Those concerns that Obamacare will make the nation’s part-time recovery even worse may be a bit overblown, according to the findings of a recent survey of more than 500 Chief Financial Officers.
The survey, conducted by Duke University and CFO Magazine, found executives expect to boost full-time hiring by nearly 1.8 next year. That 1.8 percent figure represents a slight increase from earlier this year and a big boost from the 0.1 percent growth in full-time hiring that was expected at the end of 2012.
The results indicate that despite worries over President Obama's health care reform law, a recent tendency on the part of companies to hire more part-time workers may be turning around; so far in 2013, companies have hired more than four times the amount of part-time workers than full-time workers, while in 2012 the opposite was true, the Wall Street Journal reported in July.
“The expected two percent growth in employment is solid, given the context of long-run shifts away from full-time employees largely because of concerns about health care reform and economic uncertainty," John Graham, a Duke finance professor and the director of the survey said of the findings in a press release.
Starting in 2015, businesses with 50 full-time workers or more will have to provide health care coverage to employees working at least 30 hours per week or face a penalty. In the wake of the law, some companies have tested cutting workers hours, while others have threatened to hire only part-time workers in an aim to avoid paying for coverage.
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The result is a growing concern from conservatives and business interests that the implementation of Obamacare will exacerbate an already worrisome trend of part-time work fueling job growth -- 75 percent of the jobs created so far this year were part-time, Reuters reported last month.
The Obama administration claims the health care reform law isn’t to blame. Nine out of 10 jobs created since Obamacare became law in March 2010 are full-time, according to data released by the White House Council of Economic Advisors last week. In addition, the White House research shows that there’s no evidence Obamacare has pushed employers to cut workers’ hours to below 30 per week.
Still, nearly 60 percent of businesses have increased their proportion of part-time workers, according to the Duke/CFO Magazine survey, though just 38 percent say the change is due in part to Obamacare.
(Hat tip: Think Progress)