Has the ACA Led to More Part-Time Workers?

new report concludes that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has not led to an increase in part-time work. The report, prepared by researchers at the Urban Institute and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, finds a small increase in part-time work that likely stems from a sluggish recovery of full-time jobs following the Great Recession, which began at the end of 2007.

Since the ACA’s passing, reports have suggested employers will move full-time workers to part-time to avoid the ‘employer mandate,’ requiring those with 50 or more employees to provide affordable insurance to their full-time employees or face financial penalties, if at least one employee is eligible to receive marketplace subsidies.

The report’s authors find that the rates of workers switching from full-time jobs to part-time jobs in 2013 or 2014 are not higher than in previous years, which suggests the relative increase in part-time work is not due to employers switching full-time to part-time status to avoid potential penalties for not offering health insurance under the ACA.

“Despite claims to the contrary, the data show that prior to 2014 there was not an increase of part-time work,” said Andy Hyman of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “It’s unlikely the small increase in 2014 was related to the ACA, but rather due to a slower than normal recovery of full-time jobs following the recession.”

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