Poll: Small Businesses Shed Jobs in Anticipation of Obamacare

Thursday, 20 Jun 2013 10:53 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Small-business owners are so concerned with the costs of Obamacare they're holding off on hiring and even are getting rid of jobs, a new poll has found.

According to a recent Gallup poll, of 603 small-business owners, 41 percent of those surveyed said they have frozen hiring because of the new healthcare law. Another 19 percent say they have reduced their number of employees in anticipation of the Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect next year and will force businesses with more than 50 workers to provide health coverage for every employee.

The findings are of particular concern, CNBC noted, because small business traditionally has been the engine for innovation and economic growth in the United States.

"We were startled because we know that employers were concerned about the Affordable Care Act and the effects it would have on their business, but we didn't realize the extent they were concerned or that the businesses were being proactive to make sure the effects of the ACA actually were minimized," attorney Steven Friedman of Littler Mendelson, the firm that commissioned the poll, told CNBC.

The poll found that 38 percent of small-business owners said they have scaled back plans to grow their businesses because of Obamacare.

"To think that 20 percent of small businesses have already reduced the numbers they have in their business because they're concerned about the medical coverage is significant, and a bit troubling," Friedman said.

Numerous Republican lawmakers and economic experts have warned about the negative impact Obamacare will have on small businesses, and a recent report by the Federal Reserve blamed Obamacare for persistent levels of unemployment.


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