Monday, September 23, 2013

Obamacare fallout

Remember those predictions that Obamacare would result in lost jobs; or reduction of full-time jobs to part-time; or to ditching company medical plans?

Not at the nation's biggest retailer. Bloomberg News sez:

 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is moving 35,000 part-time workers to full-time status and is elevating another 35,000 to part-time from temporary after struggling to keep shelves stocked with too few employees in the past year.
Reading further, it seems the geniuses in Bentonville (who don't even trust their managers to turn on the lights) cut payrolls by 10% while adding 500 stores. But it turns out workers are valuable to businesses after all.


  1. Replies
    1. I was struck, at first glance, by the entirely predictable presence of restaurants (over 10%) which are notorious exploiters of part-time labor.

      Finding time to look closer, I find that even a lot of those are not exactly cutting jobs or hours, just limiting part-timers to part-time hours. As we know if we ever worked in a restaurant (as I did), that's meaningless.

      And what's with the order of magnitude overrepresentation of school districts?

      I was right to be skeptical of IBD. That isn't data. I don't know what it is, but it isn't data.

  2. Hey Skipper,

    Great mind think alike. I also was going to mention that data is NOT the plural of anecdote.

  3. Here's some data. The whole state of Hawaii has mandated employer health care for workers getting over 19 hours/week. Has for decades. Yet most Hawaii workers have full-time jobs.

    There was some data in the Bloomberg story, too: 35,000 part-time jobs going full-time.

    IBD (about as trustworthy a source as the NY Post, by the way) suggests the effect, if any, is immeasurably small.

  4. Target, which pays above the minimum wage here in Alaska, only offers 30 hour per week jobs.

    VCA owns and operates over 600 animal hospitals nationwide. Their kennel workers are limited to 30 hours per week.

    Before Obama care, both those jobs came at 40 hours per week.

    ... restaurants (over 10%) which are notorious exploiters of part-time labor.

    Completely ignoring tips, of course.

  5. Not all restaurant workers get tips. At the biggest vast majority of them, none. So I'm comfortable ignoring the non-existent tips.

    What about the schools?

  6. Matt Miller in the Washington Post has a useful look outside our borders for a third opinion about Obamacare:

    Nut grafs:

    Take David Beatty, a 70-year-old Toronto native who ran food processing giant Weston Foods and a holding company called the Gardiner Group during a career that has included service on more than 30 corporate boards and a recent appointment to the Order of Canada, one of the nation’s highest honors. By temperament and demeanor, Beatty is the kind of tough-minded, suffer-no-fools wealth creator who conservatives typically cheer.

    Yet over breakfast in Toronto not long ago, Beatty told me how baffled he and Canadian business colleagues are when they listen to the U.S. health-care debate. He cherishes Canada’s single-payer system for its quality and cost-effectiveness (Canada boasts much lower costs per person than the United States).