Has There Been A Surge In Part-Time Employment?

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by: Steven Hansen

Summary

There was significant concern that Obamacare would cause a significant increase in part-time employment.

Obamacare considered 30 hours as full time employment.

Is there any solid evidence of the current split between full-time and part-time jobs?

Is the employment recovery in the USA coming from part-time jobs? What effect did Obamacare have on part-time jobs?

There was a lot of concern about a clause in Obamacare, which considered 30 hours as full time employment where employers would have to provide health insurance. Here is a sample of the concerns in the media (from a September 2014 post):

The jobs report last week from the Bureau of Labor Statistics .... adds to mounting evidence that slow economic growth under the Obama administration isn’t just a hangover from the Great Recession but is a consequence of the ACA. Critics of the health care law have long warned that it would create perverse incentives for employers to shed full-time workers and for the unemployed to remain that way, as the University of Chicago’s Casey Mulligan has shown.

The data shows there has been little change in the levels of part-time employment (blue line in graph below) since the end of the Great Recession (or since 2014 when Obamacare took effect) - all the growth has been in full-time jobs (red line in graph below).

There is little difference between men's and women's part-time employment since the end of the Great Recession.

Significantly, however, part-time employment for whites has actually fallen. Black/African American and Hispanics' part-time employment has elevated moderately. But Asian part-time employment is up even more (45%).

This is a riddle - why has Asian part-time employment risen so significantly since the end of the Great Recession? Why has white part-time fallen? Why did Hispanic and Black/African American rise?

Should we blame Obamacare? :)

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Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.