As we hear that Americans are casting their votes for our next president in record numbers by mail or in person early, as a businessman and entrepreneur, I think about how the outcome of the election will affect my business, Genesis10, and the staffing industry.
We started the year off with a healthy economy and employment at levels we haven’t seen in 50 years. Then Covid hit. To stay safe, we all retreated into our homes, while the economy and employment plummeted. The economy has since started to come back with employment recovering somewhat. Now, the election is looming with the candidates holding divergent views on the economy, business and just about everything. As I see it, without expressing my own political views, there are three key areas that could be affected by the outcome of the election that we in the staffing industry and I should consider:
The H1-B visa program. As you may know, the H1-B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ graduate-level workers in specialty occupations that require technical expertise in specialized fields such as IT, finance, accounting and engineering among others. To encourage businesses to hire American workers, the Trump administration put restrictions on H1-B visa policy. This made it more difficult for companies to hire workers from countries such as India and once the workers were in the U.S. harder for them to get their visas renewed if at all. If President Trump gets a second term, then these restrictions will continue, or become more restrictive. For the staffing industry, recruiting could get even tougher for select skill sets.
Healthcare. Trump is opposed to the Affordable Care Act, which is also known as Obamacare. From a business perspective, changes to the ACA mandates will affect the cost structure for every business and every industry.
Under a President Biden Administration, healthcare costs probably will go up, as the administration will not place any restrictions on those with pre-existing medical conditions. Consequently, insurance companies will probably charge higher premiums. So, employers as well as employees will see higher healthcare costs, but arguably increased coverage under a Biden administration.
For the staffing industry, we will be in a wait-and-see mode to see how the plans take shape to understand how it will affect our cost structure.
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Corporate tax policy. Under a Biden administration, taxes on businesses, including capital gains taxes, are more likely to go up. With a higher tax rate, it will be more costly for businesses to pursue merger and acquisition activity, which could impact hiring. President Trump and the Republicans would argue that by cutting taxes, businesses would have more money to spend.
Many C-suite executives that I speak with say consistently that they are holding off on finalizing their 2021 strategic plan until after the election.
Covid-19 obviously has affected us all. There is a sharp divide on how to address the pandemic but I, for one, appreciate how the public health crisis has opened our eyes and changed how we work and interact with our clients and colleagues. I never thought I would be using video conferencing capabilities daily, but I am. Soon we will be back in the office. But until then, I, like many others, have transitioned effectively to working remote.
As election night nears and we await the results, how do you see the outcome impacting your business and the staffing industry?