Obamacare hasn't caused most factories across New York State and service firms in the metropolitan region to cut jobs, reduce employee compensation or outsource work, although some have increased prices, according to two surveys released Tuesday.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said its polls found employer responses to the Affordable Care Act of 2010 have been muted so far.
Two in 10 manufacturers surveyed in the state said they had trimmed payrolls because of the health care law. One in 10 retailers and other service firms in the New York City area also have done so.
Similar ratios of both types of businesses said they had lowered employee wages.
The results of the surveys, which were conducted this month, are in stark contrast to projections of widespread economic dislocation made by opponents of Obamacare. The bank polled about 100 plants across the state and about 100 merchants and other service firms on Long Island, in New York City and its northern suburbs.
"The vast majority . . . said they were not changing the proportion of part-time workers or the amount of work outsourced to other firms," the New York Fed said in an analysis. "Thirty-four percent of manufacturers but only 16 percent of service sector panelists said they were raising the prices charged to customers."
Still, employee medical insurance remains a large, and increasing, expense for firms.
Manufacturers said their costs had climbed 10 percent between this year and 2014. Service firms reported a 9 percent increase, year over year. Both groups projected a 10 percent rise between now and next year.
More than half the executives in both industry groups blamed these increases on insurers. A distant second were taxes tied to the Affordable Care Act, cited by about two in 10 survey respondents.
"Asked whether they were changing their health plans in response to the ACA, 33 percent of manufacturers and 47 percent of service firms said they were not," the New York Fed said."For those firms that were making changes, however, the most widely reported adjustments involved higher deductibles, increased copays, and higher out-of-pocket maximums."No factory or service firms said they were raising their employees' contribution to insurance premiums.