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2 thoughts on “Obamacare and jobs”

  1. Massachusetts may not be a good example for the rest of the nation. It is a state with many high-tech firms and it is very far from Mexico. Nor does it have a large low-wage light-manufacturing sector to begin with. Its largest employers are universities and hospitals. Jeff Goldsmith has commented on this several times, and I have never seen him wrong.

    The real point though is that Obamacare may have profound effects on the labor market that are more complex than just costing or adding jobs.

    The firm that owns the Olive Gardens is right now reducing everyone possible to less than 30 hours a week, so as to avoid a penalty under ObamaCare. This will technically add some jobs so that the restaurants can cover their shifts — but is this progress?

    In general, Obamacare will add jobs in the health care field, and subtract jobs in the industries like food service and hotels and retail that do not now provide benefits.
    This may wind up neutral in the overall numbers, but there will be some real pain and suffering. The dishwasher who is laid off will not get a job as a nurse, and maybe not even as an orderly.

    The reality is going to be extremely complex.

    1. Bob – thanks for the note. I agree that it will be quite complex – that’s why I noted the studies indicating a net increase in higher paying jobs that will likely occur, and a net loss of lower-paying ones.

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates

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