Evidence that Obamacare is leading companies to restrict work hours for its employees has so far been mostly anecdotal
, but Jed Graham dives
into some statistics over at Investor’s Business Daily. He finds large, significant drops in average workweeks corresponding with the advent of Obamacare (i.e. from full time to below the 30 hour limit at which the employer mandate kicks in) He looks at four industries in particular—bakeries, general stories, home centers, and elder services— and sees a constant pattern across them. Read the whole thing
to see the numbers and his methodology.Correlation, of course, does not prove causation, but the piece argues that given the scope of the change and the (post-recession) circumstances surrounding it, it’s rational to infer a causal role for the ACA:
This historic and simultaneous shift in hours worked across multiple industry groups has occurred just as a sizable incentive for reducing hours was set to take effect, and amid a multitude of reports that companies are altering their employment practices to dodge ObamaCare fines. In other words, the industry data, the incentives and the anecdotes match up pretty perfectly.
Still, this is not a slam-dunk case. It is interesting, however, as the best attempt we’ve seen yet to quantify the effect of Obamacare on employment. We need much more data like this—instead of the anecdotes and counter-anecdotes that seem to dominate the conversation— before we can begin to get a comprehensive picture of how Obamacare is functioning.