Study: Obamacare Costing 66,000 Jobs in Illinois

The Washington Free Beacon –

The president’s health care law is driving down employment in his home state, according to a recent report.

Employers in Illinois are cutting worker hours to avoid costly penalties from Obamacare’s employer mandate, where employees in the lowest wage sectors are the hardest hit.

The Illinois Policy Institute studied the three employment sectors — retail, food, and merchandise– whose average hours were closest to 30 hours per week prior to the Affordable Care Act.

The institute found that all three have now dipped below 30 hours per week, the threshold for a full-time worker under the law. Average hours for these sectors had remained steadily above 30 before Obamacare was enacted.

“Since 2011, Illinois has lost the equivalent of about 66,000 jobs in these sectors through reduced work hours – more than the number of jobs added in all sectors over the past year,” the study said.

“As Obamacare is implemented, Americans are seeing it fail on the important goals of health care access and affordability,” said Naomi Lopez Bauman, director of health policy at the institute and author of the report.

“But this labor data from the president’s very own home state shows that not only will Obamacare fail to deliver its health insurance goals, it also threatens to cause further damage to Illinois’ already-fragile economy,” she said. “Advocates of Obamacare should be prepared to answer the question: How many lost jobs and lost hours are too many?”

According to the study, the loss in hours equates to 66,000 retail, food, and merchandise jobs since 2011.  These sectors are the lowest-paid jobs in Illinois, and account for one-fifth of the state’s total employment.

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