Autumn 2010

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Although it is nearly the end of September, it feels almost like spring in one regard.  There is an attitude of hope in the air.  I sense in talking to many people that they are waiting to see the outcome of the November elections to decide how they feel about the future of private industry in the US.  In general,  they give an impression of guarded optimism.

My phone began ringing with potential candidates concerned about  job security immediately after the last election.  Since then, the economic picture has deteriorated rapidly.  I get many more calls from well qualified people looking to make a change than from companies looking to hire them.   One client, in cancelling a job order, told me that he did not feel that he could compete with the federal government in his area of industry.  I did not know that the federal government was involvevd in what he was doing.  He told me that the competition came from stimulus funding.

He said, "I can't afford to borrow $5 million to construct a new facility, knowing that someone else  may get $5 million in 'free' stimulus money  to put up a competitive shop across the street.  They won't have to charge as much as I will, since they won't have to pay their $5 million back.  As a responsible business owner, I can't afford that risk."

For many months it has felt like industry has been in hunker-down, wait and see mode.  My hope is that the outlook on the private sector economy will change for the best after the election.