The official reason for the one-year delay in ObamaCare's employer penalties is to smooth the transition for companies struggling with the law's complexity and reporting requirements.
But other problems likely moved the administration to act: The cost to modest-wage workers in lost hours has grown each week as employers, especially local governments, have cut part-time schedules. And the job cuts spelled political trouble for Democrats in midterm elections.
The delay will buy time but won't solve these problems or unwind the toll already taken.
An IBD search of employer announcements revealed workweek cuts for 16,500 workers as ObamaCare penalties drew closer. That number barely scratches the surface of the law's real impact because it excludes the vast majority of cases in which employers have announced cuts without putting a number on the workers facing reduced hours.
Take the decision by Regal Entertainment Group (RGC) to cut in the employer mandate.
Listed below are 42 announcements of cuts to worker hours in which employers highlighted the number of employees taking a hit. This represents about one-third of more than 120 employers that IBD's cursory search found had publicly acknowledged reducing workers' hours.
Interestingly, of the 16,500 positions with hours cut, roughly 16,050 are in the public sector and about 440 in the private sector. In part, this is because boards of education and county commissions tend to be more transparent about employment matters than private firms, and because local newspapers have done a good job of tracking the issue. Local governments and schools also have grown more dependent on part-time workers and faculty after a long stretch of depressed tax revenue.
Here are the 42 announcements: 1. Virginia capped hours for part-time workers at 29 a week, shortening the workweek for an estimated 7,300. Of those, 1,480 work at the Virginia Community College System, 880 work at Virginia Commonwealth University, 600 work at the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and 500 work at Norfolk State University.
2. Chesterfield Public Schools in Virginia capped hours for part-time workers at 28 per week, reducing hours for 2,000 people.
3. Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona reduced hours for 700 adjunct faculty and another 600 part-time workers.
4. Granite School District in Utah cut hours for 1,000 part-timers to 29 per week.
5. Alpine School District in Utah cut hours of 800 part-timers to below 30 per week.
6. Fort Wayne Community Schools in Indiana cut the hours of 610 part-time teaching aides and cafeteria workers.
7. University of Arizona in Tucson cut hours for 500 temporary and part-time workers.
8. The Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania cut the hours of 400 adjunct faculty and other part-time support.
9. Papillion-La Vista School District in Nebraska cut hours for 281 part-time employees .
10. AAA Parking in Georgia cut 250 full-timestaff to part-time.
11. University of Akron in Ohio cut hours for 230 part-time faculty.
12. Kean University in New Jersey cut course loads for 210 adjunct faculty.
13. Mason, Ohio, cut part-time hours for 200 people to 20 a week.
14. Florida's Palm Beach State College cut hours for 200 adjunct faculty to 27.5 a week.
16. Chesterfield County in Virginia cut hours for 115 part-time workers to 28 per week.
17. Shelbyville Central School System in Indiana reduced hours for 100 part-time workers.
18. A Wendy's (WEN) franchisee in Nebraska cut hours for 100 nonmanagement workers to 28 a week.
19. Zionsville Community Schools in Indiana cut hours for 100 instructional aides, coaches and substitutes to 29 per week.
20. Fayette County School Corp. in Indiana reduced hours for 90 part-time workers to 27.5 per week.
21. Spartanburg Community College in South Carolina cut hours for 90 adjunct faculty.
22. Medina, Ohio, cut weekly hours for 65 part-timers from 35 to 29.
23. Spencer Community School District in Iowa reduced the hours of 65 part-time employees.
24. Kga Group, a Subway franchisee in Michigan, cut hours for 60 part-time workers.
25. Southern Lehigh School District reduced hours for 51 part-time employees.
26. Plano, Texas, cut hours for 45 part-time workers .
27. Springfield Platteview Community Schools in Nebraska cut 7.5-hour days to less than six hours for 43 paraprofessionals.
28. Nebo School District in Utah cut hours for 40 part-time workers to 28.75 a week.
29. Mount Horeb Area School District in Wisconsin cut hours for 36 paraprofessionals.
30. Lynchburg, Va., cut hours for 35 part-time employees.
31. Boone Community School District in Illinois cut hours for 30 part-time workers.
32. Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., cut hours for30 part-time workers.
33. Speedway Schools in Indiana cut hours for 30 teaching aides to avoid the mandate (but with an offsetting pay hike).
34. CY Farms in New York eliminated 20 jobs to stay below the 50 full-time-equivalent threshold.
35. Lexington Board of Education in Kentucky reduced the hours of 20 part-time workers and provided an offsetting pay hike.
36. Lebanon City in Ohio cut hours for 18 part-time firefighters and paramedics.
37. Chippewa County in Wisconsin cut hours for 15 part-timers.
38. Douglas County West School District in Nebraska cut part-time shifts for 12 workers by 45 minutes a day.
39. East Penn School District in Pennsylvania cut hours for 11 food-service workers.
40. White River Valley School District in Indiana reduced hours for 11 noncertified employees.
41. Wolfe's Auto Auction in Indiana cut 10 full-time employees to part time.
42. Charco Broiler in Colorado trimmed hours for three workers to stay below ObamaCare's 50 full-time-equivalent threshold.