You Won’t Believe How Many Working Hours Obamacare Is Killing

Drew Gonshorowski /



Today, the Congressional Budget Office updated an estimate on the reductions of employment due to Obamacare.  Previously, the CBO had projected that Obamacare would lead to a reduction of around 800,000 full time equivalent jobs.  Unsurprisingly, the estimate has been nearly tripled, amounting to a 2.3 million reduction in employment.

The fact that the Affordable Care Act discourages employment is not news, however.  Heritage analyst James Sherk has been tracking these concerns for several months, as well as how Obamacare increases labor costs  While many employers are hesitant to hire due to Obamacare, according to many reports coming out of the Federal Reserve Beige Book, there are also other issues in the labor market.

Beyond the employer concerns, the CBO confirms that many people could be discouraged to work in order to keep benefits under Obamacare.  According to the CBO, Obamacare will reduce total hours worked by 1.5 to 2 percent from 2017 to 2024. I discussed some of these incentives last March, stating “Obamacare will negatively affect the reward to work.”  Work from economist Casey Mulligan highlights these effects.

It is becoming more and more apparent that Obamacare reduces employment, and creates incentives that, on net, discourage work and upward mobility.