July 2013, Helene Jorgensen and Dean Baker
Opponents of the ACA have labeled the health care bill a jobs killer. It seems implausible that the bill could be expected to have much impact on employment except among the relatively small number of firms that are near the 50-worker cutoff. However the bill does provide a clear incentive to reduce workers’ hours below 30 per week and many employers claim to be making such reductions in hours. This issue brief looks at data from the Current Population Survey and finds only a small number (0.6 percent of the workforce) of workers report working just below the 30-hour cutoff in the range of 26-29 hours per week. Furthermore, the number of workers who fall in this category was actually lower in 2013 than in 2012, the year before the sanctions would have applied.
Update with data for the first six months of 2013