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Commentary: Obamacare and the Part-Time Economy

Wall Street Journal (10/11/13) Andrew Puzder

Andrew Puzder, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants, scoffs at the Obama administration’s claim that Obamacare’s definition of full-time employment as 30 or more hours per week has no effect on employers’ hiring practices. “To understand Obamacare’s impact on part-time employment, consider the six-month period between the employer mandate’s initial ‘look back’ date of Jan. 1 and July 2, 2013,” says Puzder, noting that “this is the period during which employers most significantly increased part-time employment in reaction to Obamacare.” During this period, the economy added 833,000 part-time jobs and lost 97,000 full-time jobs, for net creation of 736,000 jobs. “In reality, the economy overall added no full-time jobs. Rather, it lost them,” he states.

Puzder says the bipartisan “Forty Hours Is Full Time Act” introduced in the House and Senate earlier this year offers a viable solution. The bill redefines a full-time employee as one who works 40 hours a week or 174 hours a month based on a 52-week year. “That change to Obamacare would encourage economic growth and job creation,” he concludes.