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January 31, 2012


Headline News
AMN Sells Home Health Care Business to BAYADA
Randstad: Linda Galipeau to Replace Gregory Netland as Board Member
Volt Information Sciences Provides Update on Fourth Quarter Business Performance
Compensation for Workers Increases a Bit
What IT Takes: Jobs in Information Technology

Legal Watch
NY State Department of Labor Grants Extension on Annual Notice Requirement to Staffing Industry
For Job-Seekers, a New Push to Keep Financial Skeletons Buried
Courage or Folly? Superior Court Awards Significant Attorney’s Fees Against a Defeated Trade Secret Plaintiff

Trends and Research
Hospital Hiring of Physicians Picks Up Steam
Accountemps Survey: Executives Say Humor Is Key Part of Cultural Fit
Technisource Survey: IT Worker Confidence Returns, Suggests Renewed Optimism Heading Into 2012

ASA for You
Two Free ASAPro Webinars This Week
Get Tips on Earning Government Contracts

Headline News


AMN Sells Home Health Care Business to BAYADA
News-Medical (01/31/12)

AMN Healthcare Services Inc. has completed the sale of its home health care business to BAYADA Home Health Care Inc. As a result of the sale, AMN will receive cash proceeds of $9.65 million and retain working capital of approximately $4 million. “Given significant reimbursement changes and the current uncertainty in the regulatory environment, we determined a divestiture of home health care would allow an even sharper focus on our market-leading health care work force solutions offerings,” says Susan Salka, AMN’s chief executive officer.

“Our primary strategy of evolving our innovative health care work force solutions offerings and improving profitability through growth and leverage of our leadership position in managed services programs continues to be on track,” Salka notes. “We have our sights set on another year of industry leading revenue and profitability growth and continuing to build our market share in 2012.” AMN’s 19 franchisee-owned Nursefinders offices were not included in the transaction.

Randstad: Linda Galipeau to Replace Gregory Netland as Board Member
Dow Jones Newswires (01/31/12)

Staffing company Randstad Holding NV reports that Gregory Netland has decided not to serve a second term as a member of the executive board, adding it will propose to appoint Linda Galipeau to the board for an initial four-year term. The appointment of Galipeau is subject to approval by shareholders at the upcoming annual meeting of shareholders in March. Galipeau joined Randstad U.S. in 1995 as a district manager, and is currently president of Randstad Staffing in the U.S., a position she has held since 2008.

Volt Information Sciences Provides Update on Fourth Quarter Business Performance
Volt Information Sciences News Release (01/27/12)

Volt Information Sciences Inc. has provided a business update and reported selected unaudited financial information for its fiscal 2011 fourth quarter ended Oct. 30, 2011. The company notes that, due to a previously announced accounting review, all numbers presented in this release are estimates.

Steven Shaw, Volt’s president and chief executive officer, states, “The staffing services segment, which accounts for a majority of the company’s total revenue, had approximately $473 million of revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter 2011 compared to approximately $467 million for the same period in 2010. Staffing services revenue increased approximately 1% for the quarter, and approximately 11% year-to-date, compared to the prior year. On average, approximately 31,900 U.S. staffing employees were on assignment in the quarter, compared to approximately 31,800 in the fourth quarter of 2010.”

Compensation for Workers Increases a Bit
Wall Street Journal Online (01/31/12) Eric Morath

Compensation for U.S. workers increased modestly in the final three months of 2011, an indication that a slowly improving labor market has not yet put pressure on wages. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the employment cost index rose 0.4% in October through December, up from a 0.3% advance during the third quarter. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected an increase of 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Wages and salaries grew 0.4%, compared with 0.3% in the prior period.

What IT Takes: Jobs in Information Technology
Chicago Tribune (01/30/12) Kristyn Schiavone

The number of computer science and engineering graduates has fallen from a high of 24,000 in 2001 to about 15,000 this year. Michael Dsupin, chief executive of the information technology staffing firm Talener, says there is a shortage of skilled IT professionals, particularly for the Web and mobile development. Dsupin says candidates should be passionate about technology, and given that hands-on experience is important for moving up the ranks, even those without degrees can enter the field at an intern or administrative level.

Continuing education also is important, but rapid changes mean team members can be more helpful than formal education programs in learning new programs. Recruiters say communication ability is a crucial quality for candidates to possess, as IT jobs require frequent client interaction.


Legal Watch


NY State Department of Labor Grants Extension on Annual Notice Requirement to Staffing Industry
American Staffing Association (01/31/12) Toby Malara

Members of the New York Staffing Association—an ASA-affiliated chapter—and NYSA’s lobbyist Peter Crouse recently met with officials from the New York State Department of Labor to discuss the request that the staffing industry be exempted from the Wage Theft Prevention Act’s annual notice requirement.

Crouse has since received a letter from Carmine Ruberto, director of the division of labor standards for the state DOL, indicating that “the department will waive until March 1, 2012, the requirement for temporary help firms to give their employees the required annual notice.” Staffing industry representatives hope that state labor commissioner Colleen Gardner will make a final determination by that date on the industry’s request to exempt staffing firms from the annual notification requirement. ASA will continue to keep its members updated as events unfold.

For Job-Seekers, a New Push to Keep Financial Skeletons Buried
Wall Street Journal (01/31/12) Annamaria Andriotis

California has become the seventh state to prohibit companies from doing credit checks on many job applicants, and similar bills are pending in another 19 states. On the federal level, a House subcommittee will soon review a bill that calls for a similar ban. The moves could be “a game changer for people negatively affected by this economy,” says Persis Yu, staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center.

Approximately 60% of companies report doing credit checks for some or all job candidates, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Consumer advocates note credit problems are more widespread now because of the struggling economy. Some argue that employers should hire based on skills and qualifications and not credit histories. Those in the job market “have plenty of obstacles right now and should not have…to try to defend the fact that they missed payments on bills,” says Diane Rosenbaum, an Oregon state senator whose bill banning certain credit checks became law in 2010.

Courage or Folly? Superior Court Awards Significant Attorney’s Fees Against a Defeated Trade Secret Plaintiff
Lexology (01/25/12) Charles Post

In Aerotek v. The Johnson Group Staffing Co., the Sacramento Superior Court awarded a successful defendant in a trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition case more than $730,000 in attorney’s fees. In doing so, the Court increased the fees incurred by the defendant by 33%. Michael Ponce was an employee at the Aerotek staffing firm who served as both a recruiter and a salesperson. Ponce signed a noncompete agreement where he agreed that he would not divulge Aerotek’s trade secrets which were defined to include Aerotek’s customer list, and would not solicit any of those customers following the termination of his employment at the company.

Ponce eventually went to work at the personnel recruiting and placement company The Johnson Group as a recruiter and salesperson charged with generating new employer accounts. Aerotek sued both Ponce and the Johnson Group, both times failing to recover any damages. The defendants moved the court award attorney’s fees under the California Uniform Trade Secret Act, and the court did so, citing Aerotek’s failure to seek injunctive relief at the outset of the litigation and the lack of customer loss.


Trends and Research


Hospital Hiring of Physicians Picks Up Steam
American Medical News (01/30/12) Victoria Stagg Elliot

Hospitals increased their physician hiring last year and show no signs of slowing down such hiring activity this year. “We have a work force shortage,” says Alan Kaplan, MD, vice president with Iowa Health System and president of Iowa Health Physicians and Clinics, based in Des Moines. “We would look at any physician seeking employment. I’m not saying we would want to employ all specialties, but we would look at them.”

Consulting firm Sullivan, Cotter & Associates reports that approximately 75% of health care organizations they polled increased physician staffing levels in 2011, adding an average of 12 specialists and nine primary care physicians. The same percentage said they plan to hire more physicians and midlevel practitioners in 2012. The New England Journal of Medicine reported in 2011 that more than half of practicing physicians were employed by hospitals or integrated delivery systems.

Accountemps Survey: Executives Say Humor Is Key Part of Cultural Fit
Yahoo! Finance (01/31/12)

A new survey from Accountemps, a division of Robert Half International, finds that 79% of chief financial officers interviewed said an employee’s sense of humor is important for fitting into the company’s corporate culture. CFOs were asked, “How important is an employee’s sense of humor in him or her fitting into your company’s corporate culture?” Answering “very important” were 22% of CFOs, while 57% said “somewhat important.”

“Sometimes, a little levity goes a long way toward building rapport among colleagues and diffusing workplace tension,” says Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. “Job candidates should let their personality shine when meeting prospective employers,” Messmer adds. “The interview is no place for a standup comedy routine, but it is the right time to show hiring managers you are approachable and will be easy to work with.”

Technisource Survey: IT Worker Confidence Returns, Suggests Renewed Optimism Heading Into 2012
MarketWatch (01/30/12)

The IT Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among U.S. technology workers conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Technisource, reports an increase in confidence from 47.3 to 52.0 in the fourth quarter of 2011, denoting the return of positive confidence levels (above 50) among information technology professionals. The increase in IT professionals’ confidence in the economy was largely led by a perception of more jobs being available and an increased ability to get those new jobs.


ASA for You


Two Free ASAPro Webinars This Week

Today from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time, attend the ASAPro Webinar “Conducting Harassment Investigations With Clients” and find out about staffing firms’ and clients’ legal obligations when it comes to investigating harassment claims. This Webinar is presented by Gerald L. Maatman Jr., Esq., a partner in the Chicago and New York offices of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. It’s free for ASA members ($295 for nonmembers).

This Thursday, Feb. 2, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time, attend the ASAPro Webinar “Recruit Career Activists—The Top Talent Hidden in Every Generation,” presented by human resource consultant Peter Weddle. Get a preview of his book The Career Activist Republic and learn how to identify top talent in all generations.

ASAPro Webinars are free for ASA members and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Register online at americanstaffing.net.
Get Tips on Earning Government Contracts

Selling to the federal government can provide significant revenues for your staffing firm—but the process can be a bit overwhelming. ASA offers free resources that can help you position your company for government contracting opportunities.

A series of Webinars available on ASAPro—the ASA online professional development center—teaches the basics of selling to the government, shows you how to get started, and explains how you can pursue opportunities. Participants can take an online quiz after each course and earn an electronic certification of completion to present when bidding for government contracts.

In addition, ASA members that have successfully sold to the federal government created reference tools to help their peers explore and consider doing business with the government. These resources, including information on federal procurement, federal acquisition regulation, market research, and more, are available at americanstaffing.net.

January 30, 2012


Headline News
Apple Fuels Hiring Amid Bubble 2.0 Concern
U.S. Wages Jump 0.5% in December, Spending Dips
U.S. Economy Picks Up Steam
Which Job Is Easier to Recruit: OR Nurses, ER Nurses, or ICU Nurses?
Report: Failed Drug Tests Leave Jobs Open

Legal Watch
Boehner Says He’s Confident Congress Will Extend Payroll Tax-Cut
E-Verify Brings Few Early Hassles, But Concerns Remain
NLRB Acting General Counsel Releases New Memo on Social Media Cases

Trends and Research
New Hope for Nursing Shortage
Private Sector Unions Add Members as Jobs Return

ASA for You
ASA Quarterly Employment and Sales Survey Closes Next Week
Understand How to Investigate Harassment Claims—ASAPro Webinar Tomorrow

Headline News


Apple Fuels Hiring Amid Bubble 2.0 Concern
Bloomberg (01/30/12)

Hiring in the technology sector is gaining momentum, as nearly 50% of U.S. technology companies with a market value of more than $100 million boosted employment by more than half in the most recently reported two-year period—including such firms as Apple Inc., Google Inc., and Amazon.com Inc. Some small and mid-size businesses, meanwhile, increased payrolls by almost fivefold.

Amazon and Facebook Inc. each plan to add thousands of jobs in 2012, many in new satellite offices, while many other technology firms also are stepping up their recruiting. Job candidates who have engineering and technology-related skills are in higher demand than before, notes Jesse Harriott, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Monster Worldwide Inc.

U.S. Wages Jump 0.5% in December, Spending Dips
MarketWatch (01/30/12) Jeffrey Bartash

The wages of U.S. workers increased sharply in December, with personal income rising by 0.5%, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Meanwhile, personal spending declined by less than 0.1%. As a result, the personal savings rate rose to 4.0% from 3.5% in November. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast income to rise by 0.4% and spending to increase by 0.1%.

U.S. Economy Picks Up Steam
Wall Street Journal (01/28/12) Josh Mitchell

While the U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in 18 months in the fourth quarter as companies restocked their shelves, underlying weak demand points to slower growth in the months ahead. U.S. gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.8% in the October-to-December period, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Jan. 27, the fastest pace since the second quarter of 2010.

However, growth remained below the 3% pace that many economists say is needed to quickly bring down the unemployment rate. Much of the growth was due to a surge in inventory replenishing by businesses—a trend not likely to last. Many economists expect growth to slow early this year.

Which Job Is Easier to Recruit: OR Nurses, ER Nurses, or ICU Nurses?
Wanted Analytics (01/27/12) Abby Lombardi

Recruiters have been experiencing difficulty filling nursing jobs, due to the hiring demand growing faster than the related work force. There are different types of nurses with varying degrees of difficulty and demand. Emergency room (ER) nurse jobs are likely to be the easiest to fill across the nation. There are more than 250 health care employers currently recruiting for ER nurses. Operating room (OR) nurses, by comparison, are likely to be more difficult to recruit across the U.S, as there are currently more than 700 employers recruiting for OR nurses. Intensive care nurses fall somewhat in between OR and ER nurses, with about 400 companies currently advertising job openings for their services.

Report: Failed Drug Tests Leave Jobs Open
Hamilton Journal News (Ohio) (01/29/12) Chelsey Livingston

A recent Ohio work force development report notes that companies in the state are complaining that despite Ohio’s more than 80,000 job openings, finding enough workers who can pass drug tests to fill these positions remains a challenge. Sandy Oakes, a training recruiter at the Belcan Staffing Solutions office in Fairfield—a temporary job company that screens applicants with drug tests and background checks for employers—says that 5% to 10% of the hundreds of applicants are failing their drug tests. However, she notes that percentage is actually lower than in previous years, when at least 25% failed. “I feel it’s due to the fact it’s so hard to find a job. I think they know that so they’re trying to clean their act up, where before, I think they used to think, ‘Oh, I’ll fail today, but I’ll get a job tomorrow,’” Oakes says. “It is not that way anymore.”


