Lightest Retail Work Week In 3 Years: Thanks To Obamacare

Back in the fall, we reported on decisions that employers were making to avoid pain caused by Obamacare regulations, cutting hours so that their employees could not be counted as full time. Olive Garden and Red Lobster were reducing employees to part-time because, by 2014, the law mandates that employers provide “health care” for full-time employees.

January numbers suggest this is not just a few anomalies but a growing trend. Investor’s Business Daily reports,

“Remarkably, aggregate hours worked in the retail sector fell below their January 2012 level, even though industry payrolls are up 200,000 over that period. A similar trend showed up in leisure and hospitality: January payrolls rose by 23,000 even as aggregate hours dipped 0.3%. Meanwhile, the ranks of part-time workers due to business conditions or because they can’t find full-time work, trending lower in the past few years, rose by 212,000 to 7.8 million. While the data are volatile and the shift to shorter workweeks in January was less than dramatic, this may be the start of something big. All signs suggest that businesses are starting to adjust their employment policies in response to Obamacare. It’s possible that much of this shift may occur in the next few months.”

I’m trying to figure out what genius decided that giving companies an incentive to shed full-time employees was a good idea for 2014.

Did the decision-makers assume that the economy would be growing again so that companies could afford to suddenly be liable for hundreds (or thousands) of dollars more per month per employee?

Do they want to prevent a recovery and encourage people to remain in part time work so that they become dependent on government?

Are there a few mega-corporations who wanted this to happen so that most smaller companies would go bankrupt and allow them to expand their business?

Is there some group of people who simply want to destroy the American economy in order to hurt Americans?

Was all the pain considered worth the cost in order to have a new tool to force Americans to behave in ways that fit a “progressive” agenda (i.e. making business owners fund birth control and worse)?

I have no idea if any of these are the answer. Every one of them seems way too extreme. All I can say is that it is becoming quite clear that Obamacare will never help America become a more prosperous country. And it won’t provide affordable medical care.

It is designed to do the opposite. Obamacare is only amplifying and lengthening the economic depression we are in. For all his talk of jobs, Obama’s legacy will be an anti-jobs law.