A handful of analysts and politicos have warned thatPatient Protection and Affordable Care Act provisions—most notablythe employer mandate—would have a negative impact on employment,cut jobs and reduce full-time workers' hours. But none of that hashappened—at least according to new analysis.

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In fact, argue researchers from the Urban Institute, PPACA'simplementation is associated with an increase in employment amongthose most likely to be affected by its provisions.

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“The ACA has been castigated as a 'job-killing' policy since dayone, but once again we see that these charges are not supported bythe evidence,” said Kathy Hempstead, who directs coverage issues atthe Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “In terms of both labor forceparticipation and hours worked, employment trends reflect the paceof economic recovery.”

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The research did find a slight increase in part-time employment,though researchers noted that “increase is small enough that thereis no overall change in labor supply.”

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Specifically, researchers from the Urban Institute, with fundingfrom the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, examined whether PPACA andits Medicaid expansions affected four key measures of work effort:labor force participation; employment; the probability of part-timework; and hours worked per week by nonelderly adults in theU.S.

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Overall, the report found no evidence that trends in the fourmeasures of work effort deviated in 2014 in response to PPACA. Forthose with a high school education or less who are more likely tobe affected, however, PPACA was associated with a small increase inemployment and the probability of part-time work, researcherssaid.

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Researchers also found that PPACA's Medicaid expansions hadvirtually no effect on labor market outcomes through the end of2014.

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The new research from the Urban Institute contradicts findingsearlier this year by the Society for Human Resource Management.According to SHRM's survey of some 740 human resourcesprofessionals, about one in five U.S. employers either have reducedhours for workers they consider to be part-time, or will do so, inresponse to requirements of PPACA.

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Still, research has been back and forth on the true impact PPACAhas and will make on jobs. An ADP Research Institute report, forexample, found that the share of the labor force working fewer than30 hours remained virtually the same between 2013 and 2014. Back in2013, Towers Watson also asserted that most large employers are notlooking to circumvent coverage extension by reducing full-timeworkers' hours.

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Urban Institute culled its data from the Current PopulationSurvey used by the federal government to monitor the labormarket.

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Kathryn Mayer

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