Oct. 1 marks the start of Obamacare for millions of Americans. That's when the Obamacare health insurance exchanges (HIX) go live and open enrollment begins.
Today (Friday) marks another key Obamacare moment. The August unemployment report released today gave us a clearer look at the Obamacare effect on U.S. jobs.
The August jobs report showed unemployment at 7.3% – a tenth of a percent down from July's 7.4% rate. Although August's 7.3% was the lowest rate since December 2008, U.S. joblessness hasn't improved – with a big reason stemming from the effects of Obamacare.
The key number is the underemployment rate, which remains very high at 13.7%, only a slight drop from July's 14%. This number includes part-time/temporary workers who want full-time jobs, plus those who are unemployed.
This trend of part-time workers is linked to how companies are prepping for Obamacare.
The Affordable Care Act's mandate that companies with 50 or more full-time workers must provide health insurance to all full-time employees, those working 30 or more hours per week, triggered the "part time-ification" of America. Employers have been staffing part-time workers to avoid providing them with health benefits.
That's why Ed Haislmaier, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told FOX News earlier this year of Obamacare, "If you want to have reduced work, lower wages and economic stagnation, this is a great way to do it."
And even with the administration's recent one-year extension of implementing the employer mandate until 2015, most small companies are getting ready now.
The chilling results of a July U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey showed 74% of small businesses are positioning themselves to slash hours, lay off workers, or both.
Indeed, the survey results – shown in the accompanying chart – showed that small business owners feel their biggest challenge is Obamacare.
CHALLENGES FACING SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS today
And as we learned last week, not everyone saw this Obamacare effect coming…