US Presidential Election and its Impact on the Job Market

By October 2020, a whopping 23.2 million people were on unemployment benefits in the United States of America. Although with the country opening up in spades and the new president in order, the number of people filing claims for unemployment benefits is beginning to show a slight decrease in many parts of America. Though the unemployment rates still remain dismally high due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lowering federal fiscal stimulus.

With the labor services output showing signs of strained recovery, and a growing drop in the secondary sector and people spending, the staggering unemployment numbers are truly the worst job loss situation that any American president has faced going into office since the Second World War. It is then no surprise, obviously, that voters placed high value on the presidential candidates’ plans to rebuild the economy after onslaught of 2020.

Fig: US Employers Cut in March And April 2020

The US job market today is highly volatile and extremely elastic to every little change that takes place in the country. In this case, there is good news for the online recruitment market: with President Biden coming to power and the vaccination being announced there is a sweeping sense of positivity that is to take over the unemployment figures. Let us break this down for you:

Reaction to reviving economy post COVID-19

The new president and his band of followers seem to be particularly pro-vaccination as opposed to his predecessor. Therefore, the news of successful vaccines has now been met with greater furor. Americans believe that it is the to resume life as was in the pre-covid times. Inspired by the arrival of a new vaccine and an expected improvement in pandemic response from the new presidency, employers are beginning to restore their active workforces to pre-pandemic sizes. Also, the new president elect’s  plan primarily has several planks, including investing heavily in clean energy, a huge infrastructure realignment plan and bringing back jobs to America.

He is betting big on pivoting the country towards green energy. “If executed properly, our response to climate change can produce more than 10 million good jobs in the United States of America,” he says. Biden believes that the “future is renewable energy” but that will substantially hurt workers in the oil, gas and, fossil fuel sectors. 

Made in America

Biden has also proposed a whopping $700 billion plan to push the American economy. He’s espousing for the “Buy American” legislation. This would involve putting $400 billion towards buying American products and services. This will have a domino effect. The combined effort put into building and buying products made in America will redirect growth and reinvigorate the slump of the manufacturing sector. Wall Street Journal wrote, “Biden’s policies are designed in a way so that it reduces dependency on foreign countries. The pandemic clearly exposed the vulnerabilities of the country when it came to, say relying on China for critical healthcare support.” There will be an extra $300 billion redirected towards research and development that focuses on newer technologies.  

These are some of the monumental changes that are expected in the economy of the United States of America. These disruptive shifts in fiscal policies will have a direct effect on the job market. Therefore, job boards in America will now have to embrace these changes and modify their functions in accordance.

How Job Boards Could React to this Change

  1. Bring in the talent: Be it job boards, HR companies, or other ancillary industries, this turning point in the state of affairs is ripe. The job market is picking up, the unemployment rate is flailing. Everybody is going to be vying for the best talents that got laid off in 2020. Your sole job as a job board is going to leverage the situation and match the best seeker to the best job. Top recruiting firms are going to purchase slots in spades in 2021. The time is now.
  • Gig economy: Companies will also now be filling up the positions that were left blank due to the pandemic and which were operating at the bare minimum capacity; over and above the new positions that will open up due to increased government spending in research and development. Remote working will still be the norm for a dedicated proportion in 2021 and beyond. Location preferences are still going to play a negligible role. What does that mean? Greater talent pool to attract to your job board. How do you do that? Make the application process as easy as possible.
  • Technology upgradation: The technology used in job wrapping will also have to keep pace to crawl all available positions to keep the best talents attracted. The premium job wrapping services providers will have to scale up their capacity to gather more job data, classify them in real time and modify itself to any slight change in the job market and remain relevant.
  • Clean energy stimulus: Also, if there is a greater emphasis on certain industries by the government, as mentioned previously, job boards could also create a different section dedicated to those in order to facilitate user experience and remove the more redundant job requirements to the inner pages. This could be your competitive edge over other job boards. There has been a major shift in demand and some segments shall become obsolete forever. This knowledge stands to be leveraged.
  • Seasonal hiring: On the other hand, unsurprisingly, seasonal hiring has been on the uptick. It is easy, risk and contingency free, and great for busier times like Easter and Christmas. As an extension of the gig economy, job boards should also have filters for holiday hires to facilitate those looking for additional work during peak times.

Washington still has its work cut out

Long before the pandemic hit, a pre-existing trend had already seeped in. The American labour market was becoming supremely polarized. ‘Regular’ jobs had been disappearing owing to automation, deindustrialization, and the advent of the gig economy.

Too hold true to his promises and ride the wave of optimism surrounding his win, President-elect Joe Biden’s administration must answer a simple question fore-mostly: “But where will the good jobs come from?

The ones that require specific skills and that can be created only by bigger firms. To do this, you’d also have to cater to both the demand and supply side of recruitment.

On the supply side, workers must be reskilled and upskilled. On the demand side, there must be a large enough segment that is able to expand employment. Markets can’t solve the problem alone. The government must be actively involved at all levels.

While the stimulus package that was given the go-ahead in the last week of 2020 extend pandemic alleviating benefits and further expands unemployment aid by $300 per week until the end of March, more work will come into play. All in all. The future looks bright for job boards and staffing agencies. It is not time to level up to premium job scraping services to ride the tide before the hiring industry reaches saturation. We are at the bottom rung of the cycle. It can only go upwards from here.

If you liked reading this blog as much as we enjoyed writing it, please share the love. We think you might enjoy reading The Key Takeaways from the World Economic Forum on the future of jobs.

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