Screengrab via YouTubeThe whole world is watching today’s May U.S. jobs report, which will come out at 8:30 AM ET.
The most closely watched numbers are usually the nonfarm payrolls added and the unemployment rate.
But the “hours worked” figure will be heavily scrutinized this time around.
First of all, there’s the sequester, which put many workers on furloughs and reduced hours rather than sending them to the unemployment line.
And then there’s Obamacare.
“Now there is watering hole speculation that employers are cutting “hours worked” to make workers look more temporary and slip under Obamacare taxation,” said UBS’s Art Cashin earlier this week. “It’s any interesting arbitrage that we may explore further.
From the start of 2014, employers with more than 50 employees will be fined $2,000 per employee, if they fail to offer full-time employees health insurance. Workers are considered to be full-time if they work over 30 hours a week. This is a trend that Capital Economics’ Paul Ashworth recently addressed in a note to clients.
File this one under unintended consequences.
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