CEO Blog: Post Election Job 1: Get Americans Working

If recent news projections are correct, today might be a historic election – one of the largest midterm sweeps in U.S. history.

At this point, should the Republicans win the House (and possibly the Senate), it won’t really come as a surprise. For months, polls have indicated that voters remain uneasy - about the economy, healthcare and the role/scope of government. This is an election about the economy first, voter job prospects, and America’s competitiveness in the world going forward. As one commentator put it recently, the sentiment out there isn’t so much anger as it is anguish. Americans don’t feel any better about the economy or their prospects than they did two years ago, and because of it we’re likely to see some dramatic results tonight.

I bet I know at least 14.8 million Americans that will vote today... they are the under-employed or unemployed. No matter the result from the individual races that will be decided today, this election season is a wake-up call for Capitol Hill. If Congress is going to affect real economic change and drive recovery from the recession, partisan politics must be put aside... 14.8 million people are counting on it!

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Alexandra Grablewski | Riser | Getty Images

Despite the fact that economists are armed with a bevy of models for forecasting economic trends, they can’t accurately predict job growth.

One calculation, however, is certain: with 70 percent of GDP driven by consumer spending, the economy requires employed and confident spenders. And even Americans with great jobs are not confident at this juncture.

The 112th U.S. Congress, regardless of its party composition, must embrace this chance to hit the reset button and provide a new and real framework for job creation. So far in 2010, 613,000 jobs were created equating to a monthly average of 68,111. In order to return to a 5.6 percent unemployment rate, which was last experienced in 2007, 125,000 to 150,000 jobs must be created each month just to prevent unemployment from rising. We need twice that rate of jobs growth to approach a return to 2007 unemployment levels It is easy to understand why job seekers have lost confidence.

I think the time has come to forget about further stimulus packages and bailouts – this clearly is not the path to job growth. While it can be argued that public sector spending likely kept the economy from a deep-dive depression, there’s little evidence that it’s an effective stimulant for long-term job creation. There are many in the business community who rightly believe that renewed faith and support for the private sector is required to encourage job creation; without it, there is little hope for sustained economic growth.

Without spending on bailouts, we can invest in training and education. While the overall unemployment rate hovers close to 10 percent, Americans with college degrees enjoy a relatively low 4.6 percent rate of unemployment compared to more than 14 percent for Americans that did not complete high school. Educational achievement does drive individual job prospects.

Today the public will cast their vote for a new Congress that has a new opportunity... To leave no stone unturned in considering legislation that will empower the private sector to create more jobs faster, and to ensure the competitiveness of the U.S. labor market. There is an abundance of talent ready to work if given the chance. They need a motivated, confident private sector that will create jobs in America.

Your Money Your Vote - A CNBC Special Report
Your Money Your Vote - A CNBC Special Report

The 112th U.S. Congress will have a limited window to pass legislation that will spur economic growth.

Hopefully, Congress and the Administration will figure out a way to put partisanship aside – at least for the short term – in order to enact legislation that will help spur private sector job creation and prepare future generations for great jobs. Americans should accept nothing less.


Tig Gilliam joined the Adecco Group in March 2007 as Country Manager for the USA and Canada as well as member of the Executive Committee and was appointed Regional Head of North America as of 1 October 2009. Prior to joining Adecco, Tig held positions of increasing responsibility at IBM, including Global Supply Chain Management Leader and Consumer Products Industry Leader for Global Business Services.