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Election Impact on Hiring

With the November elections around the corner, many employers are responding to the uncertainty of the outcome by reduced spending and hiring. A recent study from Duke University revealed that 47% of CFOs cite “political uncertainty” as the reason for a reduction in hiring activity.

CFOs were asked to list political factors causing their companies to become more cautious with hiring spending. Here are the top results:

The Presidential election: 61%

Washington gridlock or dysfunction: 54%

Proposed regulations: 45%

Changes to minimum wage: 32%

Tax reform: 28%

Perhaps most surprising, CFOs are cutting spending plans even though revenue forecasts have gone up over the past year. Companies are scaling back plans on physical and market expansions that could create new jobs. This conservative mood is not just reflected in large corporations, but in small businesses as well. Roughly one-third of 715 small-business owners, surveyed in June by The Wall Street Journal and Vistage Worldwide Inc., said that uncertainty related to the November presidential election will result in delaying their hiring, putting off investments, and/or reducing new equipment orders.

The result of this pause in hiring activity could equal opportunity for organizations that press-on in their quest to hire top talent. Decreased competition could make now the perfect time to fill a position in finance where unemployment is low and the demand for candidates is high.