Health Care Law Won’t Be Good for Hiring in 2013

Dec 31, 2012

Because of the health care law, 2013 may not be good for hiring. USA Today reports:

Many businesses plan to bring on more part-time workers next year, trim the hours of full-time employees or curtail hiring because of the new health care law, human resource firms say.

Their actions could further dampen job growth, which already is threatened by possible federal budget cutbacks resulting from the tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff.

"It will have a negative impact on job creation" in 2013, says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics.

Under the Affordable Care Act, businesses that employ at least 50 full-time workers — or the equivalent, including part-time workers — must offer health insurance to staffers who work at least 30 hours a week. Employers that don't provide coverage must pay a $2,000-per-worker penalty, excluding the first 30 employees.

The so-called employer mandate to offer health coverage doesn't take effect until Jan. 1, 2014. But to determine whether employees work enough hours on average to receive benefits, employers must track their schedules for three to 12 months prior to 2014 — meaning many are restructuring payrolls now or will do so early next year.

Those companies on the cusp of having 50 full-time workers will hold back on hiring so as to not get hit with the employer mandate. As explained by Mary Miller, CEO of JANCOA Janitorial Services, a Cincinnati, OH company, firms could also shift to more part-time workers.

This isn’t good for those wanting full-time work and those businesses that will have the added management challenge of more part-time workers. Slowly we are becoming a nation of part-time workers.

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