Ranking Member Sessions Responds To Secretary Sebelius’ False Claim On Part-Time Work

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today in response to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ claim that there has not been an increase in part-time work:

“I was astounded to learn that Secretary Sebelius—a top member of the President’s cabinet and the individual tasked with implementing the new health law—would declare on national TV that ‘economists, not anecdotal folks, but economists, say there is absolutely no evidence that part-time work is going up. In fact, it’s going down.’ This is a stunningly misleading declaration from a person who now holds immense power over millions of Americans and their financial futures.

What are the facts?

  • We have 5,188,000 fewer full-time jobs today (August, 2013) than in December of 2007.
  • The number of people who could only find part-time work and wanted full-time is the highest (2,719,000) that it’s been for any month since August of 2011, and, with the exception of one month, is higher now than at any time since 1988.
  • BLS reported an increase in part-time jobs for each of the last 5 calendar quarters.
  • Part-time employment has grown by 3,085,000 since the end of 2007. That’s an increase in part-time jobs of 13 percent. But the total number of jobs since then is down, and for the people who are finding work, more are part-time.
  • Nearly 90 percent of this increase in part-time work represents people who, according to the Labor Department, “could only find part time work.”
  • 65 percent of the job creation from January through August was part-time.
  • In the fourth quarter of 2007, Americans worked about 236.4 billion hours. In the third quarter of 2013, the Labor Department estimated that Americans only worked 232.9 billion hours. That’s a shortfall of 3.5 billion hours. This decline is greater per worker since the population of available workers has increased by 9 million.
  • If the same percentage of the population was working today as was working in 2007, we would have 154,089,000 people in jobs. Since we currently only have 144,285,000 people working, it appears that 9,804,000 people are out of the labor force.
  • The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the health care will lead to approximately 800,000 fewer full-time jobs.  Economist Casey Mulligan at the University of Chicago estimates that, by just 2015, the health care law will permanently reduce the size labor market 3 percent—which is equivalent to losing 3 to 4 million full-time jobs.

Congress was told it had to pass Obamacare so the American people could find out what’s in it. Now it’s passed and millions of Americans are losing hours and pay. And we still don’t know all that’s in it—the Obamacare regulations are 21,000 pages and growing (that’s 30 times longer than the Herman Melville novel Moby Dick). How much worse will things have to get before the President is willing to negotiate?"