Number of ‘Involuntary’ Part-Time Workers Jumps 332K in June

Susan Jones | July 5, 2013 | 10:12am EDT
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In this July 17, 2012, file photo, business employment specialist Linda Reynolds helps a job searcher D'Andre Preston at WorkSource Oregon in Tualatin, Ore.  (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

( – The number of Americans employed part time for economic reasons (involuntary part-time workers) increased by 322,000 to 8.2 million from May to June, the Labor Department reported on Friday.

“These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job,” said the news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As the Obama administration prepares to roll out the Democrats’ health-insurance-for-all plan in 2014, many businesses have warned that they will keep their payrolls below 50 full-time workers to avoid penalties imposed by the law.

Under the Affordable Care Act, companies with 50 or more employees working 30 or more hours a week are required to offer health insurance coverage to workers or face heavy fines. Many small businesses owners have warned that they would trim their payrolls or hire part-time workers to keep their companies under the 50 full-time employee threshold to avoid the penalties.

The Obama administration on July 2 announced it would delay for one year the so-called employer mandate – the requirement that employers of 50 or more provide health insurance coverage or face penalties.

Republicans have long been warning about the “job-killing” effects of Obamacare, and some say the year-long delay for implementation of the employer mandate doesn’t clear up the uncertainty facing businesses.

Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, said earlier this week the employer mandate will destroy jobs, regardless of when it's implemented.

"If anything, this decision exacerbates the confusion and uncertainty employers face, and serves as further confirmation this flawed law is a 'train wreck.' In fact, jobs are already being lost and workers' hours slashed because of the president's health care law. No amount of bureaucratic tinkering can ease the pain ObamaCare is inflicting on our nation's workplaces."

Overall, 195,000 Americans were added to the payrolls in June – far fewer than the increase in involuntary part-time workers -- but that wasn’t enough to move the June unemployment rate from 7.6 percent, where it stood in May.

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