Few Employers Have Cut Workers’ Hours Due to Obamacare

It has become standard practice among opponents of the Affordable Care Act to refer to the bill as a “jobs killer.”

The idea is that the sanctions applied to employers who do not provide insurance to their workers are so onerous, that they will change their hiring patterns to avoid them.

There are two obvious ways to avoid the sanctions. First, firms can keep the total number of workers at a firm under 50, and in this way avoid being subject to sanctions. Second, firms can reduce the number of hours that employees work so that they fall under the 30 hour a week average that would have them count towards the firm’s penalty under the ACA.

According to a new study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), the Affordable Care Act has not forced employers to cut workers hours.

An analysis of data from the Current Population Survey shows that 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.