President Trump: What Does it Mean for the Staffing Industry?

President Trump: What Does it Mean for the Staffing Industry?

This month a new President with the support of both a Republican-controlled House and Senate takes control. When President Trump took the oath of office, on the heels of that oath will come a host of significant changes that will impact the economic and business landscape of the country.  

More specifically, how will President Trump and his policies impact the staffing industry? While it is impossible to predict with 100 percent certainty, there are several areas in which staffing will feel the effect.

A President that enjoys the support of both a House and Senate has the opportunity to implement sweeping changes. The last time this occurred was when President Obama took office in 2009. President Trump has already outlined several key areas that he plans to change, and we’ve taken a look at the ones most likely to impact the staffing industry:

Minimum Wage
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and has been at that rate since 2009. Twenty-one states currently use the federal minimum wage, so any changes at the federal level could impact nearly 40 percent of the US workforce currently working at minimum wage according to the Economic Policy Institute. Trump has stated that he supports a higher minimum wage at $10 per hour, but has signaled that he may leave it to the states to decide. Any increase to the minimum wage has a direct impact in terms of a higher bill rate, which means higher fees.

President Trump has discussed deporting millions of undocumented workers, paving the way for US workers to get the lower-paying jobs they hold. Expect a possible expansion of the use of E-Verify, as well as a stricter enforcement of existing immigration laws. Employers looking to hire foreign workers or sponsor individuals for work visas may face new restrictions and hurdles aimed at favoring the hire of US workers over foreign employees. Increased border security may result in a gradual increase in the cost of labor according to analysts at Quality Personnel. They believe that, “To that end, we will have to continue to educate our clients on what the market will bear as far as wages are concerned, because the days of paying minimum wage or slightly above for even the most basic jobs are coming to a swift end.”

Affordable Care Act
Republicans have made it very clear that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed. President Trump has said it will be his first order of business. That being said, portions of the law will most likely remain in place, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions. However, the structure and details will most likely be significantly different. Since Trump has signaled that his administration is decidedly pro-employer, it’s assumed that any replacement would be an improvement for employers over the current law. Since a replacement has yet to be announced, the best course of action is to stay compliant with the current ACA regulations until any changes take affect.

Employment Law Daily notes that President Trump promises to place a “temporary moratorium on all new regulations, canceling overarching executive orders, and eliminating “unnecessary regulations that kill jobs and bloat government.” Also, a new administration brings new appointments to the boards of federal agencies such as the EEOC and NLRB. President Trump’s appointees are very likely to be more employer-friendly than the previous administration. As Quality Personnel analysts point out, Trump himself has promised to “reverse many of Obama’s orders and repeal two regulations for every one passed.” For small businesses, and especially for staffing companies, this could mean lower small business taxes and a lower cost of doing business as a result of fewer regulatory burdens. For example, if the ACA is repealed, small businesses with 50 FTEs or more may no longer have to offer health insurance. This could represent a significant savings.

Economic Uncertainty
With any administration promising sweeping changes, a level of economic uncertainty can take hold. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the staffing industry. Nick Ellis of notes that as regulations are removed, employers may take another look at the cost advantages of temporary / contract workers. Also, Trump’s promise to disengage from global trade agreements such as NAFTA and initiate possible trade wars (most notably with China) creates greater economic uncertainty. That often translates into employers being more hesitant to hire FTEs, which is good for staffing. Ellis points out that this may be especially true in industries such as manufacturing (where forced job growth may occur due to protectionist policies) and heavy industry / logistics as a result of increased spending on infrastructure and the raw materials and transport needed to support that spending.  

Big changes are on the horizon. For staffing companies it’s more important than ever to stay abreast of the proposed changes and make your voice heard through your state and national staffing organizations. Their job is to help ensure the staffing industry’s best interests are represented when changes to regulations and laws impacting employers are drafted. As legislative updates are announced, be sure to check Tricom’s website at We have a special Legislative Update section right on our home page. Or follow us online on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to have those updates come directly to your newsfeed.