Hiring – still slow due to the upcoming election? What’s your vote?
Uncertainty is probably the most common word heard in connection to explaining any slow down in hiring. With the upcoming election, employers continue to be uncertain about the US economy. Add to their concerns government spending, tax policy changes, healthcare law, China’s reduction in growth, the list goes on.
Though companies may have the perception that the presidential election will clarify the direction of the economic policy for the future, bringing certainty and peace of mind, it is really difficult to quantify politics when considering a system as complex as the US Economy.
Companies have been slow to hire as we have climbed out of the recession, and where it is easy to think after the upcoming election next month that uncertainty will subside and bring a new confidence to employers, there is really no clear evidence that it will happen, regardless of the outcome of the election.
Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an article about Chief Executives cutting their expectations for hiring due to growing nerves about lawmakers’ ability to avoid steep tax increases and spending cuts early next year. The article also addresses that Companies want to see lawmakers provide a long-term solution to the growing national debt.
The article does not indicate that the election will suddenly clarify the validity of these concerns and it does discuss external issues driving down hiring numbers, such as weaker demand from Europe and China, hurting U.S growth.
Boeing CEO Jim McNerny comments on the relevance of a defined direction from Congress and its impact on growing job numbers. “The closer you get, the more nervous you get. Congress can at least emerge with a framework that has teeth including clarity about tax increases and changes to the tax code and other regulations. That could help put businesses at ease and spark hiring and investment. If it’s just kick the can down the road, it’s continued purgatory.”
While there really is no clear correlation or hard data that shows evidence that the upcoming election will help build the momentum of job growth, it does seem to be tied to the perception of hiring confidence, which certainly couldn’t hurt.