Legal Watch


Boehner Says He’s Confident Congress Will Extend Payroll Tax-Cut
Bloomberg Business Week (01/30/12) Ian Katz

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is expressing confidence that Congress will reach bipartisan agreement on a payroll tax-cut extension supported by President Barack Obama. “We are in a formal conference with the Senate, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to resolve this fairly quickly,” says Boehner. A short-term extension of the payroll tax cut expires Feb. 29, and the president is seeking to have it extended until the end of 2012. Unless Congress acts, the two percentage point payroll tax-break for employees will lapse, as will emergency unemployment benefits.

E-Verify Brings Few Early Hassles, But Concerns Remain
Tennessean (01/29/12) Duane Marsteller

Tennessee businesses say the new state law requiring all private employers with 500 or more employees must check each new hire’s work status has caused few problems so far, but cost and discrimination concerns remain. The companies can check their workers’ identity and authority to work in the U.S. with the federal E-Verify system or by requiring a driver’s license, birth certificate, or other identity-confirming document.

However, some worry the law could have deeper consequences as it gets applied to smaller businesses. Those with 200 to 499 employees must meet the new requirements by July 1, while businesses with six to 249 employees have a year after that to comply. “It makes our job easier, but it is a bit of a hassle in terms of having to be the police force,” says Steven Rollins, president of Nashville Wire Products Manufacturing Co., which employs approximately 550 people. The extra cost is $3 an employee for his company, which hires through temporary firms, he says.

NLRB Acting General Counsel Releases New Memo on Social Media Cases
Employment Law Daily (01/27/12)

Lafe Solomon, the acting general counsel for the U.S. National Labor Relations Board, has released a new report providing guidance on the rules employers are allowed place on employees when discussing work on social media. The NLRB says that “employer policies should not be so sweeping that they prohibit the kinds of activity protected by federal labor law, such as the discussion of wages or working conditions among employees.” However, “an employee’s comments on social media are generally not protected if they are mere gripes not made in relation to group activities among employees.”


Trends and Research


New Hope for Nursing Shortage
Modern Medicine (01/24/12)

Since 2002, there has been a steady increase in the number of people becoming registered nurses. A study published by the RAND Corp., Vanderbilt University, and Dartmouth College finds a long-term steady increase in the number of people becoming registered nurses. The number of people aged 23 to 26 who became registered nurses increased by 62% from 2002 to 2009.

“The spike we’ve seen in young women becoming registered nurses is dramatic,” says David Auerbach, the study’s lead author and an economist at RAND. “If the trend continues, it will help to ease some of the concerns about future nursing shortages.” Some researchers have warned the U.S. could experience a shortage of 400,000 registered nurses by the year 2020. But the new RAND study concludes that if the number of individuals entering the nursing profession continues to grow at the current rate, the nation’s projected nursing needs will be fully met by 2030. “These findings were a real surprise and are a very positive development for the future health care work force in the U.S.,” says Auerbach. “Compared to where nursing supply was just a few years ago, the change is just incredible.”

Private Sector Unions Add Members as Jobs Return
Associated Press (01/27/12) Sam Hananel

Union membership grew slightly in 2011, providing some hope to labor leaders that a period of steep declines has finally bottomed out. The number of unionized workers increased by approximately 50,000 to nearly 14.8 million members in 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Jan. 27. That increase comes after unions lost nearly 1.4 million members over the previous two years.

Florida saw the largest increase in union members last year, up 68,000, followed by Michigan, a 44,000 increase as auto industry employment surged. Union membership fell most sharply in New York, down 53,000. New York remains the most heavily unionized state at 24%, while North Carolina has the lowest union rate at 2.9%. Among full-time wage and salary workers, the median weekly earnings of union members were $938, compared with $729 for nonunion workers.


ASA for You


ASA Quarterly Employment and Sales Survey Closes Next Week

The ASA quarterly survey on temporary and contract staffing, which collects data on sales, payroll, and employment, is now open for the fourth quarter of 2011. The Web-based survey takes only about 15 minutes to complete. Participants receive a free exclusive report on the results, which includes payroll data available nowhere else. ASA research partner Inavero, a market research firm, administers the survey to ensure confidentiality of participant data.

Data are due Feb. 6, and results will be released Feb. 21. Register today to take the survey or download a sample questionnaire. For more information, contact Alexandra Karaer, ASA director of research, at 703-253-2048 or akaraer@americanstaffing.net.
Understand How to Investigate Harassment Claims—ASAPro Webinar Tomorrow

Tomorrow, Jan. 31, from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time, attend the ASAPro Webinar “Conducting Harassment Investigations With Clients” and find out about staffing firms’ and clients’ legal obligations when it comes to investigating harassment claims. This Webinar is presented by Gerald L. Maatman Jr., Esq., a partner in the Chicago and New York offices of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. It’s free for ASA members ($295 for nonmembers).

ASAPro Webinars qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Visit americanstaffing.net to register.

January 27, 2012


Headline News
Robert Half International Posts 72% Higher Profit
Is High, Single-Digit Unemployment the ‘New Normal?’
Leading Economic Indicators Rise 0.4% in December
U.S. GDP Rises 2.8%
Fed’s Lacker Says Economy May Warrant Earlier Rate Increase

Legal Watch
Labor Board Chief to Push Union Organizing Rules
Both Sides in Labor Fight Point to Oklahoma Right-to-Work Law
Employer Liable for $156,000 in Back Wages to H-1B Employee Who Never Worked for the Company

Trends and Research
‘Small’ IT Market Attracts Big Companies
OfficeTeam Survey: Work/Life Balance, Learning Opportunities Have Greatest Impact on Job Satisfaction

ASA for You
Understand How to Investigate Harassment Claims—ASAPro Webinar Tuesday

Headline News


Robert Half International Posts 72% Higher Profit
Associated Press (01/26/12)

Staffing firm Robert Half International Inc. reported its fourth-quarter profit jumped 72% to $42.6 million, or 30 cents a share, from $24.8 million, or 17 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31 rose 14% to $973.5 million from $851.6 million. Rising demand for its placement services fueled the sharp increase in revenue. The results fell short of analysts’ consensus forecast, which called for earnings of 31 cents a share on $986.2 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Robert Half officials note the company is seeing strong demand for skilled talent, particularly in the technology and accounting sectors. Revenue in the company’s largest division, Accountemps, increased 14% to $363.8 million, and all its segments posted higher revenue for the quarter.

“Our specialized staffing divisions and Protiviti reported solid results in the fourth quarter. This marks the sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit, year-over-year revenue growth for the company,” says Harold Messmer Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Robert Half. “Additionally, growth rates in net income and earnings per share have significantly exceeded revenue growth rates during this period.”

Is High, Single-Digit Unemployment the ‘New Normal?’
Wall Street Journal Online (01/27/12) Neal Lipschutz

ManpowerGroup chairman and chief executive Jeff Joerres agrees with the proposition that there is a “new normal” of higher-than-desired unemployment in the U.S. “There’s no reason to suspect any time in the next three years we will find ourselves under 7% unemployment,” says Joerres, noting that would mean “almost eight years of high, single-digit” unemployment. Joerres predicts that demand will remain the bottom line for hiring and will trump all the structural issues afflicting the ability of so many people to find and keep jobs.

Joerres says those now out of work for a long time are actually worse off than during the Great Depression because now a long-term unemployed worker finds a job market and skill demands that essentially are in constant flux. Some of these trends play well to the fortunes of ManpowerGroup, especially the increasing numbers of companies looking for more “flexible” work forces, Joerres notes.

Leading Economic Indicators Rise 0.4% in December
MarketWatch (01/26/12) Ruth Mantell

The Conference Board reports that its index of leading economic indicators grew 0.4% in December, led by the interest-rate spread and jobless claims, compared with growth of 0.2% in November. “Looking ahead, the big question remains whether cooling conditions elsewhere will limit domestic growth or, conversely, growth in the U.S. will lend some economic support to the rest of the globe,” says Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein. Economists had expected a December gain of 0.9%.

U.S. GDP Rises 2.8%
Dow Jones Newswires (01/27/12) Josh Mitchell

The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in more than a year and a half in the final three months of 2011, signaling a stronger recovery took hold despite troubles in other parts of the world. The U.S. economy grew 2.8% in the final three months of 2011, propelled by increases in consumer spending and business inventories, according to data from the U.S. Commerce Department. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected 3.0% growth.

Fed’s Lacker Says Economy May Warrant Earlier Rate Increase
Bloomberg Business Week (01/27/12) Joshua Zumbrun

U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond president Jeffrey Lacker says interest rates may need to rise before late 2014 to prevent an increase in inflation, dissenting from the central bank’s Jan. 25 decision to pledge keeping its benchmark interest rate near zero “at least through late 2014.” Lacker says economic conditions are not likely “to warrant an exceptionally low federal funds rate for so long. I expect that as economic expansion continues, even if only at a moderate pace, the federal funds rate will need to rise in order to prevent the emergence of inflationary pressures,” he adds.


Legal Watch


Labor Board Chief to Push Union Organizing Rules
Associated Press (01/26/12)

U.S. National Labor Relations Board chairman Mark Pearce is calling for new rules that would give unions help in organizing members, despite complaints from Republicans and business groups who say the board is going too far. Now that the board has a full component of five members—due to three vacancies being filled by President Obama earlier this month—Pearce wants the board to propose the rules soon.

Pearce is pushing to require businesses to hand over lists of employee phone numbers and e-mail addresses to union leaders before an election, and also wants the board to consider other rule changes such as the use of electronic filings and quicker timetables for certain procedures. Business groups say the latest push confirms their fears that the new board will approve even more rules that make it easier for unions to organize new members. “If they’re going to go forward on that basis, I think that removes any pretense at all that they are not in the back pocket of the union movement,” says Randel Johnson, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vice president on labor issues.

Both Sides in Labor Fight Point to Oklahoma Right-to-Work Law
Wall Street Journal (01/27/12) Melanie Trottman

Indiana is expected to soon adopt a right-to-work law, and both sides in the debate are examining the experience of Oklahoma, the last state to ease union-dues requirements under a similar law. Both supporters and opponents of the measure have cited Oklahoma as the test case for whether adopting a right-to-work law sends jobs to a state. After passing its right-to-work law in 2001, Oklahoma’s economy has held up better than the national economy. The state’s unemployment rate was 6.1% in December, compared with the national rate of 8.5%. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce says the state’s employment growth is third-highest in the nation.

However, many economists say it is not possible to determine precisely how much, if at all, the law improved Oklahoma’s jobs picture. Some observers say the evidence suggests that the change has neither been the panacea proponents promised nor the destructive force on wages and quality jobs that opponents warned it would be. A study on right-to-work laws between 2001 and 2006 found the economies of these states grew an average of 3.4%, compared with 2.6% for states without the laws.

Employer Liable for $156,000 in Back Wages to H-1B Employee Who Never Worked for the Company
Lexology (01/23/12) Eliot Norman

The U.S. Department of Labor administrative law judge held in Matter of Ganze & Co. that failure to notify U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of termination of an H-1B can cost thousands of dollars. Ganze terminated the worker six weeks before he was to start work in Oct. 1, 2008, but never did the three things every H-1B employer must do: mail notice to the worker; mail notice to USCIS so that the I-129 Petition can be cancelled; and pay for his flight home. The company did not comply until long after the worker returned at his own expense to Indonesia. The judge held that as a result he was never legally terminated, and Ganze has to pay him $156,000 in wages for work never performed, legal fees, and pre-judgment and post-judgment interest.

H-1B employees often request that employers not terminate the H-1B to facilitate their search for new jobs. Human resource managers should consider carefully their obligations to the worker and to USCIS.


Trends and Research


‘Small’ IT Market Attracts Big Companies
Wall Street Journal (01/26/12) Sarah Needleman

With the use of external information technology support among small businesses growing dramatically, large companies like Apple Inc. and Best Buy Co. are getting into the market, providing new competition to independent consultants who typically handle such needs. U.S. businesses with fewer than 500 employees spent approximately $23.5 billion on IT services in 2011, and are projected to spend $27.2 billion on IT services by 2015, according to the research firm IDC.

Many small businesses and start-ups are reluctant to hire new employees, but spending on technology and IT services can help a company operate more efficiently, or make it possible for an owner who travels to manage his or her business from a remote location. The advent of cloud computing has dramatically increased the options now available to small businesses to include such services as analytics, software customization, disaster recovery, and video conferencing.

OfficeTeam Survey: Work/Life Balance, Learning Opportunities Have Greatest Impact on Job Satisfaction
MarketWatch (01/26/12)

OfficeTeam, a division of Robert Half International Inc., reports professionals it interviewed identified work/life balance (28%) and opportunities to learn and grow (27%) as the top contributors to their job satisfaction. The results are in line with those from a similar survey in which managers were asked about the factors most tied to employee morale.

“Professional priorities change over time,” says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Because there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for encouraging job satisfaction, supervisors should get to know their team members individually to better understand what motivates and inspires each of them.”


ASA for You


Understand How to Investigate Harassment Claims—ASAPro Webinar Tuesday

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time, attend the ASAPro Webinar “Conducting Harassment Investigations With Clients” and find out about staffing firms’ and clients’ legal obligations when it comes to investigating harassment claims. This Webinar is presented by Gerald L. Maatman Jr., Esq., a partner in the Chicago and New York offices of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. It’s free for ASA members ($295 for nonmembers).

ASAPro Webinars qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Visit americanstaffing.net to register.

January 26, 2012


Headline News
Jobless Claims Rise, But Trend Shows Improvement
Fed Sees Low Rates to 2014
U.S. Durable Goods Orders Beat Expectations
New U.S. Car Plants Signal Renewal for Manufacturing
Mass Layoff Actions Rose in December
Health Care: Jobs Will Be Hard to Create
Fastest Growing Programming Skills Required in Online Job Ads

Legal Watch
Indiana Right-to-Work Bill Advances
Workers’ Comp Costs Driven by Recession
E-Verify Now a Must for Larger Firms

ASA for You
Differentiate Your Firm—ASAPro Webinar Today
Keep Your Compensation Competitive

Headline News


Jobless Claims Rise, But Trend Shows Improvement
Reuters (01/26/12)

Jobless claims climbed by 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 377,000 in the week ended Jan. 21, the U.S. Labor Department reports. However, the underlying trend continued to point to improving labor market conditions. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims increasing to 370,000. The four-week moving average for initial claims, seen as a better measure of labor market trends, fell 2,500 to 377,500.

