The Federal Reserve Beige Book, released on March 6, cited Obamacare as a factor in slowing hiring and employment growth.

The Beige Book is a report published eight times a year that details the economic activity in the 12 different Federal Reserve regions. As this most recent report explains, “Employers in several Districts cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff.”

But why is this news now? Federal Reserve presidents have cited Obamacare as a hiring hindrance for a few years now. In 2010, the Federal Reserve Bank president of Atlanta said, “We have frequently heard strong comments to the effect of ‘My company won’t hire a single additional worker until we know what health insurance costs are going to be.’” There is little more clarity on what the new costs are going to be for business owners. This is why three different Federal Reserve regions have directly linked Obamacare to slower hiring.

Obamacare imposes new costs and restrictions on business owners. It can be no surprise that many of these owners—particularly smaller companies—have decided to delay expansion and new hires. Regrettably, the harmful impact of Obamacare on the labor market is only going to increase. As many of the provisions, particularly the employer mandates, become closer to reality, more employers are going to alter hiring practices because Obamacare makes hiring a more expensive proposition.

Join us or watch Monday, March 11, at noon for a Heritage event on this very topic: “Part-Time America.” Heritage analysts, a small business expert, and a small business owner will discuss how Obamacare has impacted the labor market. As the March Beige Book reports, the labor market will continue to struggle due to the costs of Obamacare.