Policy: Economy

Accountants: Obamacare makes it ‘less likely’ that businesses add employees

Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Obamacare,Economy,Analysis

Obamacare discourages businesses from hiring new employees, according to 66 percent of accountants surveyed in a recent poll, with one financial information expert arguing that the employer mandate delay harms the economy by creating more uncertainty.

“The recent delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and the uncertainty that accompanies such a delay, won’t help the employment situation,” Brian Hamilton of Sageworks, which polled 300 accountants between June 25 and July 16, said in a statement to Accounting Today on the results.

“Private businesses are trying to map out their hiring and investment plans for the next twelve months, and a last-minute delay like this will increase the likelihood that companies remain on the fence about hiring.”

Sixty-six percent of the accountants who responded said that, based on conversations with their clients, Obamacare makes companies “less likely” to hire new employees. Just 16 percent said that the law makes companies “more likely” to add staff.

Obamacare’s affect on job creation has received increased attention since the Treasury Department announced a one-year delay of the reporting requirements that give force to the mandate that employers provide insurance to their full-time employees.

“I would say broadly that if you look at the economic data, the suggestion that the [Affordable Care Act] is reducing full-time employment is belied by the facts,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporter during the press briefing Tuesday.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offered testimony to Congress that tends to corroborate what the accountants told Sageworks in the survey.

“[O]ne thing that we hear, you know, in the commentary we get at the FOMC is that some employers are hiring part-time in order to avoid the mandate there,” Bernanke told Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., during a House hearing. “So we have heard that.”


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