The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released the February 2013 jobs report. The official unemployment rate decreased to 7.7%. Within the report is a revealing statistic. Part-time workers hired for non-economic reasons increased by 444,000. I suspect that this will be a number we see higher than average each month as the year goes on.
The reason may be companies positioning themselves for the full onslaught of Obamacare in 2014. The BLS considers part-time anything less than 35 hours per week. Obamacare starts penalizing at 30 hours. The Obamacare requirements for extending healthcare benefits is based upon formulas weighing full-time workers and the number of workers.
What is likely not a well-known fact is that for purposes of Obamacare determining the number of workers and hours worked, those numbers are based upon 2013 statistics. This is so the government has a base to use at the start of 2014. Savvy businesses have been making the adjustments already rather than waiting until the New Years Eve party this year to make the changes.
Another lesser known fact is that the number of full-time employees tabulation for a business owner includes all businesses they own even if they are in different industries. Take a fast food restaurant owner who may own several locations. Each one is not considered a separate business and counted as such. Obamacare looks at all of them combined when determining the requirements for the owner.
Think you can escape the Obamacare reaper by only hiring part-time employees and keeping their hours under 30 each week? Obamacare foresaw this eventuality and uses a formula for full-time equivalent (FTE) workers to add up multiple part-timers and calculate how many they would equal were they full-time. Penalties are then based upon the FTE number.
Bact to the part-time hiring for February. Lest you think this is normal for the time of year, last year the increase was only 191,000.
This is no surprise as the country continues to transition into more of a part-time, flexible schedule workforce. You’ll also see more employer benefits eliminated in order to cut costs.
Of course, what is the ultimate goal of Obamacare? The elimination of the private healthcare insurance industry. Transitioning everyone onto a government provided, or single-payer, plan. More government control. That’s always been the goal despite what Obama may say. Obama claims cost savings, yet the goal is really cost increases to drive the private insurers out of business.
The biggest loser will be the American people and the cost, availibility and quality of their healthcare.