ACA hasn't created more part-time workers, analysis says

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Despite fears to the contrary, there's no evidence that the Affordable Care Act increased part-time work before 2014, according to a new analysis.

While there has been a small increase in part-time work this year, researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Urban Institute say that's due to continued economic recovery. The increase is due to involuntary part-time work, which are workers who are at part-time levels because they can't find full-time jobs.

Under the Affordable Care Act, a full-time employee is defined as someone who works 30 or more hours in a typical week; it was widely believed in some circles that healthcare entities might reduce hours of workers to be below that level. Additionally, it was thought people who were working full-time in order to keep their health insurance could cut their hours.  

Instead, between 2010 and 2012, there was little change. The caveat is that this may change in late 2014 and 2015, researchers said.

“Similar growth in involuntary part-time work at and above the ACA threshold of 30 hours per week, and evidence of transitions between full-time and part-time work that are in line with historic patterns, suggest the increase in involuntary part-time work is most likely due to the severity and depth of the Great Recession — not the ACA,” they wrote. “Although we find little evidence consistent with anticipatory effects of the ACA's employer mandate on part-time work to date, our analysis does not rule out the possibility of effects in the future if the mandate goes into effect in 2015 as scheduled and as other ACA provisions are more fully implemented.”