Fed Sees Low Rates to 2014
Wall Street Journal (01/26/12) Luca Di Leo; Jon Hilsenrath

U.S. Federal Reserve officials expect to keep short-term interest rates near zero for almost three more years and have signaled they could restart a bond-buying program in another effort to provide a spark for the economy. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke says central bank officials are a little more confident that inflation is settling down after climbing last year, potentially giving the Fed leeway to take more action to support the economy, though he has not committed to it.

The Fed also formally declared it wants inflation of 2% a year in the long run in hopes of assuring the public it will not allow inflation to either rise or fall too much. However, Bernanke suggests he might let inflation run slightly above that for a little while if it would help to lower the unemployment rate.

U.S. Durable Goods Orders Beat Expectations
Bloomberg (01/26/12) Bob Willis

Orders for U.S.-made durable goods rose 3.0% in December after a revised 4.3% gain the prior month that was more than previously estimated, the U.S. Commerce Department reports. Economists projected a 2.0% increase, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Increases in consumer and business spending, combined with lean inventories, may keep driving production in coming months and spur the expansion.

New U.S. Car Plants Signal Renewal for Manufacturing
Wall Street Journal (01/26/12) Neal Boudette

A large supply of affordable labor and favorable foreign exchange rates have helped the U.S. emerge as a favored location for making cars and trucks to be exported to markets around the world—especially for Japan’s big three auto makers. Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., and Nissan Motor Co. are increasing capacity in their U.S. plants with the intention of shipping U.S.-made models to other parts of the world.

“The weaker dollar makes it more advantageous to export” from the U.S., says Bill Krueger, vice chairman of Nissan’s operations in North and South America. “We continue to grow our capacity in our U.S. plants. We’re adding shifts and hiring workers.” The company is in the process of hiring 2,500 additional workers at two plants in Smyrna, TN. One hundred and fifty engineers are also being added at a technical center in Farmington Hills, MI. Toyota and Honda are also planning to increase output at their U.S. plants.

Mass Layoff Actions Rose in December
Business First of Louisville (01/25/12)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that businesses took a seasonally adjusted 1,384 mass layoff actions in December that involved 145,648 workers, as measured by new filings for unemployment benefits during the month. Mass layoff events in December increased by 52 from November, and associated initial claims increased by 14,021. Each mass layoff involved at least 50 workers from a single company. California recorded the highest number of mass layoff initial claims in December, followed by Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and New York. There were 18,521 mass layoff events for all of 2011, the lowest such number since 2007.

Health Care: Jobs Will Be Hard to Create
National Journal (01/25/12) Meghan McCarthy

President Barack Obama has repeatedly made it clear that he sees the health care sector as a place ripe for jobs growth. The American Association of Medical Colleges projects a shortage of 90,000 doctors over the next 10 years, while the American Nursing Association sees a potential shortage of 260,000 nurses by 2025. These shortfalls will only increase as an additional 30 million people get health insurance under the 2010 health care reform law.

However, a national work force commission established under the health care law has been chronically underfunded by Congress, and the training programs that will be needed to fix these shortages have a slim chance of obtaining any funds. Meanwhile, the medical device industry says the cost of the health care reform law is already causing layoffs. The American Hospital Association, meanwhile, warns that a coming 2% cut to Medicare and other cuts will cost them 278,000 jobs as revenue drops from Medicare and Medicaid.

Fastest Growing Programming Skills Required in Online Job Ads
Wanted Analytics (01/25/12) Abby Lombardi

Among the fastest growing computer programming skills in demand are Ruby, REST, and JSON. In December, recruiters posted more than 3,200 job ads for computer programmers that included Ruby as one of their skill requirements, representing a 40% increase in demand compared to December 2010. The volume of job ads that included REST requirements increased 60% between December 2010 and December 2011. Hiring demand for JSON has grown the most since 2007. In December 2011, about 2,200 jobs were advertised online that included requirements for this skill set, a total 930% higher than the one in December 2007.


Legal Watch


Indiana Right-to-Work Bill Advances
Wall Street Journal (01/26/12) Jack Nicas; Kris Maher

The Indiana House approved legislation on Jan. 25 that would ban contracts requiring employees to pay union dues, ending Democratic efforts to block the bill and making final passage almost certain for the country’s first right-to-work law in more than 10 years. The measure now heads to the Indiana Senate, which is expected to move the legislation to Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels by Feb. 1. “This is going to embolden Republican presidential candidates to talk about a national right-to-work law,” says Gary Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University. At least nine states have right-to-work legislation pending.

Workers’ Comp Costs Driven by Recession
Sacramento Business Journal (01/25/12) Kelly Johnson

A new study from the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute concludes that the recession contributed to indemnity costs per claim in California growing faster from 2007 to 2009 than in prior years. Between 2002 and 2005, California’s indemnity costs per claim dropped almost 30% as a result of reforms. But the organization reports that costs per claim rose at an annual rate of 7% between 2007 and 2009, despite little change in the average weekly wage of injured California workers during that time. The average duration of temporary disability claims increased by one week per year during the recession, which drove much of the recent increase in indemnity costs.

WCRI says the data is possible evidence that the recession had an impact on workers’ compensation costs. “During a recession period, one would typically expect to see slower wage growth, slower return to work (because there are fewer jobs available due to higher unemployment rate), and more incentive to settle cases for both parties because of greater uncertainty regarding the future,” the report states.

E-Verify Now a Must for Larger Firms
Shelbyville Times-Gazette (Tennessee) (01/25/12) John Carney

Businesses that employ 500 or more people are now required to either use E-Verify, the federal government’s electronic employment eligibility verification program, to check the citizenship status of newly hired employees, or else ask for and keep a file copy of verifying documents. Many Tennessee businesses have already been using the E-Verify program for years. “We’ve been utilizing the program for some while now,” says Wendy Bruer of HG Staffing. “It’s very easy. It only takes a few minutes per employee.”

Bruer notes that before E-Verify, some businesses paid to have Social Security checks done. She adds that the nature of the staffing company business means that she processes more inquiries a week than most normal businesses would. “If I can do it,” she says, “then any employer should be able to.” Bruer says she has had only a couple of nonconfirmations—cases where the E-Verify system has flagged an employee’s citizenship status. The employee must then go to a Social Security office to sort out the matter, and the potential employer will be notified once the matter has been resolved.


ASA for You


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January 25, 2012


Headline News
Express Employment Professionals Reports Record Year for 2011; Sales Up 22%
Wall Street Transcript Interviews Randstad Head Gregory Netland
TEKsystems Survey Reveals IT Job Seekers Crave a More Personal Touch in the Job Search Process
Unemployment Rates Fall in Most States
Job Market’s Split Personality

Legal Watch
A Tax Proposal Is Brought Out Again
Division Over Payroll Tax Widens
Companies Pay Millions for Hiring Illegal Immigrants
Indiana Moves Closer to Right-to-Work Law

Trends and Research
Labor Forecast Predicts 5.0% Increase in Demand for Temporary Workers in 2012 First Quarter

ASA for You
ASA Members: Get Free ASAPro Webinars and Archived Courses

Headline News


Express Employment Professionals Reports Record Year for 2011; Sales Up 22%
Yahoo! Finance (01/24/12)

Express Employment Professionals reports that 2011 sales increased by 22% to top $2.1 billion, as businesses continue to rely heavily on temporary staffing solutions amid an uncertain economy. Express helped the most people in its 29-year history—more than 335,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada—find a job in 2011. Express associates worked an average of 2.4 million hours per week at more than 550 franchise locations in the U.S., Canada, and South Africa.

In the two years after the Great Recession ended in June 2009, U.S. staffing firms created more new jobs than any other industry, according to the American Staffing Association.

Wall Street Transcript Interviews Randstad Head Gregory Netland
Yahoo! Finance (01/24/12)

Gregory Netland, North American chief executive officer and executive board member of Randstad, talked about the firm’s strategies in an interview with The Wall Street Transcript. Randstad “is very focused on continuous market share gains. We want to be in the top three in every major market around the world,” according to Netland. He says the company has “a focus on shaping the world of work, and that focus is on providing added value to our candidates, added value to our clients, and being a leader in the industry, both from a what-we-do perspective and how-we-do-it perspective.” Netland notes Randstad has become the No. 2 human resource services organization in the world, and says that “the U.S. [market] will, on a go-forward basis, be around 20% of revenue.”

TEKsystems Survey Reveals IT Job Seekers Crave a More Personal Touch in the Job Search Process
MarketWatch (01/24/12)

Information technology staffing solutions firm TEKsystems reports its quarterly IT Professional Perspectives Survey found IT professionals primarily value clear and realistic views of a job opportunity and feedback throughout the hiring process. “As IT professionals go through their own process of job searching, organizations should go through a similar self-evaluation to determine what skills, knowledge, and abilities enable people to excel within their organization,” says TEKsystems director, Rachel Russell. “Job boards present challenges to employers due to the abundance of résumés and the tendency for skill exaggeration on résumés. The unrivaled leader in terms of effective job search tactics is networking. Credible referrals from people you trust are the best avenue to a new job that’s a truly good fit.”

When asked who they consult with most frequently during the job search process, 59% of IT professionals report the No. 1 resource they confer with is a recruiter. “IT professionals want to talk with someone who can shed real light on an opportunity rather than just sharing what’s written on the job description. Many IT hiring managers are just too busy to make all these calls and share all this information themselves; and a job board, of course, cannot speak to potential candidates. That’s where great recruiters come in,” states Russell.

Unemployment Rates Fall in Most States
Wall Street Journal Online (01/24/12) Josh Mitchell

New government data indicate the jobless rate fell in 37 states and Washington, DC, in December as the labor market strengthened. The Jan. 24 report shows the gains are spread across the nation, and that most of the gains are due to employers adding jobs rather than workers falling out of the labor force. The number of people with jobs rose in 25 states and Washington, DC. Jobs declined in 24 states and were unchanged in one state. Texas enjoyed the largest increase in nonfarm payrolls with 20,200 added jobs, followed by Indiana (15,000 new jobs) and California (10,700). New York, Missouri, and Washington state saw the biggest declines in jobs.

Job Market’s Split Personality
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (01/25/12)

The declining unemployment rate and increased reports of companies that are hiring paints the picture of an economy that is making progress, though it appears to be unsteady and uneven, with hiring up in some sectors and down in others. In Georgia—the only one of the nation’s dozen largest states that has not added jobs in the past 12 months—nearly 460,000 residents are unemployed and looking for work, and more than half of them have been out of work six months or longer.

However, the white-collar world has started to perk up, say some staffing companies. Tennille Hall, vice president of Accounting Principals Inc. in Atlanta, says she has seen increased demand for accountants and information technology specialists. “If you have a ‘demand skill-set,’ if you are dedicated and want to work, there’s a place for you,” she says. Hiring for marketing professionals has also been picking up, according to Jodi Gill, president of the Experts Bench in Duluth, GA. “We are starting to see money moving in the marketplace. Our business has almost doubled from a year ago,” she says. “We’ve especially had a lot of demand for consultants in the last 90 days.”


Legal Watch


A Tax Proposal Is Brought Out Again
New York Times (01/25/12) Jonathan Weisman

President Obama used his State of the Union address to once again propose ending tax incentives that move jobs overseas. Obama has promised since his 2008 campaign for the presidency to change tax measures that he says lure American companies to invest and expand overseas, but the proposals have gone nowhere in the face of stiff opposition from corporations that say the proposals would kill their economic competitiveness.

The proposals Obama unveiled Tuesday night would simplify those earlier measures by creating an international minimum tax that companies with overseas profits would have to pay. Currently, companies with overseas operations can park their foreign profits offshore indefinitely and tax free. Obama also proposed a lower tax rate for domestic manufacturers and additional tax breaks for high-tech manufacturing.

Division Over Payroll Tax Widens
Roll Call (01/25/12) Daniel Newhauser; Humberto Sanchez

Another hurdle was placed in the path of a bipartisan agreement to extend the payroll tax cut through the end of the year as top Senate Democrats on Jan. 24 called for a package of tax extenders to be included in conference committee discussions. The conferees have about a month to craft a deal, or payroll taxes will go up for millions of Americans.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants the committee to expand its portfolio and include extenders for more than 80 tax provisions that expired at the beginning of the new year, such as deductions for state and local taxes. “All these [tax credits] are extremely important and are job-creating in and of themselves,” says Reid. “I am afraid if we don’t do it now with this conference, we are not going to do it until the end of the year and a lot of businesses will be hurt.” Republicans, meanwhile, are insisting that a provision to hasten approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline be included in any final deal the committee produces. President Barack Obama earlier this month decided to at least temporarily deny a permit to build the pipeline.

Companies Pay Millions for Hiring Illegal Immigrants
Houston Chronicle (01/25/12) Susan Carroll

U.S. immigration officials and federal prosecutors announced on Jan. 24 they had reached a $2 million settlement with Advanced Containment System Inc. in exchange for avoiding criminal prosecution. Approximately 44% of ACI’s Houston work force from 2005 to 2009 was in the country illegally and was paid an estimated $2 million during that time. A second Houston company, Champion Window, also has agreed to forfeit $2 million to the government after an audit last year found 269 of its 451 workers—about 60% of its work force—lacked legal status.

“Each company is forfeiting a substantial amount of money,” says Robert Rutt, special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations in Houston. “It sends a message that these actions—while not criminally prosecuted—still have consequences.” The deals are part of the Obama administration’s strategy to target employers that knowingly hire illegal immigrants, rather than staging high-profile workplace raids. In the 2010 fiscal year, U.S. immigration officials’ work site probes resulted in a record $36.6 million in judicial fines, forfeitures, and restitutions.

Indiana Moves Closer to Right-to-Work Law
Wall Street Journal (01/25/12) Jack Nicas

The Indiana General Assembly appears set to pass what would be the nation’s first right-to-work law in a decade. Rep. Patrick Bauer, the leader of the Indiana House Democrats, concedes that his party is losing its ability to block passage of the measure after House Republicans voted down Democrats’ amendment for a statewide referendum on the bill.

