What are they thinking?
I mean, some employers are going to drop hours below 30 a week once the employer pay-or-play hits. But we won't see that until the February 2015 employment report, and there is no reason for employers to start that eighteen months in advance. It isn't there in the data. And nothing would lead anybody to expect that it would be visible in the data right now.
So why are they claiming that it is?
I am amazed at how even prominent pundits don't bother to educate themselves on even the most basic aspects of the policy issues they discuss.
Let's go back before the 1-year delay in the employer mandate, which was scheduled to take effect on Jan 1, 2014. In the implementation rules, employees would be classified as part-time or full-time on Jan 1, 2014 based on a 3-12 month look back at actual hours worked in 2013. That means that for many companies, such as ours, to have employees classified as part-time on day 1 of Obamacare, we had to have them working part time in January of 2013. By the time the Obamacare employee mandate was delayed, we had already made changes in our operations, so we are not going back and will just maintain them until 2015.
So for our company, and likely for many others, the change to part-time showed up in the first quarter of 2013.
So why is DeLong claiming otherwise?