G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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A fascinating chart reprinted by Casey Mulligan at the NYT’s Economix blog:
The gap there at the 49-50 employee mark – Mulligan explains:
The chart shows a couple of odd patterns at the 50-employee mark. First, there are sharply fewer employers (by more than a factor of two) with exactly 50 employees than with exactly 49 employees. Second, although the number of companies usually falls with the number of employees, there are actually more employers with 49 employees than with 45 employees.
The authors show how this pattern reflects deliberate efforts by employers to stay below the 50-employee threshold where several employment and accounting regulations take effect. For example, they note that French companies employing 50 or more workers are, among other things, obligated “to establish a committee on health, safety and working conditions and train its members,” whereas companies with 49 employees are not. France also has regulations kicking in at employment levels of 10, 11, 20 and 25.
But the United States has added some major regulations with its Affordable Care Act and its Dodd-Frank regulations. Beginning this time next year, for example, the Affordable Care Act will put new requirements on businesses with 50 or more full-time employees, whereas businesses with 49 or fewer employees will be exempt. Businesses with fewer than 26 employees may already be eligible for Affordable Care Act tax credits for providing health insurance, whereas larger businesses are not.
Perhaps we should thank the French for their heavy regulation, as it is already helping us account for the impact of regulation in the United States.