The proposed legislation would ban contracts that require all employees to pay union dues, whether or not they are union members. Supporters say a right-to-work law would lure businesses to Indiana, while opponents warn it would lead to lower wages. There are 22 right-to-work states, but most have low unionization rates. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and fellow Republicans in the Indiana legislature have sought to make their state the first right-to-work state in the heavily unionized upper Midwest, home to many of the nation’s manufacturing jobs.


Trends and Research


Labor Forecast Predicts 5.0% Increase in Demand for Temporary Workers in 2012 First Quarter
G. Palmer & Associates (01/17/12)

Demand for temporary workers in the U.S. is expected to increase 5.0% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the 2012 first quarter, when compared with the same period in 2011, according to the latest Palmer Forecast. The Palmer Forecast indicated an 8.8% increase in temporary help for the just-ended 2011 fourth quarter. Actual results came in at a 6.2% increase, which was slightly lower than anticipated, reflecting delayed hiring due to uncertainties in the marketplace.

“Our forecast for the first quarter of 2012 follows recent trends showing growth and indicating another increase in demand for temporary workers, marking the ninth consecutive quarter of year-over-year increases,” says Greg Palmer, founder and managing director of the staffing consulting firm G. Palmer & Associates. “However, there have been three consecutive months of downward year-over-year increases, compared with 2010. In addition, there was a surprising sequential decrease of 0.3% vs. the normal 0.3% seasonally adjusted increase from November to December, and a loss of 7,500 temporary jobs in the month of December.”


ASA for You


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January 24, 2012

Staffing Employment Up 4.0% Year-to-Year

Staffing employment in January is 4.0% higher than it was in January 2011, according to the ASA Staffing Index, and 7.5% lower than it was in December 2011. The index for January is 86, down seven points from the 93 reported for December. Typically, staffing employment peaks somewhere between mid-November and mid-December, after which it plummets unfettered for several weeks before turning upward in mid-January.
Full Story Available


Headline News
No More Résumés, Say Some Firms
Average Silicon Valley Tech Salary Passes $100,000
Analyst Upgrades AMN Healthcare
CRGT to Buy Federal Unit of Ciber for $40 Million
Some South Dakota Staffing Firms Upset That Wisconsin Company Awarded $5 Million Recruiting Contract
Robert Half Survey Finds Executives More Open to Salary Negotiation

Legal Watch
Efforts to Protect Jobless From Hiring Bias Spur Debate
Job Bias Claims at Record Level

Trends and Research
More Workers Moving for Out-of-State Jobs
Seniors Decide Retirement Doesn’t Suit Them, Keep Working

ASA for You
Differentiate Your Firm—ASAPro Webinar This Week
Market Your Business With Free Tools From ASA

Headline News


No More Résumés, Say Some Firms
Wall Street Journal (01/24/12) Rachel Emma Silverman

While most companies still request a résumé from those applying for a job, some are relying more on social networks, video profiles, and online quizzes to gauge candidates’ suitability for a job. IGN Entertainment Inc., a gaming and media firm, launched a program dubbed Code Foo, in which it taught programming skills to passionate gamers with little experience, paying participants while they learned. The company then posted a series of challenges on its Web site aimed at gauging candidates’ thought processes, and also asked candidates to submit a video demonstrating their love of gaming and the firm’s products. Several of the nearly 30 people eventually hired full-time were nontraditional applicants who did not attend college or who had thin work experience. “If we had just looked at their résumés at the moment we wouldn’t have hired them,” says Greg Silva, IGN’s vice president of people and places.

Average Silicon Valley Tech Salary Passes $100,000
Wall Street Journal (01/24/12) Pui-Wing Tam

A new survey from tech-jobs Web site operator Dice Holdings Inc. finds that average annual salaries for California’s Silicon Valley technology workers passed the $100,000 mark in 2011. Salaries for software and other engineering professionals in Silicon Valley increased 5.2% to an average $104,195 last year, outdoing the average 2% increase, to $81,327, in tech-workers’ salaries nationwide.

Several Web companies—such as LinkedIn Corp. and Zynga—went public in 2011, with Facebook poised for an initial public offering in 2012. Their success has sparked the creation of numerous new start-ups, which in turn has spurred a hiring war for software engineers and others. “There’s a tussle for talent growing in Silicon Valley and employers have to pay up,” says Tom Silver, a Dice senior vice president. Overall, tech-job postings in Silicon Valley on Dice increased to 5,026 earlier in January, up 26% from 3,974 a year ago, he notes, even as tech-jobs postings nationwide only increased 11% over the same period.

Analyst Upgrades AMN Healthcare
Associated Press (01/23/12)

BMO Capital Markets analyst Jeffrey Silber raised his rating on AMN Healthcare shares, saying that profit growth should improve at the San Diego-based health care staffing firm. BMO released a report saying that conditions have improved for the health care staffing industry. “While it may take some time for health care staffing to return to its pre-Great Recession levels, we believe that the worst is behind the industry and that growth could continue to accelerate in 2012—one of the only staffing sectors likely to experience that,” says Silber.

AMN has reported strong revenue growth in 2011, including a 37% increase in the third quarter. The company says it had an average of 5,300 staffers on assignment per day during the quarter, an improvement of approximately 65% from a year ago. AMN expects to complete the sale of its home health care business during the first quarter of this year.

CRGT to Buy Federal Unit of Ciber for $40 Million
CBS News (01/23/12)

Government technology contractor CRGT Inc. has signed a deal to acquire the federal division of information technology staffing company Ciber Inc. for $40 million. The deal is expected to close within 90 days. Ciber plans to use proceeds from the sale above $25 million to pay down debt.

Some South Dakota Staffing Firms Upset That Wisconsin Company Awarded $5 Million Recruiting Contract
Associated Press (01/23/12)

Several South Dakota staffing companies have expressed unhappiness with Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s decision to award a $5 million worker recruiting contract to ManpowerGroup to find 1,000 out-of-state workers in financial services, information technology, engineering, and manufacturing to move to South Dakota. Some in-state businesses say they felt shut out of the process. Five companies besides ManpowerGroup submitted bids, including three with offices in South Dakota.

Daugaard officials say the bid process followed state law. The state Legislature must approve the $5 million in spending, and some lawmakers are awaiting more information before reaching a decision. Most lawmakers say they found out about the governor’s plan the same day the contract was signed with Manpower.

Robert Half Survey Finds Executives More Open to Salary Negotiation
MarketWatch (01/24/12)

A new Robert Half International survey finds that 38% of executives interviewed said they are more willing to negotiate salary with top candidates than they were one year ago, while just 5% of respondents said they are less willing to negotiate. “Job seekers, especially those with skills in high demand, are gaining leverage in salary discussions today,” says Max Messmer, chairman and chief executive officer of Robert Half International. “Still, there are many things that can go wrong when negotiating pay, and candidates should approach these discussions with a clear understanding of how far they should take the conversation.”


Legal Watch


Efforts to Protect Jobless From Hiring Bias Spur Debate
Sacramento Bee (01/23/12) Jim Sanders

A newly proposed California bill, AB 1450, would prohibit discriminating against the jobless in hiring. College graduates, military personnel, and women returning to the work force are among groups of people affected by a blanket exclusion, says Michael Allen, a Santa Rose Democrat who is the author of the measure. Opponents of AB 1450 say that lawmakers have no business interfering in companies’ internal affairs and that the bill could prompt a flood of frivolous complaints that would be costly to investigate and difficult to prosecute. Roger Niello, president of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, warns that barring businesses from disqualifying the jobless could tie a company’s hands in the kinds of questions asked during job interviews.

Under Allen’s bill, complaints about employers would be investigated by the state labor commissioner, while accusations about employment agencies would be handled by city attorneys or the state attorney general’s office. Even if AB 1450 gets derailed, some legal experts say companies should be careful about automatically disqualifying the unemployed. Martha West, professor emerita at the University of California Davis School of Law, says lawsuits could allege discrimination against people of color, who have significantly higher unemployment rates than whites.

Job Bias Claims at Record Level
Associated Press (01/24/12)

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports federal job discrimination complaints increased to an all-time high in 2011. The agency received nearly 100,000 charges of discrimination during the 2011 fiscal year, the most in its 46-year history. Labor experts say the increase reflects the growing diversity of the nation’s work force.

Claims of disability bias increased 2% and charges of discrimination based on age rose 1%. Claims based on race, sex, and retaliation were the charges filed most often, according to commission data. Charges of racial bias declined by 1%, while sexual discrimination claims dropped 2%, and sexual harassment claims declined 3%.


Trends and Research


More Workers Moving for Out-of-State Jobs
USA Today (01/24/12) Paul Davidson

Staffing officials and reports indicate that a moderately increasing number of Americans are moving out of state to get a job, a trend that could better match workers with positions and reduce unemployment. Many Americans have been unable to move because they cannot sell homes that have fallen in value and are worth less than their mortgages, while employers have been reluctant to pay relocation costs in an era of tighter corporate budgets.

Observers say that obstacles to mobility still exist, but are now slightly less daunting. “We’re starting to see (candidates) open up the job search to make sure they find the right position,” says Janette Marx of staffing firm Adecco. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in the 12 months ended in March, 4.8 million Americans moved to a different state, up from 4.3 million the previous 12 months. Most interstate relocations are likely job-related, says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, adding that the increase is due to a strengthening job market that offers more out-of-state opportunities. Ryan Carfley of recruiting firm Personify says that in the past six months, more firms are paying most relocation costs after declining to do so in the downturn.

Seniors Decide Retirement Doesn’t Suit Them, Keep Working
USA Today (01/24/12) Janice Lloyd

Fueled by an uncertain economy, improved health in older life, and an understanding that staying engaged leads to a better sense of well-being, Baby Boomers are increasingly working past conventional retirement age. For 2011, the labor participation rate for people age 65 years and older was 17.9%, compared with 10.8% in 1985. For people 75 years and older, the rate jumped from 4.3% in 1990 to 7.5% in 2011.

Richard Johnson, senior fellow and director of the program on retirement policy at the Urban Institute, notes that many older people in the work force have high levels of education. “It used to be older workers were much less educated than younger workers,” Johnson says. “That’s not the case now. Older workers do not face the same problems in terms of being outdated as they used to.”


ASA for You


Differentiate Your Firm—ASAPro Webinar This Week

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January 23, 2012


Headline News
Countering Near-Term Pain
Car Makers’ U-Turn Steers Job Gains
Too Cheap With Your Valued Staff? Know the Risks
Hudson Legal Prepares Expansion Into Consulting
More Lockouts as Companies Battle Unions
What If U.S. Housing Finally Improves?
ManpowerGroup’s Joerres Responds to Financial Times Chiding

Legal Watch
Lawsuit Accuses Temporary Firm of Gender Bias, Retaliation
Employee or Independent Contractor? Get It Right

Trends and Research
Workers’ Comp Costs at 12-Year Low: Report
‘Tectonic Shifts’ in Employment

ASA for You
ASA Quarterly Employment and Sales Survey Now Open
Differentiate Your Firm—ASAPro Webinar This Week

Headline News


Countering Near-Term Pain
Wall Street Journal (01/23/12) John Revill

Staffing company Adecco SA is preparing for another bumpy ride as the chances of another recession in Europe increase. The fortunes of providers of temporary staff such as Adecco, ManpowerGroup, and Randstad Holding NV are tied closely to the economic cycle. “In 2012 we will likely head into a mild recession in Europe,” predicts Adecco chief executive Patrick De Maeseneire, adding that he foresees only a slow recovery in Europe after that, as companies hold back on their hiring plans. However, he adds that “in the mid- and long term we are very optimistic because our industry has high structural growth potential.”

European companies have fewer permanent staff and fill in the peaks with temporary workers, says De Maeseneire. “The only jobs that are being created now are flexible jobs,” he notes. Adecco has been expanding into professional staffing, including white-collar positions such as engineers and doctors. As part of this strategy, earlier this month Adecco bought Japanese professional-staffing company VSN. The firm has also boosted its counter-cyclical out-placement business through the 2011 acquisition of U.S.-based Drake Beam Morin.

Car Makers’ U-Turn Steers Job Gains
Wall Street Journal (01/23/12) Joseph White

Major auto makers and their suppliers are spending billions to expand and retool U.S. factories. The Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, MI, reports that auto-industry employment in the U.S. is predicted to increase to 756,800 in 2015 from 566,400 in 2010, with most of that increase in Michigan. Big major auto companies indicate they expect to increase capital spending in the next few years.

A report from staffing company ManpowerGroup estimates a net 10% of Midwest employers plan to hire in the first quarter, after factoring in companies that will cut jobs. That figure is the strongest result for the region since the third quarter of 2008, and slightly surpasses the national forecast of 9%. “With the global economy continuing to expand and the automotive industry yet to see more gains, there’s medium-term sustainability to this trend,” says William Testa, director of regional research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, of the Midwest hiring outlook.

Too Cheap With Your Valued Staff? Know the Risks
Fiscal Times (01/21/12)

For many in the nation’s work force, compensation remains flat, bonuses are smaller or nonexistent, and perks are being cut. With unemployment at 8.5% and competition for jobs fierce, most workers are staying put. An option growing in popularity is outsourcing work to contractors and avoiding employee benefits entirely. A survey from ASA corporate partner CareerBuilder found that 35% of U.S. companies have smaller staffs than before the recession, and many are turning to staffing and recruiting companies to fill in the gap.

Hudson Legal Prepares Expansion Into Consulting
Law Technology News (01/20/12) Evan Koblentz

Hudson Legal, a division of staffing firm Hudson Highland Group that sells document review and legal staffing services, is expanding into legal technology consulting. The revised group will be treated as its own business unit, says Mark Yacano, executive vice president and global e-discovery team leader. “They will do traditional project management [and] they will also begin to be more consultative in nature,” he adds.

Hudson Legal recently hired Leah Guggenheimer as senior vice president of e-discovery services. Guggenheimer’s position has been open for the past year, says Yacano. “We’ve made the strategic decision that project management is sort of the lynchpin to our forward strategy. … We’ve been taking our time looking.”

More Lockouts as Companies Battle Unions
New York Times (01/23/12) Steven Greenhouse

Employers are increasingly turning to lockouts to press their unionized workers to grant concessions after contract negotiations deadlock. “This is a sign of increased employer militancy,” says Gary Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University. “Lockouts were once so rare they were almost unheard of. Now, not only are employers increasingly on the offensive and trying to call the shots in bargaining, but they’re backing that up with action—in the form of lockouts.”

