Campaign workers face unemployment

Campaign workers encounter dilemma of unemployment once the election season has come to an end.

by Nasser Mussa

With billions of dollars spent on advertisements and campaign jobs, the American presidential election has become its own industrial complex, creating jobs nationwide. The problem is that these jobs melt away at the end of each election season, leaving many Americans unemployed. A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that “America’s poll workers number two million per federal election, nearly double the number of people who work for America’s largest private employer.”

Every four years, the U.S. presidential election cycle generates millions of temporary jobs across the U.S. and employs many Americans during the election season. Of course, most of these jobs end Nov. 6 when American voters elect their president and the campaign dust settles. In 2012, presidential election spending reached $6 billion and created all kinds of jobs, from community organizers to campaign managers, advertisers, web designers and political consultants. According to the Combined Federal Campaign website “more than 35,000 campaign workers serve the campaign every year, training, fundraising, engagement leaders, event planning, recording donations and more.”

Nevertheless, with the end of election season, campaign jobs vanish, leaving campaign workers in an uncertainty of post-election unemployment, which starts immediately. Ironically, both Democrats and Republicans campaigned on the slogan of creating jobs, but, like their predecessors, their slogan failed to save their own campaign workers. Earlier this week, I met Osman Ahmed who used to work for President Barack Obama’s campaign as a community organizer during this election. I asked Osman what was his biggest concern in the post-election season. “The biggest concerns for most campaign workers is unemployment; as a campaign worker you are tremendously busy in the last weeks of the campaign, and you have no time to apply for jobs or do any personal activities,” Osman said. Despite billions of dollars spent on the election that generated millions of temporary jobs, the campaign workers face the dilemma of post-election unemployment regardless of who wins the election.