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[IWS] LITTLE EVIDENCE OF THE ACA INCREASING PART-TIME WORK SO FAR [3 September 2014]
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LITTLE EVIDENCE OF THE ACA INCREASING PART-TIME WORK SO FAR [3 September 2014]
by Bowen Garrett and Robert Kaestner
[full-text, 7 pages]
There has been considerable public policy debate and media attention over the employment effects of the Affordable
Care Act (ACA), and one of the most contentious issues has been whether the ACA has, or will, increase part-time work
at the expense of full-time employment. This brief provides new evidence on the question using the latest available data
from the Current Population Survey (CPS).
We find no evidence that the ACA had already started increasing part-time work before 2014. We find a small
increase in part-time work in 2014 beyond what would be expected at this point in the economic recovery based
on prior experience since 2000. This increase in part-time work is fully attributable to an increase in involuntary
part-time work. The increase in involuntary part-time work, however, is not specific to the category of part-time work
defined by the ACA (i.e., less than 30 hours per week), but applies to part-time work more broadly (also between 30 and
34 hours per week). Moreover, transitions between full-time and part-time work in 2014 are in line with historic patterns.
These findings suggest that the increase in part-time work in 2014 is not ACA related, but more likely due to a slower than
normal recovery of full-time jobs following the Great Recession.
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