A Hypothesis

Why did the number of part-time workers jump in the household survey? Here’s a hypothesis – it was the result of Obamacare.

How? Darden Restaurants was recently outed for cutting workers’ hours in order to avoid providing healthcare.

Darden Restaurants Inc., the parent company of Atlanta area eateries Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Bahama Breeze, is cutting hours of full-time workers to shift them to part-time in an effort to reduce costs associated with health care reform….

….Darden has stopped offering full-time schedules to many hourly workers, and is limiting workers to 28 hours a week in four unidentified markets….

…Under the federal Affordable Care Act, known commonly as Obamacare, companies with at least 50 employees must provide health insurance, starting in 2014, to all those who work at least 30 hours a week.

Solution: limit workers to 28 hours a week. But the amount of hours of work presumably remains the same, so more workers are needed. More temp workers must be hired. If Darden is doing it, then so are many others. Net result, more people employed, but working shorter hours. Plausible?

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