Studies Show Employers Not Reducing Jobs, Hours Because of ACA
The Affordable Care Act has not reduced the number of jobs or affected the number of hours employees work, despite critics' allegations that the law would be a "job killer," according to three reports released recently, the Washington Post's "Wonkblog" reports.
The ACA mandates that businesses with 50 or more workers offer coverage to employees who work at least 30 hours per week. Critics of the ACA said employers would sidestep the law by hiring fewer employees or reducing most employees' schedules to fewer than 30 hours per week.
Payroll-management company ADP collected data from about 75,000 clients and found no change in weekly schedules between 2013 and 2014. The analysis also found that any schedule changes in every sector of the economy, including leisure and hospitality fields that use part-time workers the most, were insignificant. "The data, to date, basically say that ... there really hasn't been nearly the change that some people were expecting," ADP Vice President Chris Ryan said.
Meanwhile, a study based on federal Current Population Survey data by researchers at George Mason University and the American Enterprise Institute found no statistically significant changes in the proportion of part-time workers employed in businesses most likely to be affected by the ACA, including janitors and restaurant workers.
An Urban Institute analysis came to a similar conclusion.
However, the GMU/AEI study used data from before the mandate took effect, under the assumption that employers would shift strategies in preparation for the change. AEI researcher Michael Strain said the study is evidence that the shift has not happened yet, because employers have yet to realize the cost of providing health care (Ehrenfreund, "Wonkblog," Washington Post, 8/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.