Remarkably, aggregate hours worked in the retail sector fell below their January 2012 level, even though industry payrolls are up 200,000 over that period.
A similar trend showed up in leisure and hospitality: January payrolls rose by 23,000 even as aggregate hours dipped 0.3%.
Meanwhile, the ranks of part-time workers due to business conditions or because they can't find full-time work, trending lower in the past few years, rose by 212,000 to 7.8 million.
While the data are volatile and the shift to shorter workweeks in January was less than dramatic, this may be the start of something big. All signs suggest that businesses are starting to adjust their employment policies in response to ObamaCare. It's possible that much of this shift may occur in the next few months.