Small Business Pushes Congressional Delegation to Scrap 30-Hour Work Week
Saint Paul (January 6, 2015) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today urged the state’s entire congressional delegation to support a bill that is coming up for a vote in the House this week. HR 30 would scrap a controversial provision of the Affordable Care Act that creates an incentive for employers to avoid creating full-time jobs.
“One of the many unintended consequences of Obamacare is that it creates downward pressure on full-time employees and people seeking full-time work,” said NFIB Minnesota State Director Mike Hickey. “No provision is more damaging than the 30-hour work week, and we are hoping to see the repeal of this legislation soon, before it is too late.”
Under the law, full-time work is defined as 30 hours per week instead of the traditional 40 hours per week. The Obama administration pushed for the provision as a way to force private sector employers to offer more workers health care coverage. What they didn’t expect is that some firms would respond by converting full-time workers to part-time status and avoid hiring altogether new workers at 30 hours.
According to the government’s own data, the 30-hour work week may indeed be killing full-time jobs. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that there are nearly 7 million Americans working part-time who would rather have a full-time job. That’s a historic high. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the ratio of part-time workers who would rather have a full-time job remains elevated, suggesting the rise of a part-time workforce. In November, according to BLS, the number of full-time workers dropped by 150,000 while the number of part-time jobs increased by 77,000.
All of this was easily predictable, according to Hickey.
“There could not have been another foreseeable result,” he said. “That provision not only painted a bull’s eye on Americans who work more than 30 hours a week, but it created a financial imperative for some employers to cut back on hours.”
HR 30 has received bipartisan support and is up for a vote in the House on Thursday, January 8, 2015.
“It has bipartisan backing and we strongly urge our representatives in Washington to support it.” said Hickey.