Today’s jobs report shows the labor market recovery remains weak—and businesses are telling the Federal Reserve one of the main reasons is Obamacare.
Last week’s Federal Reserve Beige Book includes direct references to the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) causing employers not to hire workers. The Beige Book “summarizes comments [the Fed] received from business and other contacts” in each of the 12 Federal Reserve Districts. The October 16 Beige Book mentions the Affordable Care Act and its regulations 10 times—and each time, the districts report it has hurt employers, increased costs, and/or depressed hiring. Look at what businesses are reporting about the Affordable Care Act:
Summary. “Several Districts reported that contacts were cautious to expand payrolls, citing uncertainty surrounding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and fiscal policy more generally.”
Atlanta Fed. “Employers continued to report hiring hesitancy related to changes in healthcare regulation and fiscal policy uncertainty.”
Philadelphia Fed. “In regard to hiring and capital expenditure plans, firms continued to expand cautiously, as they face ongoing uncertainty from the federal government shutdown and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.”
Richmond Fed. “Many contacts also commented on reluctance to expand due to uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act; some employers cut hours or employees.”
Philadelphia Fed. “Overall, most bankers remained optimistic, although they expressed uncertainty on behalf of their business customers and for themselves over the implications of both the Affordable Care Act and a prolonged government shutdown.”
Cleveland Fed. “Most of our contacts are cautiously optimistic and expect little change in demand, although many were uneasy about fiscal issues and implications of the Affordable Care Act on their businesses.”
Cleveland Fed. “There is anxiety about rising health insurance premiums [among manufacturers], which was attributed to the Affordable Care Act.”
Cleveland Fed. “Many of our contacts are concerned about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the effect it will have on their total labor cost.”
Chicago Fed. “Wage pressures remained mild, while non-wage labor costs increased. A number of contacts voiced concern about the uncertainty surrounding future employer and employee healthcare costs. In addition, several reported changing their health insurance enrollment periods this year in order to match the deadlines of the Affordable Care Act.”
Dallas Fed. “One contact saw a few signed contracts designed to circumvent the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by utilizing a temporary employee full time, then hiring that person on a permanent but part-time basis when the ACA goes into effect.”
Many analysts have speculated about how Obamacare will affect the economy. The answer is very specific and real: It is costing people jobs.