Well it finally came to an end and as The Who once crooned...."Meet the new boss...same as the old boss!"
There was a lot of talk on the campaign trail by both candidates about jobs. Bush claiming that his tax cuts had created jobs and Kerry claiming that Bush policies led him to be the 1st President since Hoover to have a net job loss on his watch.
Who is right?
I am not an economist but I can tell you that it has been a long, dreary 4 years for most in the recruiting industry.
I think that the convergence of a tech bubble bursting, a terrorist attack, the anemic ROI from technology spend in CRM, the enormous growth in productivity on the shop floor due to technological spend led to significant downsizing to be sure. The corporate scandals and diminishing returns on Wall Street exacerbated the scenario and corporate profits were not significant enough to warrant adding to headcount. All of these coupled with the inevitable outsourcing to cheaper labor markets lead to a candidate rich - job order poor world.
I think the emergence of the job-boards gave corporate Human Resources the idea that they did not need to utilize recruiters as they once had(Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it).
The congress with the help of the WHite House just passed the American Job Creation Act which in essence is a tax free(5.5% Versus 35%) window of opportunity to repatriate corporate profits that have been parked overseas..The bill was lobbied as if it would create 500,000 new jobs every year for the next 10 years...Reality is setting in and now it appears that 50,000 jobs is more likely.
So, where are the jobs?
I think that we are in a calm before the storm period. There are signs that corporate capital spending is up again, new industries are cropping up to support HomeLand Security, Energy independence needs are going to create countless research positions, breakthrough sciences in environment, bio-pharm and communications will add to the new job creation, the government is going to see massive retirements and industry will be facing the same wave of retirements soon.
The jobs are coming...will it be soon enough?