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Obamacare and jobs

February 4, 2014 - Jim Anderson
A headline at Fox News:

“ObamaCare expected to lead to loss of nearly 2.3 million U.S. jobs, report says”

A headline at The Washington Post’s Fact Checker:

“No, CBO did not say Obamacare will kill 2 million jobs”

So what’s the bottom line? The Congressional Budget Office report in question says this:

“Although CBO projects that total employment and compensation will increase over the coming decade, that increase will be smaller than it would have been in absence of the Affordable Care Act. ... The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in business’ demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked relative to what would have occurred otherwise rather than as an increase in unemployment (that is more workers seeking but not finding jobs) or underemployment (such as part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours per week).”

In other words, there will be a reduction in workers, as opposed to jobs. Thanks to Obamacare, some people might retire earlier than they would otherwise. Others might work fewer hours (or jobs) than they would otherwise.

Whether that’s good or bad is a fair debate. Arguably, it depends on each individual circumstance.

In the end, though, total employment is projected to rise over the coming decade, according to the report.

 
 
 

 

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