by

Part-time America

help-wanted-newspaper-advertisementWall Street Journal Review & Outlook:

The U.S. labor market may be gaining a little more steam, judging by Friday’s June jobs report. Imagine how much better it might do if ObamaCare weren’t encouraging employers to hire so many part-time workers.

The Labor Department’s survey of businesses found 195,000 net new hires in June, 202,000 in the private economy. Payrolls for April and May were also revised upward by a total of 70,000, which means the average for the last three months is about 200,000. That’s up from the 182,000 monthly average over the last year.

Also disappointing is the big jump in the number of Americans who want to work full time but could only find part-time work. That number leapt to 8.23 million, a 322,000 one-month increase. Total part-time employment rose by 432,000, more than double the total number of net new jobs.

One explanation is almost surely ObamaCare. The law requires employers with more than 50 workers to provide health insurance to all employees or pay a $2,000 penalty per worker. The law also defines a full-time job as 30 hours a week. All of this gives businesses that operate on thin margins—and that’s most businesses—an incentive to hire more part-time workers.

On Tuesday the Obama Treasury announced it is postponing this employer mandate until 2015, and perhaps this will encourage more full-time hiring. But thousands of businesses, especially in retail and fast-food, have already started to cap employment for many workers at 30 hours and they know their reprieve is only for a year. If President Obama really wants to spur hiring, he’d let Congress delay the employer mandate forever.

Complete article is at Part-Time America: A better jobs report in June, except for the impact of ObamaCare.