A revised definition of part-time employment may have some popular appeal, but it will not repair the Affordable Care Act’s disincentives for full-time employment or its extra costs for taxpayers.
Part-time employment rarely includes health benefits. The lack of health benefits and the lower pay for part-time work have traditionally discouraged people from taking part-time jobs rather than full-time jobs, but both of those attributes of part-time jobs are about to change.
I explained in an earlier post how, in many cases, the Affordable Care Act would almost entirely eliminate these two shortcomings of part-time employment by offering access to generously subsidized health insurance to part-time employees while denying it to most people who work full time. As a result, more people will work part time (under the law, less than 30 hours a week) rather than full time, and this will occur at significant taxpayer expense.