The Change In Work Hours In America

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal posted an article about the February jobs report released on March 7. The report shows that employment fell, as it has in four out of the past six months and in more than one-third of the months during the past two years. This is not an indication of a strong, growing economy.

The article reports:

Although it is often overlooked, a key statistic for understanding the labor market is the length of the average workweek. Small changes in the average workweek imply large changes in total hours worked. The average workweek in the U.S. has fallen to 34.2 hours in February from 34.5 hours in September 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That decline, coupled with mediocre job creation, implies that the total hours of employment have decreased over the period.

…What accounts for the declining average workweek? In some instances—but not this one—a minor drop could be the result of a statistical fluke caused by rounding. Because the Bureau of Labor Statistics only reports hours to the nearest 1/10th, a small movement, say, to 34.449 hours from 34.450 hours, would be reported as a reduction in hours worked to 34.4 from 34.5, vastly overstating the loss in worked time. But the six-month decline in the workweek, to 34.2 from 34.5 hours, cannot be the consequence of a rounding error.

There is a rather strong possibility that the decline in working hours is due to the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). Under that law, businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees (full time is defined as 30 hours a week), are not required to provide health insurance for their employees. This is one example of one of the many unintended consequences of ObamaCare, although there are many people who would argue that it is an intended consequence.

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This Is What Happens When Elected Officials Value Political Party More Than Reality posted a story today featuring a quote by Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN). On This Week With George Stephanopoulos.  During a discussion of the number of work hours Americans will lose due to ObamaCare, Congressman Ellison stated, “We are going to have parents being able to come home, working reasonable hours. People are going to be able to retire. People might actually be able to cook dinner rather than have to order out and get some takeout.”…”If you look at international comparisons country by country, Americans work way more that the average of industrialized countries around the world.”

Americans probably do work too hard, but that fact is partially responsible for the fact that America is one of the richest countries in the world. Although America has poverty, America’s poor have a higher standard of living than people in many other countries. The American work ethic is part of what makes America great.

Where is the compassion for the Americans who will have a lower standard of living because they are not working the hours they are used to working? Where is the compassion for the wife who was able to stay at home and raise her children who will now be forced to put those children in daycare because her husband’s hours have been cut?

This is probably the most ridiculous spin yet on the economic problems caused by ObamaCare, but I suspect it will not be the last spin attempted by those who voted for ObamaCare who are now running for re-election to Congress.

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Hard Facts About ObamaCare

On Wednesday, Investor’s Business Daily posted a chart showing states and companies that have cut staffing levels or working hours because of ObamaCare. The chart only includes companies and states where strong proof is provided.

I can’t even post the chart because it is so long. It is sorted by state, and I strongly recommend that you follow the link above to see the chart for yourself.

The article states:

In the interest of an informed debate, we’ve compiled a list of job actions with strong proof that ObamaCare’s employer mandate is behind cuts to work hours or staffing levels. As of Sept. 25, our ObamaCare scorecard included 313 employers. Here’s our latest analysis, focusing on cuts to adjunct hours at nearly 200 college campuses. The ObamaCare list methodology is explained further in our initial coverage; click on the employer names in the list below for links to supporting records, mostly news accounts or official documents.

We’ll continue to update the list, which we encourage you to share and download into a spreadsheet to sort and analyze. If you know of an employer that should be on the list and can provide supporting evidence, please contact IBD at

Keep in mind as you look at this chart that it represents real people with families to support, rents to pay, and financial responsibilities. ObamaCare needs to be stopped. I have no idea how that can be done, but it needs to be done. It will destroy the healthcare insurance industry and the American economy.

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