Since the financial crisis hit in 2008, part-time job growth has far outpaced full-time job growth. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor’s June Employment Situation data showed that the number of workers employed full time dropped while the number of part-time workers soared to a record high of 8.2 million after increasing for three consecutive months.
On one hand, this is a function of businesses’ economic concerns — after all, a part-time worker is much less costly to employ. But on the other hand, many economists cite businesses’ worries regarding the impending implementation of the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act as a factor exacerbating that trend.
When asked by Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman of Indiana whether Obamacare’s mandates were hurting the economy during his semiannual testimony before Congress on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke answered that it was “hard to make any judgement.”