I’m not going to get into the debate over which presidential candidate is better for the country – or even which is better for the staffing and recruiting industry. But, I will discuss some ways in which political forces have been impacting the jobs market – and the likelihood that the effects of these forces will continue well beyond November 6th.
A Strong Temporary Workforce
With so much uncertainty in how the election might impact the economy, companies are seemingly even more cautious about bringing on full-time employees. Astonishingly, this trend is climbing up the ranks of executives, too.
The simple fact is that contingent and temporary employees have become a prevalent norm in the hiring industry. Since September 2008, in fact, 88% of companies have hired temporary workers. Temporary and contract employment has grown 26.6%, since the beginning of 2012 according to the ASA’s September Staffing Index Monthly Report.
Another political force impacting the staffing and recruiting industries is the Affordable Care Act. Some experts believe this could reduce fraudulent worker’s compensation claims because workers would have better healthcare coverage. The savings experienced from the Affordable Care Act would be passed on to the companies hiring temp workers because they would have less reason to use workers’ compensation. Aside from payroll, worker’s compensation is the biggest expense facing companies.
Finally, there is the election itself directly impacting the temporary workforce. Contingent workers in cities all over the country have been hired to test the ballot machines and man the polls on Election Day. Second the campaigns themselves are huge employers of hundreds, even thousands of contingent workers. Once the election is done, most will probably have to find new temporary work, regardless of whether their candidate won.
Will the Trend Continue?
Staffing Industry Analysts suggest that temporary employee demand in certain segments will reach historic highs in 2013. Additionally, with the sluggish growth the economy has been experiencing and the holiday hiring season ramping up, I think it’s safe to say temporary workers will be in high demand for companies of all shapes and sizes through the end of the year. And this is all rather independent of who wins the election.
Regardless of who wins the election – the truth is this. As the economy recovers, contingent and temporary employees are those that are brought on first – prior to the recovery in full time hiring. And whether we have four more years of Obama, or the first four of Romney, our economy will likely be perpetually recovering – at least for the next several years. How long the staffing and recruiting industry remains such a fertile field depends solely on how quickly either candidate moves our economy from ‘recovery’ to ‘recovered.’