Businesses continue to cut worker hours, delay investment to deal with O-care costs

Businesses continue to cut worker hours, delay investment to deal with O-care costs

Businesses in low-wage sectors, such as restaurants, retail and warehousing, are feeling bigger effects because health insurance represents an outsize share of their total employee costs, says Rob Wilson, head of Employco, a human resources outsourcing firm. Many of those with just fewer than 100 staffers have hired more part-timers in recent months, while those with at least 100 are reducing the hours of existing employees, he says. …

Still, the number of part-time workers who say they’d prefer full-time jobs has remained stubbornly high.  [Go figure. – Ed.]   That can at least partly be traced to the inclination of the restaurant, retail and hotel industries to hire more part-time workers to sidestep the ACA mandate, Royal Bank of Scotland wrote in a recent report. …

Forty-two percent of the 900 firms surveyed say their health plan costs have risen at least 10% this year. As a result, 37% are delaying or postponing investment, and 26% are freezing or reducing wages.

Mike DeVoge, owner of a 12-employee marina in Conneaut Lake, Pa., says costs for the six workers who are eligible for insurance recently increased 40% and are set to rise another 60% in 2016. That, he says will likely force him to freeze wages and drop health benefits in a year.

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