The number of people working as part-time employees surged in June, something Republicans pounced on as a sign of the Affordable Care Act’s effects on job creation.
The number of people working “involuntarily” as part-time workers jumped by 322,000 in June to 8.2 million, according to the Bureau of labour Statistics.
“These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job,” the BLS said in a statement.
There’s some important context here: Year over year, the seasonally adjusted number of involuntary part-time workers is up only 16,000. The average workweek was unchanged at 34.5 hours.
Nevertheless, Republicans tied it to the news this week that the Obama administration would delay the so-called employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act.
That means there will be no penalties imposed on companies with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees (working more than 30 hours a week) that fail to provide certain minimum-criteria health insurance to their workers.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor focused his entire statement on the uptick in part-time jobs:
Today’s report is an encouraging sign for the working men and women who found a job last month, and those who are still looking. However, earlier this week the White House reminded us once again that its policies have held back the job growth that we should expect from an economic recovery. Obamacare has been predicted to be a drain on employment since before its passage and that outcome was confirmed by the Obama Administration’s delay of the employer mandate. The added costs and regulations to businesses across our nation mean less jobs and less economic growth. Delaying the inevitable for one year will bring no solace. We must have a permanent delay of Obamacare before we can realise our full job creating potential.
Needless to say, this will be something to watch as implementation revs up over the next few months.
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