The number of strikes has declined to just one-sixth the annual level of two decades ago, largely because labor unions’ ranks have declined and because many workers worry that if they strike they will lose pay and might also lose their jobs to permanent replacement workers. Lockouts, meanwhile, have grown to represent a record percentage of the nation’s work stoppages, according to Bloomberg BNA. In 2011, at least 17 employers imposed lockouts, telling their workers not to show up until they were willing to accept management’s contract offer.

What If U.S. Housing Finally Improves?
Wall Street Journal Online (01/22/12) Simon Constable

Should the housing market continue to shows signs of rebounding , Barry Ritholtz—head of research and asset-management company FusionIQ— says savvy investors will be looking to companies that will prosper from an improved labor market, such as staffing firm Robert Half International, payroll processor ADP, and jobs-listing service Monster Worldwide.

ManpowerGroup’s Joerres Responds to Financial Times Chiding
Milwaukee Business Journal (01/20/12) Rich Rovito

ManpowerGroup chairman and chief executive Jeff Joerres has responded to a Financial Times, column’s chastisement of the firm for describing itself as a company that “creates unique time to value through a comprehensive suite of innovative solutions that help clients win in the Human Age.” In awarding her annual jargon honors, Lucy Kellaway gave ManpowerGroup the Golden Flannel Award for the description. Joerres says he “appreciated” the column but defends the Human Age concept, stating that “if that was the only comment that we had on the Human Age, I’d take it pretty hard. But when it’s on the cover of The Economist that this may be the era of humans two months after we introduced it, that’s not too bad.”

ManpowerGroup management has been touting the Human Age concept, in which it believes people are the real agents of business success. The Human Age concept has “framed up” discussions in the world of work, according to Joerres.


Legal Watch


Lawsuit Accuses Temporary Firm of Gender Bias, Retaliation
Business Management Daily (01/23/12)

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Chicago office has filed a class-action lawsuit against Source One Staffing Inc. for allegedly assigning workers based on gender, explicitly defining some jobs as “men’s work” or “women’s work.” The EEOC lawsuit also claims Source One Staffing knew about sexual harassment occurring at one job site but continued to send women to work there. Two women claim that when they reported the harassment, Source One Staffing retaliated against them.

Employee or Independent Contractor? Get It Right
Business Management Daily (01/23/12) Angela Rud

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service and state agencies have in the last two years penalized an increasing number of employers for using “independent contractors” who should have been classified as employees. The number of Fair Labor Standards Act case filings involving misclassification challenges has nearly quadrupled since the late 1990s, and was up more than 20% in 2010 alone. The IRS plans to audit 6,000 businesses by 2013 to determine whether taxes, fines, and penalties may be due.

The IRS recently unveiled a new Voluntary Classification Settlement Program that allows eligible taxpayer employers to voluntarily reclassify workers as employees for federal employment tax purposes. The program features partial amnesty for past misclassifications, limiting an employer’s liability.


Trends and Research


Workers’ Comp Costs at 12-Year Low: Report
Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety (01/20/12)

A new report from the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety finds that the overall workers’ compensation cost of all injuries and illnesses has declined to a 12-year low, but costs associated with certain causes of injuries have increased sharply in the same period. The inflation-adjusted direct cost of most disabling injuries was $35.4 billion in 2009—more than a 6% decline from the previous year and the lowest amount since $37.1 billion in 1998.

Meanwhile, the costs for falls on the same level and falls to a lower level —the second and third top causes of disabling injuries in 2009 respectively —have increased 34.2% and 10.2%, respectively, since 1998. Over-exertion, the leading cause of disabling injuries, cost $12.8 billion in 2009, and has fallen by 9.9% over the past 12 years.

‘Tectonic Shifts’ in Employment
Technology Review (02/01/12) David Talbot

While economic output in the U.S. is higher today than it was before the financial crisis, 6.3 million fewer Americans have jobs than was true at the end of 2007. Several factors, including outsourcing, explain the state of the labor market, but fast-advancing, IT-driven automation might be playing the biggest role. New research indicates that advances in workplace automation are being deployed at a faster pace than ever, making it more difficult for workers to adapt and wreaking havoc on such middle-class occupations as clerks, accountants, and production-line workers.

David Autor, an economist at MIT, and David Dorn, an economist at the Center for Monetary and Financial Studies in Madrid, cite the time period of 2000–2005, when job growth occurred mainly at the ends of the spectrum—in lower-paying positions, in areas such as personal care, cleaning services, and security, and in higher-end professional positions for technicians, managers, and the like. For administrative assistants, production workers, and sales representatives, the job market did not grow as fast, or even declined. Subsequent research showed that things got worse after 2007, and during the recession, nearly all the nation’s job losses were in those middle categories—the positions easiest to replace, fully or in part, by technology.

Unless the economy generates new high-quality jobs, the risk is that the people in the middle will face the prospect of menial jobs with declining wages. “Theory says the labor market will ‘clear.’ There are always things for people to do,” Autor says. “But it doesn’t say at what price.” Experts say there currently are not enough people sufficiently educated to exploit the rapid advances in technology.


ASA for You


ASA Quarterly Employment and Sales Survey Now Open

The ASA quarterly survey on temporary and contract staffing, which collects data on sales, payroll, and employment, is now open for the fourth quarter of 2011. The Web-based survey takes only about 15 minutes to complete. Participants receive a free exclusive report on the results, which includes payroll data available nowhere else. ASA research partner Inavero, a market research firm, administers the survey to ensure confidentiality of participant data.

Data are due Feb. 6, and results will be released Feb. 20. Register today to take the survey or download a sample questionnaire. For more information, contact Alexandra Karaer, ASA director of research, at 703-253-2048 or akaraer@americanstaffing.net.
Differentiate Your Firm—ASAPro Webinar This Week

This Thursday, Jan. 26, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time, attend the ASAPro Webinar “Gain a Competitive Advantage With ASA Certification” to learn how ASA certification programs can help you differentiate your firm from your competition and protect your firm by avoiding missteps that could result in legal liability.

This Webinar, presented by ASA staff members Stephen Dwyer, Esq., general counsel; Karen Donald, senior manager, certification programs; and Emily Lawson, manager, distance learning, is free for ASA members and nonmembers.

Are you already ASA certified? This ASAPro Webinar qualifies for 0.5 legal and 0.5 active continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Visit americanstaffing.net to register.

January 20, 2012


Headline News
The Jobs Picture Is Still Far From Rosy
Staffing Opportunity
Chicago’s Job Outlook Is Cause for ‘Mild Optimism’
Fed Holds Off for Now On Bond Buys

Legal Watch
When a Company Sounds Suspiciously Like a Law Firm
Workers’ Right to Sue Employers Over Pay, Other Conditions in Flux
WHD Regional Offices Reach Settlements; Pursue Ongoing Enforcement Actions Against Employers
Employees Score Win in War Over the Applicability of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the Workplace
One Time Minneapolis Temporary Firm Owner Admits Cheating Feds Out of $425,000

Trends and Research
Average Hourly Earnings Increase in December

ASA for You
Differentiate Your Firm—ASAPro Webinar Next Week
Know the Facts So You Can Answer Clients’ Questions

Headline News


The Jobs Picture Is Still Far From Rosy
Wall Street Journal (01/20/12) Edward Lazear

Edward Lazear, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers 2006-2009, warns that while there has been good news of late on the jobs front, “the labor market is still very depressed and is likely to remain so for quite some time.” He cites the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey’s conclusion that the number of monthly hires today, at a little over four million, is just slightly higher than it was in January 2009. “Hires need to increase by over 30% to get back to 2007 peak levels,” Lazear notes, but “during the three years since January 2009, they have increased by 4%.”

Staffing Opportunity
Gulf Coast Business Review (01/20/12) Alex Mahadevan

Hire Partners LLC, a private equity company launched at the end of 2011 by John West and Mark Whittington, is building a rapidly growing holding company for firms in the resource personnel outsourcing and staffing industry. The new firm already wholly owns Atlanta-based Hire Velocity LLC and owns a majority of Washington, DC-based TSC LLC.

West says there is great potential in the staffing industry, especially in the information technology sector, in the near future. While the unemployment rate was 8.5% for December, for management, professional, and related occupations—on which West says the firms he will target are focused—it was only 4.2%. Whittington adds that “companies who stocked up on permanent people 10 years ago aren’t willing to do the same today.” After the two recessions over the last decade, he expects firms to rely heavily on temporary staffing firms. “Outsourcing temporary staffing firms will become a permanent part of their business,” he says.

Chicago’s Job Outlook Is Cause for ‘Mild Optimism’
Crain’s Chicago Business (01/20/12) Abraham Tekippe

The chief executives of some of Chicago’s largest staffing and outplacement firms say many employers in the area are hiring, but are being more selective about which applicants they select. “I don’t think (employers) are generally optimistic, but I don’t think they’re pessimistic; I think they’re being realistic,” says Tom Gimbel, chief executive of staffing firm LaSalle Network. “I call it cautious optimism.” Gimbel says he has seen both temporary and permanent hiring increases in recent months, adding that while he expects hiring to be “consistently inconsistent” throughout the year, overall he considers Chicago’s job outlook to be “very good,” especially in industries such as technology, logistics, and customer service.

Fed Holds Off for Now On Bond Buys
Wall Street Journal (01/20/12) Jon Hilsenrath

The U.S. Federal Reserve is taking a wait-and-see approach on the economy before deciding whether to kick off another round of bond purchases. Since the crisis began, the central bank has bought more than $2 trillion of securities as part of a campaign to stimulate investment, foster economic growth, and curb unemployment. It meets again Jan. 24-25, at which time officials are expected to unveil a new communications strategy featuring two main elements: their interest-rate projections and a statement explaining their objectives for inflation and new job creation.


Legal Watch


When a Company Sounds Suspiciously Like a Law Firm
Wall Street Journal Online (01/19/12) Joe Palazzolo

Legal staffing companies, hired by law firms to provide temporary lawyers to review documents in huge pieces of litigation, have dramatically expanded the scope of their services. A question has arisen over what services these firms can provide without violating regulations that prohibit them from practicing law. A regulatory committee of the Washington, DC, Court of Appeals recently drafted an opinion on the issue to give guidance to companies on the “permissible scope of services that may be performed without engaging in the practice of law.”

The opinion says the staffing companies may not provide legal advice to their clients or hold themselves out to be able to provide legal services, and they should avoid “broad statements that a company can manage the entire document review or discovery process” because they “have a serious potential to mislead.”

Workers’ Right to Sue Employers Over Pay, Other Conditions in Flux
Huffington Post (01/19/12) Janell Ross

In June 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that companies can hold customers to arbitration agreements in which the customers gave up their right to sue as a class to resolve problems. Employers and worker advocates interpreted that ruling to include workers who have signed similar arbitration agreements. However, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board earlier this month ruled that workers with arbitration agreements do have the right to sue as a class. NLRB says such employees are still able to sue, even with agreements in place that waive that right, because federal law gives employees the right to assertively advocate for their interests in cases of overtime pay or the federal minimum wage and other work related conditions that are set by law.

A current case on the issue involves Labor Ready, a temporary staffing company. A group of workers filed suit in 2010 contending that the company’s pay system often left them with less than the federal minimum wage and that other company practices such as charging workers for rides to their work site violated various state and federal labor laws. Labor Ready, one of several temporary services owned by Tacoma, WA-based TrueBlue Inc., does not pay workers less than the federal minimum wage, says Stacy Burke, a TrueBlue spokeswoman. Labor Ready has denied any wrongdoing. As many as 35 million American workers have signed binding arbitration agreements, says Alexander Colvin, an associate professor at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations who specializes in workplace dispute resolution.

WHD Regional Offices Reach Settlements; Pursue Ongoing Enforcement Actions Against Employers
Wolters Kluwer (01/18/2012)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division reports that the Temp Team Inc., a Dallas-based temporary staffing company, has agreed to pay $244,104 in back wages to 252 current and former employees after an investigation found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and record-keeping provisions. An investigation by the Dallas district office found that 250 Temp Team employees worked as many as 79 hours a week and were paid a straight-time rate, instead of an overtime rate, for hours worked over 40 in a week. The company violated FLSA record-keeping provisions by failing to maintain accurate records of its employees’ total work hours and wages. Under FLSA, DOL notes, employees who are placed by a staffing company at a client site are typically considered jointly employed by the staffing firm and the client(s), and joint employers are responsible for ensuring FLSA compliance.

Employees Score Win in War Over the Applicability of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the Workplace
Seyfarth Shaw (01/05/12) Scott Schaefers

In the age of social media and networking, where employees use their company-issued computers to network with clients, suppliers, colleagues, and friends, a question has arisen over whether employers can claim an interest in their employees’ LinkedIn accounts, or other social networking accounts, which the employees use in part to grow and maintain their relationships for the benefit of their employers. In Eagle v. Morgan, No. 11-4303, 2011 WL 6739448, a federal court in Philadelphia held that an employer may claim ownership of its former executive’s LinkedIn connections where the employer required the executive to open and maintain an account, the executive advertised her and her employer’s credentials and services on the account, and where the employer had significant involvement in the creation, maintenance, operation, and monitoring of the account.

The court refused to dismiss the employer’s counterclaims for “misappropriation of an idea” and unfair competition against its former chief executive, who allegedly accessed and used her company-generated LinkedIn account three weeks after she was terminated. Employers and their lawyers should consider getting more involved in their employees’ social-networking activities, particularly to the extent that such activities are used for company business and where employees are required or expected to promote themselves on behalf of the company using these networking sites.

One Time Minneapolis Temporary Firm Owner Admits Cheating Feds Out of $425,000
Minneapolis Star Tribune (01/19/12) Paul Walsh

The owner of Minneapolis-based Olen Staff Co., Doris Ruiz, pled guilty in federal court on charges that she failed to pay $150,000 in payroll taxes and $276,987 to cover the employers share of FICA taxes. In 2008, federal investigators shut down Olen after court affidavits alleged that Ruiz placed illegal immigrants with regional businesses, provided false documentation, and did not pay taxes for herself or workers for several years. Ruiz faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when she is sentenced.


