How About a Fact or Two Added to the Discussion of the 2.5 Million Lost Jobs

Opinion By Patricia L Johnson

The Congressional Budget Office released their report “The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 to 2014” [1] on February 4, 2014. Republicans were positively ecstatic over the fact the report indicated 2.0 million jobs would be lost by 2017, with a total of 2.5 million being lost by 2024.

The Fox News headline reads “ObamaCare job loss report turbocharges Twitter; Sen. Roberts asks ‘Were the books cooked?’” [2]

FINALLY, positive proof the Affordable Care Act is a job killer! Republicans have ear to ear smiles; they finally have some actual documentation indicating jobs would be lost by the Affordable Care Act, a false claim they have been making for years.

Well, not exactly!

Unfortunately as is generally the case with Republicans, they don’t bother to read the fine print. They look for the worst and when they think they have something, or even if they don’t, they go in for the kill.

The CBO report indicated the total number of hours worked, would have a net decrease of about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent from 2017 through 2024, due “almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor”.

Please note the word “choose”, choose means that if given a choice there are certain workers that would prefer to work fewer hours and the only reason they aren’t right now is because they do not want to lose their healthcare. Most companies have prerequisites for their insurance programs – example: A company may dictate that you have to be employed 90 days and work a total of 32 hours per week in order to be eligible for health insurance. The Affordable Care Act has no prerequisites, you can work 40 hours a week, or 2 hours a week, it’s up to you, but you will still be covered by your private insurance.

There are many people in the work force that wish to work to supplement their incomes, but don’t really want to work 32 or 40 hours per week. Mother’s with school aged children are a prime example. The ACA provides those individuals with the option of working fewer hours while still maintaining insurance coverage, a wonderful new benefit for American workers.

The report goes on to state these lost hours will be absorbed by the unemployed, you think? I mean according to Senator Rand Paul’s interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, [3] there are twenty million folks out of work in the U.S. You would think a few of them might want to work a few extra hours wouldn’t you?

The problem with Senator Rand Paul’s numbers is they are just plain wrong and simply shows how little he knows about employment figures. The last report that came out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was dated January 10, 2014 for the month of December 2013, and indicates a total of 10.4 million individuals unemployed. That number is split as follows: 5.0 million men, 4.2 million women and 1.1 million teens [see table above].

There have always been marginally attached and discouraged workers [total 3.3 million for December 2013], but even if they were added to the total unemployed that would only add to 13.7 million, not twenty million as Senator Paul claims.

[1] http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/45010-Outlook2014.pdf

[2] http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/05/obamacare-job-loss-report-turbocharges-twitter-sen-roberts-asks-were-books/

[3] http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/04/cnns-gut-check-for-february-4-2014/

© 2014 Patricia L Johnson

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4 Responses to How About a Fact or Two Added to the Discussion of the 2.5 Million Lost Jobs

  1. Administrator says:

    Well, that was sort of the point of the article I wrote – jobs aren’t being ‘lost’, people will be leaving because they choose to work fewer hours.

    Thank you for your comment.

  2. I don’t remember the report saying that. But if it does, it means that the so-called “lost jobs” aren’t lost at all because “if they are absorbed by the unemployed” it means those jobs were not lost at all!!

  3. Administrator says:

    Hello Richard,

    Wasn’t that point covered with the following? “The report goes on to state these lost hours will be absorbed by the unemployed”

    How about an actual CBO example of what?

    Thank you for your comment,

  4. So, what about the millions of others who are unemployed and are “ready, willing and able to work”? Where did they all go? Why would the employers not hire other unemployed persons
    to fill these vacancies? How about an actual CBO example?

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