Message to Congress: Pass The Tax Cuts or You Will Have Failed The American People


The political barbs are being traded on Capitol Hill over the deal to extend the Bush era tax cuts. As the list of disgruntled Dems grows, worry over the fate of this deal increases as well.

One of the main reasons why President Obama said he's favor of this deal is that it will spur job creation. I decided to go to one of the big job creators in our country, Tig Gilliam, to ask about the tax deal.

Gilliam is the Regional Head of North America for Adecco Group, which does termporary staffing, permanent placement, outsourcing, consulting and outplacement. What do his clients think of this latest developments? Is he confident the deal will hold?

LL: Now that the President has come out with the Bush Tax Cuts Deal, what are you hearing from your clients in terms of what this means for job creation?

TG: We’re constantly talking to our 150,000 clients who represent virtually all of the Fortune 500 companies as well as a wide range of small and mid-sized businesses, and they’ve been nervous about the economy for some time. We have seen, however, an initial positive reaction to this compromise tax deal. The hope is that this plan will serve as a stimulus to the economy and hiring.

Beyond this tax deal, it’s important to recognize that the economy is going through something of a transformation, and this deal won’t necessarily change that. We’ve been seeing it for a while: temporary and contract hiring offers the flexibility for these still-nervous companies. We’re finding our staffing solutions are a linchpin in the current environment.

LL: There is a lot of resistance particularly in the House on this Deal. We don't even know it yet if Speaker Pelosi will put it up for a vote. If a vote fails to happen, will the impact be worse as opposed to having the cuts expire?

Tig Gilliam, Regional Head of North America for Adecco Group
Tig Gilliam, Regional Head of North America for Adecco Group

TG: From what I’ve been reading, most experts believe that this compromise deal—or something close to it—will likely pass in the Congress. There’s simply too much momentum to do this, detractors notwithstanding. If we do not get specific legislation passed to drive job growth, our Congressional and corporate leadership will have failed the American people

LL: What industries are you seeing pent up demand for jobs?

TG: Right now, we are seeing job growth across several sectors. As is typical for the early stages of most recoveries, manufacturing temporary jobs have seen a real uptick in late 2010 as production schedules get back on track. In this recovery, just like previous recoveries, the demand begins in temporary and contract assignments before moving to permanent jobs. The current holiday season has really boosted retail temporary hiring and we're seeing a significant year-over-year increase in job opportunities in that space.

More broadly speaking, however, professional services jobs in areas like IT, accounting and engineering are experiencing growth. We experienced this dynamic in this past month's jobs report which documented over 50,000 new jobs for the professional services sector, and we also anticipate this portion of the labor market to grow in 2011.

LL: Will those areas be the first to hire?

TG: Interestingly enough, businesses are hiring. The catch– and it’s been this way for a while - is that uncertainty is discouraging employers from hiring full-time and permanent workers. It is a boom time for temporary and contract work. In our wait-and-see economy, companies are careful. They are filling powerful benches for when there’s more trust in the economy. Many of the jobs we place people in will absolutely translate eventually to permanent positions as we see the economy turn.

In America, sustained economic growth requires jobs. If we don't fix the job situation, our economic recovery is at risk. With 70 percent of GDP driven by consumer spending, we need employed and confident spenders to keep the economic recovery on track.For this reason, job creation must be our first priority—and this week’s Administration announcement is an excellent step in that direction.

LL: There was a lot of doubt President Obama could move toward the center on such issues. Were you surprised? Are you hopeful the President will move center on other issues?

TG: I’m not a political pundit, so I’ll defer to others regarding the political calculus of this deal. I will say, however, that a strong jobs focus and compromise tax deal could set a good tone in Washington for other bipartisan legislation in 2011. I think most Americans are looking for solutions from Washington, and this is a good first step.


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A Senior Talent Producer at CNBC, and author of "Thriving in the New Economy:Lessons from Today's Top Business Minds."