Trends and Research


Average Hourly Earnings Increase in December
U.S. Department of Labor News Release (01/19/12)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that real average hourly earnings for all employees rose 0.2% from November to December, seasonally adjusted. Real average weekly earnings rose 0.5% over the month, as a result of the increase in real average hourly earnings and a 0.3% rise in the average workweek. Since reaching a peak in October 2010, real average weekly earnings have fallen 1.1%.


ASA for You


Differentiate Your Firm—ASAPro Webinar Next Week

Thursday, Jan. 26, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time, attend the ASAPro Webinar “Gain a Competitive Advantage With ASA Certification” to learn how ASA certification programs can help you differentiate your firm from your competition and protect your firm by avoiding missteps that could result in legal liability.

This Webinar, presented by ASA staff members Stephen Dwyer, Esq., general counsel; Karen Donald, senior manager, certification programs; and Emily Lawson, manager, distance learning, is free for ASA members and nonmembers.

Are you already ASA certified? This ASAPro Webinar qualifies for 0.5 legal and 0.5 active continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Visit americanstaffing.net to register.
Know the Facts So You Can Answer Clients’ Questions

When you want to promote your business and the staffing industry to clients and candidates, you can get the information you need from ASA.

Staffing Facts features the industry’s five key messages—jobs, flexibility, bridge, choice, and training—with data that support the messages. The Staffing FAQs sheet provides field-tested responses that have been proven to effectively answer the most frequently asked questions about the industry.

These free resources can help you communicate with employees, clients, and reporters. Check out the Staffing Facts and Staffing FAQs at americanstaffing.net for the most up-to-date data about staffing.

January 19, 2012


Headline News
U.S. Jobless Claims Drop More Than Expected
Many Are Migrating to Find the Next Job
Bernhart Survey Shows Bright Jobs Outlook for Marketing
Move to Flexible Work Force Is Permanent, Consultants Say

Legal Watch
MA Staffing Firm Enters Into Deal With Immigrant Rights Group
U.S. Payroll Tax-Cut Conferees Standing Firm on Differences
Pepsi’s $3 Million, Racially Biased Background Check
Warehouse Workers Who Prompted State Investigation Could Lose Jobs
The Current State of E-Verify—A Brief Look at State-Level E-Verify Requirements Beginning in 2012

Trends and Research
Recruiting: Go Hi-Tech or Go Home
Hiring Demand for Recruiters Grows in 2011, Up 4% During December

ASA for You
Reach Your Goals in 2012—ASAPro Webinar Today
Compare Your Employee Turnover With the National Average
ASAPro Spotlight—Learn Laser Prospecting

Headline News


U.S. Jobless Claims Drop More Than Expected
Bloomberg (01/19/12) Bob Willis; Shobhana Chandra

The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits sank by 52,000 last week to 352,000, the lowest level since April 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor Department reported Thursday. The median forecast of 41 economists in a Bloomberg News survey projected 384,000. The decline eases concern that post-holiday firings are on the rise. Companies are slowing the pace of firings and beginning to step up the pace of hiring even as a slump in Europe may limit U.S. growth. The improvement may be a sign that companies are looking to expand their work forces as sales increase.

Many Are Migrating to Find the Next Job
United Press International (01/18/12)

A new survey from ASA corporate partner CareerBuilder finds that an increasing number of U.S. workers are taking jobs far beyond their local market. In a survey of 3,000 employers and 7,000 workers that explored the concept of relocating, CareerBuilder reports 20% of the respondents who were laid off and found new jobs in the past year indicated they had moved to a new city or state. Meanwhile, 32% of employers said they would be willing to pay a worker to relocate.

“One of the key trends we saw coming out of the recession is the movement of labor in and out of markets across the U.S.,” says Matt Ferguson, chief executive officer of CareerBuilder. “Workers have had to expand their job search geographically and employers in need of hard-to-find, skilled talent have had to recruit across state lines.”

Bernhart Survey Shows Bright Jobs Outlook for Marketing
WhatTheyThink (01/18/12)

Employers are ushering in the new year with an impressive spike in hiring plans, according to Bernhart Associates’ Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Report for the first quarter of 2012. Approximately 52% of companies responding to the survey said they plan to add to staff in the first quarter of 2012, up sharply from 40% last quarter. The percentage of companies planning layoffs in the first quarter dropped to 6%, compared with 8% last quarter.

When asked what positions will be in greatest demand during the current quarter, employers listed analytic-related jobs on top by a large margin, followed by marketing, sales, creative, and account services. “We’re seeing more multiple openings per company, and social media-related jobs are appearing for the first time on the top 10 list of positions that will be in most demand,” says Jerry Bernhart, leading direct marketing recruiter and principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search LLC, which conducts the widely tracked quarterly employment survey.

Move to Flexible Work Force Is Permanent, Consultants Say
Workforce (01/18/12)

A survey by M Squared Consulting finds that 69% of independent consultants say the use of a flexible work force is a permanent change and not just a temporary response to current economic conditions. The survey also indicates that 42% of independent consultants enjoyed higher revenue in 2011 than in 2010, with 55% predicting their revenue will increase in 2012.


Legal Watch


MA Staffing Firm Enters Into Deal With Immigrant Rights Group
American Staffing Association (01/19/12) Stephen Dwyer

The Massachusetts staffing firm EDA Staffing has reportedly entered into an agreement with immigrant rights group Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores that would improve working conditions for EAD’s temporary workers. According to CCT, EAD’s workers were subjected to unsafe conditions while on assignments. The Massachusetts Staffing Association, an ASA-affiliated chapter, has repeatedly attempted to contact EAD but has not received a response.

The immigrant group’s agreement is part of its broader efforts to support HB 1393 in the state legislature, a bill that would devastate the state’s staffing industry. HB 1393 would prohibit certain placement and conversion fees, potentially cap bill rates, require in-state offices, prohibit sending candidate résumés to clients, and require mandatory meals and lodging for out-of-state employees. Violators would be subject to severe criminal penalties.

ASA and MSA have proposed a scaled-back bill with new reporting provisions that would apply only to day labor firms. Permanent placement agencies and temporary help firms would be subject to the simple registration requirements applicable to temporary firms under current law. The bill’s sponsor is considering the rewrite, and will reportedly propose edits in an effort to address all parties’ interests and concerns.

U.S. Payroll Tax-Cut Conferees Standing Firm on Differences
Bloomberg (01/19/12) Kathleen Hunter; Steven Sloan

Congressional negotiators are refusing to move from positions that could delay discussions to extend a payroll tax cut through the end of this year. A House-Senate conference committee aimed at breaking the deadlock may convene as soon as Jan. 24. Democrats want to impose a tax on income exceeding $1 million and are warning Republicans against attempting to attach policy proposals that are not linked to the tax cut. Republicans oppose the tax on high-income earners to fund the extension, while insisting that the total $100 billion package must be offset.

Pepsi’s $3 Million, Racially Biased Background Check
Reuters (01/17/12) Stephanie Rabiner

Pepsi Beverages Co. will pay $3.1 million to settle federal charges of race discrimination for using criminal background checks to screen out job applicants, even if they were not convicted of a crime. The settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is part of a national government crackdown on hiring policies that can hurt blacks and Hispanics.

The Pepsi settlement is not the first time the agency has targeted such criminal background check policies, and some observers predict that these types of enforcement actions will only increase with time. Employers may want to review how they use criminal background checks, as a wholesale refusal to hire persons with arrest records can result in trouble for the firm. Consideration should be given to using the U.S. Department of Labor’s Federal Bonding Program that will give a company six months of free “dishonesty” insurance if an at-risk, hard-to-place job seeker is hired.

Warehouse Workers Who Prompted State Investigation Could Lose Jobs
Huffington Post (01/18/12) Dave Jamieson

Nearly a hundred warehouse workers in California who spoke up about alleged wage violations and unsafe working conditions are concerned they now may lose their jobs. The workers filed a class action lawsuit in the fall against staffing company Rogers-Premier Unloading Services, their employer, and against Schneider Logistics, the company that is contracted by Walmart to oversee the Riverside County warehouse, where workers load and unload goods destined for Walmart stores. The workers contended that they often were not paid the legal minimum wage or overtime and were threatened with termination when they complained.

The workers say they have been notified by management that their jobs will end on Feb. 24, when a contract between Rogers-Premier and Schneider apparently comes to a close. Erin Elliott, a spokeswoman for Schneider, says that the move is “solely the decision of Rogers-Premier.”

The Current State of E-Verify—A Brief Look at State-Level E-Verify Requirements Beginning in 2012
LawLogix Group (01/06/12)

E-Verify, the federal government’s electronic employment eligibility verification program, is increasingly becoming mandatory, and employers must understand how to use the system through an ever-expanding web of state requirements. At last count, nine states require E-Verify for all or most employers. States with new E-Verify laws effective Jan. 1, 2012, include Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Many of these state laws have been enacted without any accompanying guidance, making it important for employers to make a coordinated effort to successfully manage their I-9 and E-Verify obligations by working closely with experienced immigration counsel to ensure compliance with both state and federal rules. Employers are also well-advised to use an integrated I-9/E-Verify system that can automatically control the submission of I-9s to E-Verify by work location or impose other state-specific rules which may be in effect.


Trends and Research


Recruiting: Go Hi-Tech or Go Home
Staffing Industry Analysts (01/18/12)

The latest Staffing Industry Analysts survey finds that 76% of staffing firms are expecting to increase recruiter hiring over the next 12 months. Staffing firms now consider recruitment of talent a bigger challenge than selling their services. In the current talent and recruitment environment, some companies are shifting their spending into more high-tech strategies, such as shifting attention from job boards to professional networking platforms and from transactional applicant tracking systems to more powerful candidate relationship management systems that leverage technology to engage candidates in more pervasive, contemporary ways.

Hiring Demand for Recruiters Grows in 2011, Up 4% During December
PRWeb (01/18/12)

Employers and staffing firms placed more than 3,900 job ads for recruiters and employment specialists in December, according to Wanted Analytics. The volume of job ads for recruiters increased 4% compared to December 2010 and 45% from December 2009. The number of companies that placed job ads for recruiters increased 37% in December, as more than 1,700 organizations advertised recruiter job openings. Staffing firms placed approximately 1,800 job ads for recruiters.

ASA for You


Reach Your Goals in 2012—ASAPro Webinar Today

Today from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time, attend the ASAPro Webinar “Focus Now to Make 2012 Your Most Productive Year” and get the tools and knowledge to develop or fine-tune your strategic plan for 2012. This Webinar, presented by John A. Thomas, CSP, CTS, vice president of partner development for Nextaff, is free for ASA members ($295 for nonmembers).

ASAPro Webinars qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Visit americanstaffing.net to register.
Compare Your Employee Turnover With the National Average

Employee turnover is an important statistic for helping staffing firms understand how long their employees tend to stay in a position. The lower your firm’s turnover rate, the less money your firm spends on recruiting, new-hire administration, training, and any other costs associated with replacing employees. Higher employee retention and lower turnover can help your staffing firm reduce recruiting costs and increase profits.

You can use the ASA turnover calculator to easily determine your company’s turnover rate and see how it compares with industry averages. This calculator is available online as an Excel-based worksheet and a printable PDF. Access the turnover calculator at americanstaffing.net.
ASAPro Spotlight—Learn Laser Prospecting

ASAPro—the ASA online professional development center—posts new courses monthly to help you in your professional development. Most ASAPro courses are free for ASA members. Check out “Territory Management: Less Is More With Laser Prospecting.”

During this ASAPro course, Neil Lebovits, CPA, CPC, CTS, founder of the Dynamic Sale, will share his secrets about why calling by the numbers just doesn’t work anymore. Learn that once you limit your focus, you will be able to source the hottest leads out there. By focusing on less, you’ll be able to accomplish much more.

The course is free for ASA members ($195 for nonmembers) and qualifies for 1.0 passive continuing education hour toward ASA certification renewal. To view this course, log in to your personal account and search for the course by title, then click the “View” button. For more information, contact ASA at 703-253-2020 or asa@americanstaffing.net.

January 18, 2012


Headline News
Long-Term Unemployment a ‘National Crisis’
U.S. Loses High-Tech Jobs as R&D Shifts Toward Asia
Health Care Staffing Company Acquires PHS Staffing
Jobs Boost Fuels Hope for U.S. Industry
Indianapolis Businesses Hiring Temporary Workers to Handle Demand During Super Bowl Week
IT Employment Finishes Strong in 2011

Legal Watch
IRS Clarifies Previous Guidance on Form W-2 Informational Reporting Requirement

Trends and Research
U.S. Industrial Output Rebounds in December
U.S. Wholesale Prices Fall 0.1% in December

ASA for You
Keep Your Compensation Competitive

Headline News


Long-Term Unemployment a ‘National Crisis’
Wall Street Journal (01/18/12) Murrray, Sara; McWhirter, Cameron

While the job market is improving, long-term unemployment continues to be particularly pronounced, and there is little indication that it is falling quickly. The government reported in December that 3.9 million nationwide had been out of work for at least a year and were still looking.

Some will eventually find jobs, though long spells of unemployment are likely to scar them for years. Workers who were jobless for six months or more in the late 1990s and early 2000s in Connecticut and eventually found work earned 60% less than those who were unemployed for three months or less, according to economists Kenneth Couch of the University of Connecticut and Dana Placzek of the state labor department. Workers who had been unemployed for less than five weeks in 2010 had a 34% chance of finding a job the following month, according to U.S. Department of Labor data, while those out more than six months had only a 10% chance.

The article examines the impact of these developments on the town of Roswell, GA. Applications and placements at staffing firm Hire Dynamics LLC, which has six Georgia locations including one near Roswell, were up 40% last year, says chief executive Dan Campbell.

U.S. Loses High-Tech Jobs as R&D Shifts Toward Asia
Wall Street Journal (01/18/12) Hagerty, James

The National Science Board warns that the U.S. is rapidly losing high-technology jobs as U.S.-based companies such as 3M Co., Caterpillar Inc., and General Electric Co. expand their overseas research-and-development (R&D) labs. And while U.S.-based labs continue to innovate, developing such hit products as the iPad tablet, those products are made in Asia, increasing fears that more R&D will flow to Asia. Researchers often prefer to work near factories, where ideas can be tested quickly.

