When it comes to ObamaCare, private firms aren’t exactly looking on the bright side. While the majority of business leaders say the Affordable Care Act hasn’t yet had an impact on their companies, nearly one-fifth of respondents to the National Association of Business Economics’ October 2013 Industry Survey say the law’s had a negative effect on employment in the past three months. In comparison, only 2% say the law’s had a positive effect. The one-year outlook also indicates more pessimism than optimism when it comes to ObamaCare. Twenty-two percent expect a negative impact on employment over the next twelve months, while only 2% believe the law will have a positive impact. Additionally, responses show a “modest shift” toward part-time workers over full-time workers, which has been feared for some time by organizations such as the National Federation of Independent Business. Despite the negativity regarding ObamaCare, economic prospects are growing brighter for private firms. “Sales growth accelerated in the third quarter, despite potential headwinds such as rising interest rates and oil prices, and a renewed wave of policy uncertainty. Profit margins rebounded after weakening in the previous quarter, while gains in capital spending matched those reported in the first half of the year,” said Timothy Gill, Chair of the NABE Industry Survey Committee and Deputy Chief Economist at the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. Forty-two percent of survey respondents say sales are on the rise, an increase of seven percentage points since July. Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents who say sales are decreasing dropped by three points – another positive sign. NABE respondents fall into four categories: goods-producing; transportation, utilities information and communications; finance, insurance and real estate; and services. Sixty NABE panelists participated in the survey, and nearly half represented companies with 100 or fewer employees. The survey was conducted between September 16 and October 1.
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