Economy & Budget

Hiring Uncertainty in Virginia Hinges on Election

Hiring Uncertainty in Virginia Hinges on Election

The stakes are high for small businesses in the swing state of Virginia, where hiring trends are giving a mixed message on the success of President Barack Obama’s economic policies.

The October 2012 Small Business Scorecard, a project of SurePayroll, a payroll service for small businesses, shows that small-business hiring in Norfolk has been up 7.3 percent year-over-year. In Richmond, though, it’s down 3.7 percent.

Ernest Troth, president of the business consulting company North Loudoun Corporation, said in an email, “We’re not hiring for a variety of reasons. Current policies of this administration, unpredictable total cost of employees due to increased regulation of small business under the current administration, general downturn of the economy, and unresolved election.”

“Plans may change after November 6,” he wrote.

“Other than startups spending someone else’s money, I know of no one planning to hire other than seasonal, part-time or fixed term. Fellow business owners are in fact running below optimal staffing in order to cut costs,” he wrote.

Click here to go to Human Events’ interactive election results map.

John Stirrup, former County Supervisor for Prince William County in Virginia, told Human Events on Nov. 2 that Loudoun County, where the North Loudoun Corporation is based, along with Prince William and Western Fairfax, will largely determine to whom Virginia’s electoral votes will go.

Scott Suhy, the CEO of GreenLine Systems, a security company based in Northern Virginia, said his company is doing just fine.

“We only work with federal government agencies. We’ve not seen any negative impact of sequestration,” he said.

“We have over ten-plus openings for software engineers,” he said.

GreenLine Systems, which contracts with the federal government in border, maritime, and cargo control, is in fact growing, he said.

Despite Suhy’s assessment, John Palatiello, president of advocacy group the Business Coalition for Fair Competition (BCFC), said, “The more that the government in-sources and takes work away from contractors and has the work done by government employees, the more that is going to have a very negative domino effect on employment in Virginia.”

The more government crowding out there is, the worse it’s going to be, he said.

“In-sourcing has been very much a policy of the Obama administration,” he said. “So depending on the outcome of the election, we’ll know whether we’re going to still have to deal with in-sourcing if President Obama is reelected, or if in-sourcing will go away, which is what we would expect if Governor Romney is elected.”

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