In the six years through 2009, approximately 85% of the growth in R&D workers employed by U.S.-based multinational companies has been overseas, according to the National Science Board, a policy-making arm of the federal government’s National Science Foundation. Overall U.S. employment in high-technology manufacturing has declined 28% since 2000 to about 1.8 million jobs, the report said.

Health Care Staffing Company Acquires PHS Staffing
Middletown Journal (Ohio) (01/17/12) Staff Report

PHS Staffing—an $18 million medical staffing firm servicing health care facilities in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah—has been acquired by the national health care staffing firm Advantage RN. “PHS Staffing’s focus on per diem staffing, along with their extensive experience in government and Allied contracting, is a valuable addition to Advantage’s service offerings,” says Advantage president and chief executive Matt Price. “Their strong presence in the Western states will further expand our Advantage On Call per diem staffing efforts while strengthening our ability to meet the changing staffing needs of medical facilities and job seekers across the country.” Advantage serves more than 400 health care facilities nationwide.

Jobs Boost Fuels Hope for U.S. Industry
Financial Times (01/17/12) Crooks, Ed

The U.S. has added more net manufacturing jobs since the start of 2010 than the rest of the Group of Seven developed countries put together. Employment in U.S. manufacturing stands at approximately 11.79 million, still about two million below its prerecession level. However, productivity gains and slow wage growth have prompted increasing hopes that the U.S. is entering a sustained manufacturing revival.

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, says: “I think we are at an inflection point for manufacturing in the U.S. Employment in the industry has been in decline for decades, but it is now at a point where it is going from quite strong to stronger.” However, Brad Jensen, of the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, argues that “manufacturing is not really where the U.S. comparative advantage lies,” adding that the nation should be looking to business services—including finance, the media, and professional services—as sources of jobs and export income.

Indianapolis Businesses Hiring Temporary Workers to Handle Demand During Super Bowl Week
Indianapolis Star (01/17/12)

Indianapolis businesses are temporarily increasing their staffs in preparation for the Feb. 5 Super Bowl and the resulting throngs of football fans coming to the city. Glen Greenawalt, executive vice president at LGC Hospitality Staffing, says his company is looking to hire 1,000 temporary employees for the weeks leading up to the event, mainly for the convention center and major downtown hotels. “We afford the opportunity for these (organizations) to take on more business than they normally could,” Greenawalt says. “They can double their production for a few days or a few weeks.”

The Super Bowl will add $213 million in direct wages and 5,000 jobs, including many temporary jobs. Putting new work experience on the résumés of long out-of-work residents could help them land full-time jobs later, says Michael Hicks, associate professor of economics at Ball State University, who notes that some hiring managers have opted to ignore applicants unemployed for a year or more. A temporary job could serve as a “gateway” to permanent employment, he says.

IT Employment Finishes Strong in 2011
MarketWatch (01/17/12)

The latest monthly index of information technology (IT) jobs from TechServe Alliance concludes that the economy added those jobs at a robust pace in December, contributing to an already strong year for IT employment. The number of IT jobs increased by more than 0.4%, rising to 4,082,100 jobs in December, according to TechServe, a collaboration of IT services firms, clients, consultants, and suppliers. On an annual basis, IT jobs were up 3.3% in 2011 over 2010.

“As we begin 2012, I am heartened to see accelerating growth in IT employment,” says Mark Roberts, chief executive of TechServe Alliance. “Based upon both the data and anecdotal reports of my member companies, one of our greatest challenges going forward will be a shortage of IT talent in key skill sets.”


Legal Watch


IRS Clarifies Previous Guidance on Form W-2 Informational Reporting Requirement
Mondaq (01/17/12)

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Jan. 3 released Notice 2012-9, which restates and clarifies its prior guidance on the requirement under the Affordable Care Act to report the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage on employees’ annual Forms W-2. The alert provides a general overview of the reporting requirement, updated to reflect the latest guidance, and summarizes other changes and clarifications contained in Notice 2012-9. The reporting requirement is effective starting with the 2012 Forms W-2.

Employers that are in a professional employer organization relationship or that use employee leasing organizations should consult with legal counsel to determine how the reporting requirement applies to them.


Trends and Research


U.S. Industrial Output Rebounds in December
MarketWatch (01/18/12) Robb, Greg

The U.S. Federal Reserve reports the output of the nation’s factories, mines, and utilities rebounded in December after struggling in November. Industrial output increased 0.4% in December, in line with expectations. Output rose at a 3.1% annual rate in the fourth quarter. Capacity utilization increased to 78.1% in December from 77.8% in November.

U.S. Wholesale Prices Fall 0.1% in December
Wall Street Journal Online (01/18/12) Morath, Eric; Di Leo, Luca

U.S. wholesale prices fell 0.1% in December, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast overall wholesale prices would be unchanged on a month-to-month basis, while core producer prices were expected to rise by 0.1%. The slowdown in overall costs may give the Federal Reserve more flexibility to deploy a new round of economic stimulus measures.

ASA for You


Keep Your Compensation Competitive

If your company’s fiscal year doesn’t follow the calendar year, now is the perfect time to get the ASA Staffing Industry Compensation Survey report—the most comprehensive survey of its kind. ASA collected data on more than 8,000 employees at nearly 4,000 staffing firm offices to determine staffing industry employee compensation and benefit plans.

Available in three report modules—for sales, recruiting, and customer service positions; managers; and directors and vice presidents—the survey results provide information on salaries, variable pay, and benefits for 25 positions specific to the staffing industry.

The survey reports allow staffing firms to easily see how their compensation, incentive, and benefits structures compare with those of similar firms. They can help you develop competitive plans for your company and know what to pay your employees. ASA members get a 50% discount on the reports. Order your copy today at americanstaffing.net.
Get the ASA Health Care Reform Guide for Staffing Firms

Understanding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is critically important for all staffing firms. To help ASA members learn how the law will affect their business, the association has developed a comprehensive issue paper. It includes a summary of key provisions affecting employers and detailed answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding how those provisions apply to staffing firms. It is updated periodically to reflect new developments.
Mark Your Calendar

All ASAPro Webinars are FREE for ASA members.

Jan. 19
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Focus Now to Make 2012 Your Most Productive Year
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 26
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Gain a Competitive Advantage With ASA Certification
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 31
ASAPro Webinar

Conducting Harassment Investigations With Clients
Qualifies for ASA CE

Plan Ahead—Register Now!
April 17–18
2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference
Washington, DC
Qualifies for ASA CE

January 17, 2012


Headline News
Behind the Jobless Recovery
Manufacturing in New York Fed Region Expands at Faster Pace Than Estimated
Georgia Governor Deal to Push More Training for Skilled Trades
Colorado Firm Buys Fahrenheit Technology
ADP Acquires Randstad’s Indian Payroll Business

Legal Watch
Congress Returns to Battle on Taxes
New Law Affects Employee Leasing Organizations

Trends and Research
Big Firms Try Crowdsourcing

ASA for You
Essential StaffCARE: New ASA Corporate Partner

Headline News


Behind the Jobless Recovery
Wall Street Journal (01/17/12) Aeppel, Timothy

Businesses have greatly increased spending on machines and software during this recovery, while at the same time moving slowly to add people to run them. A combination of temporary tax breaks that allowed companies in 2011 to write off 100% of investments in the first year and historically low short- and long-term interest rates helped push the longstanding trend of substituting capital for labor into overdrive.

Employers have added workers at a monthly rate of 142,000 for the past six months, half the pace needed to significantly reduce unemployment, which is now at 8.5%. Many economists say the ongoing surge in productivity brought about by investments in technology will in the long run create more jobs, but in the short-term, the burst of efficiency allows companies to delay hiring.

The trend toward using labor-saving machines and software is not limited to factories. W. Brian Arthur, an economist at Xerox Corp.’s Palo Alto Research Center, says businesses are increasingly using computers and software in the place of people in the service sector. “It’s not just machines replacing people, though there’s some of that,” says Arthur. “It’s much more the digitization of the whole economy.”

Manufacturing in New York Fed Region Expands at Faster Pace Than Estimated
Bloomberg (01/17/12) Homan, Timothy

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports the Empire State manufacturing index rose in January to its highest level since April, reflecting improving orders, sales, and employment. The Empire State index rose to 13.5 in January—the highest level since April—from a revised 8.2 in December. Economists projected the gauge would rise to 11, based on the median of 56 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey.

Georgia Governor Deal to Push More Training for Skilled Trades
WXIA-TV (Atlanta) (01/17/12) Leslie, Jennifer

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is today launching a new program, “Go Build Georgia,” designed to bring down the state’s unemployment rate with more training for skilled trades. “It’s going to help tremendously,” says Beth Herman, regional director for ManpowerGroup. Herman notes she has a difficult time filling job openings for welders, machinists, and forklift operators. “It’s a real misconception that there are no jobs in manufacturing,” says Herman. “It’s not just manufacturing. It could be a pharmaceutical company that has a warehouse, or it could be a retail organization that has a warehouse. In that warehouse, there could be packers, shipping and receiving, forklifts, a person that has pallets around. It’s across all industries, not just in manufacturing.”

Colorado Firm Buys Fahrenheit Technology
Richmond BizSense (01/16/12) Schwartz, Michael

Global Employment Solutions, a national staffing firm with locations in nine states and Washington, D.C., recently purchased Littleton, CO-based Fahrenheit Technology, a staffing firm with less than 100 employees. As part of the deal Fahrenheit’s management team and brand will remain. “They liked the brand. It’s interesting and has unique marketing opportunities,” says Fahrenheit president Jason Tate. “From a business perspective it means Fahrenheit now has a national footprint.” The deal “gives us a bigger capital backing and the ability to leverage contracts and relationships in other markets,” Tate adds.

ADP Acquires Randstad’s Indian Payroll Business
Economic Times (India) (01/16/12)

Automatic Data Processing has acquired Randstad Holding’s Indian payroll business for an undisclosed sum to access the high-growth human resource business process outsourcing markets. Randstad’s Indian payroll business is handled by its subsidiary Ma Foi Consulting Solutions—which offers managed payroll services and social benefits administration to approximately 350 multinational and domestic clients—and has a team of around 200 associates.


Legal Watch


Congress Returns to Battle on Taxes
Wall Street Journal (01/17/12) Bendavid, Naftali

As members of Congress return to Washington this week, they must immediately delve back into the fight over the payroll-tax cut. Congress has until Feb. 29 to extend the popular tax break, which lowers workers’ payroll taxes to 4.2% from 6.2%, as well as a program to extend unemployment benefits.

To pay for the extension, Democrats had proposed a surtax on millionaires, while Republicans wanted to slash the federal work force by attrition. The battle lines appear to have hardened, as Democrats believe they have the political edge and see little reason to compromise, while House Republicans are angry about the latest outcome and are determined not to back down.

New Law Affects Employee Leasing Organizations
JDSupra (01/16/2012) Wright, Dickinson

A new Michigan law dramatically affecting employee leasing took effect on Jan. 1. Employee leasing firms must be licensed by Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs by Sept. 1. Several exemptions to the licensing requirements are available: a provider of temporary help services does not need to obtain a license; certain independent contractor arrangements are exempt from the licensure requirements; and an entity whose principal business activity is not entering into professional employer agreements and does not hold itself out as an employee leasing firm does not need to obtain a license.

The following terms must be included in any employee leasing firm-client agreement executed after Sept. 1: the responsibility of the PEO and the client to pay wages, to withhold taxes, including unemployment taxes, and to make employee benefit payments for covered employees; the responsibility of the employee leasing firm and the client to hire, discipline, and terminate employees; and the responsibility of the employee leasing firm and the client to comply with Michigan’s Workers’ Disability Compensation Act.


Trends and Research


Big Firms Try Crowdsourcing
Wall Street Journal (01/17/12) Silverman, Rachel Emma

Some large firms are opting to go with crowdsourcing as opposed to hiring temporary employees to perform large tasks. Crowdsourcing labor usually involves firms farming out small tasks that are part of a larger project to the general public—by posting the requests on a Web site—for little to sometimes no pay.

Companies that have assigned work to the crowd say it is generally cheaper and faster than hiring temporary employees or traditional outsourcing firms. Crowdsourced labor can cost companies less than half as much as typical outsourcing, says Panagiotis Ipeirotis, an associate professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, who studies crowdsourcing. From 2010 to 2011, revenues of business-focused crowdsourcing firms grew 74%.

ASA for You


Essential StaffCARE: New ASA Corporate Partner

A longtime supporter of ASA, Essential StaffCARE has elevated its commitment to the association by becoming a corporate partner. The financial support of ASA corporate partners enhances the value of membership by allowing the association to improve its products and services, and develop new initiatives that address emerging issues and trends in the fast-paced staffing and recruiting industry. Essential StaffCARE is a leading writer of health insurance benefits for the staffing industry.

“We are proud to partner with the American Staffing Association, one of the strongest and most actively involved industry associations in America,” says J. Marshall Dye, president of Essential StaffCARE. “ASA leadership in advancing the interests of staffing and recruiting firms is unparalleled.”

For more information, visit americanstaffing.net.
Reach Your Goals in 2012—ASAPro Webinar This Week

This Thursday, Jan. 19, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time, attend the ASAPro Webinar “Focus Now to Make 2012 Your Most Productive Year” and get the tools and knowledge to develop or fine-tune your strategic plan for 2012. This Webinar, presented by John A. Thomas, CSP, CTS, vice president of partner development for Nextaff, is free for ASA members ($295 for nonmembers).

ASAPro Webinars qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Visit americanstaffing.net to register.
Mark Your Calendar

All ASAPro Webinars are FREE for ASA members.

