The high unemployment numbers in the U.S. aren’t going to decrease anytime soon, and without the creation of more jobs, the U.S. can’t bank on a full recovery. The federal government and our businesses are burdened with the responsibility of addressing the unemployment issue in America, and plans for job creation will be a linchpin to any candidate’s success.
For example, Mitt Romney just released his jobs plan this week called, Believe in America. And the nation is eagerly awaiting Thursday night’s speech from President Obama.
If any group of people knows what it is going to take to create jobs, it’s the people that will be making the hiring decisions: CEOs.
This week, The Wall Street Journal, published an article that outlines CEO strategies for creating jobs and stimulating the economy. The Journal asked its CEO Council, which is made up of 100 CEOs, to propose a plan to get our unemployed back to work. Although many potential strategies are named, two resounding ideas are to update our infrastructure and to heavily invest in our human capital – this can be done through education and immigration reform.
Updating our infrastructure would not only create jobs, but would also increase our competitiveness – the U.S. does not compare on a global scale. Our infrastructure is outdated; it’s as simple as that. We need the update and we need the jobs.
CEOs also recognize that our people are our most valuable resource (it’s true, even if it’s a cliché), and our human capital needs nurturing in the same way that our businesses do. This focus needs to be in technical training to promote manufacturing and in education of our future leaders.
CEOs suggest not only investing in educating our own workers, but also in bringing excellent talent into the U.S. to work for our corporations – a focus on this will require immigration reform. The CEO of Nasdaq-OMX told the Journal, “To be the best, U.S. companies need the ability to recruit the best workers. Global competition means global access to human capital. NASDAQ supports comprehensive immigration reform. We must increase the number of H-1B visas available and reform the employment-based green card process.” Other strategies proposed were:
- Lower corporate taxes- Balanced, relaxed business regulation
- Grow our export industries
- Encourage innovation
- Protect intellectual property as a way to promote global trade
- Create long-range energy policies
- Contain healthcare costs
All of these strategies were mentioned by multiple CEOs and are important pieces to solving the unemployment puzzle. The respondents here are the business leaders whose companies make up the foundation of our economy. The government is going to have to listen – CEOs do the hiring after all.