-time workers, challenging the view of many business owners in the country.

Conservative Republicans have pointed to the high level of part-time employment as evidence businesses are cutting hours for their staffs in response to the new healthcare law, which will require them to offer health insurance to full-time workers.

And, indeed, one in five businesses in the service sector think the programme, popularly known as "Obamacare", has hurt employment at their firms over the last three months, a National Association of Business Economics survey showed on Monday.

Many businesses polled by the NABE said they were holding back on hiring due to the costs imposed by the law, and the survey also showed 15% of service sector firms planned to shift to more part-time workers due to Obamacare.

But economic data on employment has been less compelling.

The number of people with part-time jobs who want full-time work, for example, was essentially flat in September at 7.9 million.

"We are not seeing any effect in the data," Jason Furman, chairperson of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told Reuters Insider.

Also, the number of part-time workers spiked in 2008, well before Obamacare was enacted, and has been slowly falling as a share of total employment since 2010.

In September, people working part time because they could not find full-time work made up 5.5% of the employed, unchanged from August.

The spike in 2008 and the steady drift downward since then suggests the elevated level of part-time workers is more likely due to the economy's weakness.

The issue is a sensitive one for the administration, which is also on the defensive over a clunky roll-out of a website workers use to navigate the new health insurance landscape created by Obamacare.

While many economists say there is a logical reason for employers to cut back on workers' hours, the pressure to do so this year eased in July when the White House delayed the beginning of Obamacare's so-called "employer mandate" until January 2015.

Under the mandate, which was previously due to take effect in January 2014, firms with more than 50 employees must provide reasonable healthcare insurance to employees who work more than 30 hours a week.

"Health reform's employer mandate is likely to have some effect on hours worked, but it hasn't yet shown up in the data," Paul Van de Water, an analyst at the Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities, wrote in a report earlier this month.

Ron Axelrad, chief executive of Access Staffing, which places part- and full-time employees across the greater New York City area, said his firm had been getting a lot of calls from companies six months ago about how to prepare for Obamacare.

But the delay of the employer mandate has pushed the issue "out of everyone's mind", he said.

"Probably toward the second or third quarter of next year, companies will be very aware again that they have to prepare," Axelrad added.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...