Jan. 19
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Focus Now to Make 2012 Your Most Productive Year
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 26
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Gain a Competitive Advantage With ASA Certification
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 31
ASAPro Webinar

Conducting Harassment Investigations With Clients
Qualifies for ASA CE

Plan Ahead—Register Now!
April 17–18
2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference
Washington, DC
Qualifies for ASA CE

January 13, 2012


Headline News
Hiring Logjam Breaks as CEOs Plan Fastest U.S. Growth Since 2006
More Hires on the Horizon?
Role Reversal: Employers Say They Can’t Find Workers
Nelson Sells Majority Stake in WorkforceLogic
110,000 Seasonal Jobs Opening Across the Country

Legal Watch
States Introduce New Antidiscrimination and E-Verify Bills
‘Ban the Box’ Law Goes Into Effect Today in Philadelphia
Labor Dept. Inspector General Identifies ‘Integrity of Foreign Labor Certification Programs’ as a Top Management Challenge
Employee or Independent Contractor? Enforcement Efforts Increase in the Home Health Care Industry

Trends and Research
Amid Downturn, More Older Americans Employed Than Ever Before
ASA Analysis Breaks Down ‘Beige Book’ Report by Region

ASA for You
ASA Quarterly Employment and Sales Survey Now Open

Headline News


Hiring Logjam Breaks as CEOs Plan Fastest U.S. Growth Since 2006
Bloomberg (01/13/12) Black, Thomas

Companies are adding U.S. workers, accelerating a rebound in hiring, as chief executive officers prepare for greater demand in a strengthening economic recovery. The hiring reflects optimism among chief executives that the economy will continue to strengthen and more workers will be needed to meet demand. Manufacturing has already been a bright spot in the labor market, with U.S. factory payrolls expanding by 225,000 jobs in 2011, more than double the total from a year earlier. “The ground seems to be set for a pretty decent near-term outlook for manufacturing,” says Stephen Stanley, chief economist for Pierpont Securities. “There’s still room for job growth there if demand continues to pick up.”

The U.S. may add 1.7 million jobs in 2012, the fastest pace since 2006, based on economists’ estimates compiled by Blue Chip Economic Indicators. Faster payroll growth should spur a 2.3% expansion in the U.S. economy this year, according to the median estimate of 84 economists compiled by Bloomberg. Hiring already started picking up in mid-2011 among employers seeking engineering and technology-related workers, notes Jesse Harriott, senior vice president and chief knowledge officer at Monster Worldwide Inc.

More Hires on the Horizon?
Maryland Gazette (01/13/12) Shay, Kevin James; Robbins, Lindsey

Coming off the state’s strongest year for job creation since 2005, many Maryland employers are cautiously optimistic they can build on that trend this year, even though many businesses continue to struggle. Temporary-help employers often serve as a bellwether for permanent hiring trends. Temporary help employment nationally for December was 4.4% higher than a year ago, according to federal figures. “Staffing firms added about 100,000 new jobs to the economy in 2011,” says Richard Wahlquist, president and CEO of the American Staffing Association. “And indicators remain positive for the year ahead.”

Wanda Smith, president and CEO of Symphony Placements—a Timonium, MD, staffing services firm—reports her company had a strong finish in 2011 and expects that to continue this year. Gross sales finished up 20%, while profits continued to increase over 2010 despite the continuation of high state tax assessments for unemployment. In 2011, staffing firms faced challenges in finding qualified individuals who were actually serious about finding a job, she says, noting that many did not want to jeopardize their unemployment benefits. “As the unemployment figures fall, this will continue to be a strong challenge,” Smith says. Clients are particularly using temporary-to-permanent hires to fill new openings, as well as to cover for long-term vacancies due to illness, she adds.

Role Reversal: Employers Say They Can’t Find Workers
MSNBC (01/13/12) Linn, Allison

Despite the high number of unemployed people seeking work, more than half of U.S. employers surveyed by the staffing firm ManpowerGroup say are having trouble filling job openings because they can’t find qualified workers. That represents a 38 percentage point increase from 2010, when only 14% said they were having trouble filling positions.

Melanie Holmes, a vice president with ManpowerGroup, says “employers have been spoiled by the recession.” She notes the high unemployment rate left many recruiters feeling they did not have to look very hard to find a great candidate. Also, with potential employees less willing to move because of the housing bust, many employers have not had the luxury of looking very far afield. Employers also may not be willing to spend the time or money training someone for a highly specialized job, or one that requires very unique skills. “Employers are getting pickier and pickier,” Holmes says. “We want the perfect person to walk through the door.”

Nelson Sells Majority Stake in WorkforceLogic
North Bay Business Journal (01/12/12) Verel, Dan

The Nelson Family of Cos. has announced the sale of a “majority and controlling interest” in its WorkforceLogic division to Orlando-based ZeroChaos, a work force solutions company, along with its financial partner Snow Phipps. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

110,000 Seasonal Jobs Opening Across the Country
WTVM-9 (Georgia) (01/13/12)

More than 100,000 people will get hired at the two top home improvement chains in the U.S. during this year’s spring selling season. Home Depot has announced it plans to hire 70,000 temporary workers this year, while Lowes will add 40,000 seasonal workers during 2012. Home Depot says many of the jobs will likely turn into permanent positions. About half of Home Depot’s 2011 seasonal hires stayed on in permanent positions.


Legal Watch


States Introduce New Antidiscrimination and E-Verify Bills
American Staffing Association (01/13/12) Duffy, Anne

As state legislatures start to convene for 2012, new bills that could affect businesses are being introduced. Highlights this week include immigration bills in Florida, Kentucky, and New Hampshire that would require employers to verify the work eligibility of new hires through E-Verify, the federal government’s employment verification system.

Mirroring federal legislation that was introduced in 2011, California and Nebraska introduced bills that would prohibit employers and employment agencies from discriminating against unemployed individuals in hiring. Similarly, the bills further state that it is unlawful for an employer to direct an employment agency to take an individual’s unemployed status into account when screening and referring applicants.

For more information on pending federal and state legislation, visit americanstaffing.net.

‘Ban the Box’ Law Goes Into Effect Today in Philadelphia
CBS Philadelphia (01/13/12) Dunn, Mike

The so-called “Ban the Box” law restricting the ability of employers to ask applicants about criminal records goes into effect today in Philadelphia. The new law prohibits employers in the city from putting that checkbox on job applications and from asking about ex-offender status during a first interview. Such questions are allowed during a follow-up interview.

Supporters of the idea say the goal is help ex-offenders at least make a good impression before having to spell out a criminal history. Brian Anderson, president of the Judge Group, a computer consulting and staffing firm in West Conshohocken, PA, “think[s] it will be effective, and I think employers will find additional qualified talent that they may not have found in the past.” Anderson says it will particularly help people with minor offenses on their records get a start in their careers. Employers who keep using the checkbox on initial job applications could face $2,000 fines for each violation.

Labor Dept. Inspector General Identifies ‘Integrity of Foreign Labor Certification Programs’ as a Top Management Challenge
Seyfarth Shaw (12/28/11) Paparelli, Angelo; Mozes, Gabriel; Quill, John

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General has identified maintaining the integrity of foreign labor certification programs among the “most serious management and performance challenges facing the Department.” The OIG notes that the Employment and Training Administration, which administers the programs, faces challenges in maintaining the integrity of its H-1B and H-2B labor certification programs. The H-1B challenges include statutory limits on the ETA’s authority, making system improvements in H-1B labor condition application processing system to better identify incomplete and/or inaccurate applications, and uncertainty about the process for including individuals or entities debarred under the department’s labor certification programs on the government-wide excluded parties lists.

Employee or Independent Contractor? Enforcement Efforts Increase in the Home Health Care Industry
Lexology (01/12/12) Maciel, Kara

The U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Internal Revenue Service have intensified their enforcement efforts regarding worker misclassification, and audits have increased substantially, particularly within the home health industry. In September 2011, the DOL and IRS announced an effort to coordinate with each other and with several states by permitting the sharing of information to combat misclassification.

In the home health industry specifically, the vast majority of courts have concluded that under the Fair Labor Standards Act, private duty nurses should be classified as employees. A recent example is Lemaster v. Alternative Healthcare Solutions Inc., in which home health licensed practical nurses sued a staffing company that recruits nurses (as independent contractors) and refers them to home health agencies and nursing homes. The evidence disclosed that the company interviewed, hired, and set the nurses’ wages, as well as assigned the nurses their work, collected time sheets, and maintained personnel files. Based on these facts, the court concluded that the nurses were employees under the FLSA, and the staffing company and its owners were liable to the LPNs for damages.

With regulatory agencies and courts more closely monitoring independent contractor relationships, firms with large numbers of independent contractors should conduct an internal legal review to ensure proper compliance with federal and state laws before the federal or state government conducts an audit or a group of employees files a class action lawsuit.


Trends and Research


Amid Downturn, More Older Americans Employed Than Ever Before
Washington Post (01/13/12) Whoriskey, Peter

The number of younger workers is declining, but more people older than 55 are employed than ever before, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Labor experts say one of the primary economic forces behind the surge of older workers is the increasing fear among older Americans that they lack the means to support their retirement needs.

The shift in retirement financing away from reliance on company pensions toward the adoption of 401(k) plans and other personal savings—combined with the recession—has dramatically increased the incentives to work longer. To the surprise of some experts, the need for older people to work has been strong enough to overwhelm the effects of the recession, which has thinned out the ranks of the employed among other generations. The number of people older than 55 who are working has actually risen by 3.1 million, or 12%, since the beginning of the recession. By contrast, the number of people between the ages of 25 and 54 who are working has decreased by 6.5 million, for a drop of 6.5%.

ASA Analysis Breaks Down ‘Beige Book’ Report by Region
American Staffing Association (01/12/12) Karaer, Alexandra

The latest report from the Federal Reserve Board on regional economies for the most part shows favorable conditions and ongoing improvements in the 12 business districts. Other highlights include limited hiring across most sectors and upward wage pressures due to the number of active job seekers across the nation. ASA researchers break down the results by district and offer a brief analysis for member companies.

ASA for You


ASA Quarterly Employment and Sales Survey Now Open

The ASA quarterly survey on temporary and contract staffing, which collects data on sales, payroll, and employment, is now open for the fourth quarter of 2011. The Web-based survey takes only about 15 minutes to complete. Participants receive a free exclusive report on the results, which includes payroll data available nowhere else. ASA research partner Inavero, a market research firm, administers the survey to ensure confidentiality of participant data.

Data are due Feb. 6, and results will be released Feb. 20. Register today to take the survey or download a sample questionnaire. For more information, contact Alexandra Karaer, ASA director of research, at 703-253-2048 or akaraer@americanstaffing.net.
Why Should You Get Certified in 2012?

Now that ASA offers its members free ASAPro Webinars and access to more than 150 archived courses, it’s easier than ever for you to earn and maintain the Certified Staffing Professional™ or Technical Services Certified™ credential.

Discover the full value of ASA membership and what it means to be certified by ASA. Obtaining the CSP™ or TSC™ certification will enhance your knowledge of labor and employment law, expand your knowledge of the industry, and elevate your professionalism. That’s why it’s important for you to focus on professional development and what it means for your career and your company in 2012.
Staffing Today Returns Jan. 17

In observance of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., Staffing Today will not be delivered Monday, Jan. 16.
Mark Your Calendar

All ASAPro Webinars are FREE for ASA members.

Jan. 19
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Focus Now to Make 2012 Your Most Productive Year
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 26
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Gain a Competitive Advantage With ASA Certification
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 31
ASAPro Webinar

Conducting Harassment Investigations With Clients
Qualifies for ASA CE

Plan Ahead—Register Now!
April 17–18
2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference
Washington, DC
Qualifies for ASA CE

January 12, 2012


Headline News
Fed Says U.S. Economic Growth Improves While Hiring Limited
U.S. Unemployment Claims Rise Sharply to 399,000
Brighter Picture for Manufacturing Employment in the U.S.
The Factory Floor Has a Ceiling on Job Creation
Economists See Europe as Main Threat to U.S. Growth

Legal Watch
Understanding Mandatory Paid Sick Leave
OSC Releases Info on Enforcement, Policy, Trends; Launches Webinar

Trends and Research
Want a Job? Try Manufacturing

ASA for You
Reach Your Goals in 2012—ASAPro Webinar Next Week

Headline News


Fed Says U.S. Economic Growth Improves While Hiring Limited
Bloomberg (01/11/12)

The Federal Reserve’s latest report on the nation’s regional economies showed that the pace of activity around the country is picking up, though hiring was limited. The Fed report, dubbed the beige book, will be used for discussions at the Fed’s next policy-setting meeting, Jan. 24-25.

The economy “expanded at a modest to moderate pace” from late November through the end of December on increased holiday retail sales, demand for services, and oil and gas extraction, the report concluded. At the same time, most industries saw “limited permanent hiring,” and the housing market remained “sluggish.” The report may reinforce the views of a majority of Fed officials, who see an economy that’s expanding without being strong enough to reduce joblessness as quickly as they would prefer.

“The reports on balance suggest ongoing improvement in economic conditions in recent months,” the Fed says. “The combination of limited permanent hiring in most sectors and numerous active job seekers has continued to keep a lid on general wage increases.” However, the report noted significant pay increases for workers with specialized skills in certain manufacturing and technology sectors.
ASA: Demand for Temporary Help Workers Continued to Grow

Although limited hiring continued across most sectors, staffing firm contacts in some districts reported increased demand for short-term temporary help workers and growth in the number of new job openings. Read more at americanstaffing.net.

U.S. Unemployment Claims Rise Sharply to 399,000
MarketWatch (01/12/12) Bartash, Jeffrey

New applications for unemployment benefits increased last week to the highest level since late November, most likely because of end-of-the-year layoffs following the holiday season. Jobless claims rose by 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 399,000 in the week ended Jan. 7, reports the U.S. Labor Department. Claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 375,000 from 372,000. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had estimated that claims would rise to a seasonally adjusted 380,000.

Claims usually rise to their highest level of the year, on an unadjusted basis, in the first or second week of January owing to end-of-the year changes in hiring and employment practices. Economists will watch closely over the next few weeks to see if claims resume a recent downward trend or spike higher as they did early in 2011.

Brighter Picture for Manufacturing Employment in the U.S.
Randstad (01/11/12) Summers, Fiona

The manufacturing sector saw 23,000 net new workers take up positions in the U.S. in the final month of 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Approximately 334,000 new jobs have been created in manufacturing since December 2009. On average, those in the manufacturing sector were working 40.5 hours each week in December 2011, which was up from 40.4 hours in November. The National Association of Manufacturers says the December 2011 figures were boosted by the durable goods sector.

The Factory Floor Has a Ceiling on Job Creation
Wall Street Journal (01/12/12) Wessel, David

While manufacturing employment has grown by 334,000 in the past two years, this column asserts that manufacturing alone is not going to put the U.S. back to work. One reason that manufacturing is up lately is because it was pushed down so far during the recession. The 334,000 increase in factory payrolls follows a decline of 2.3 million in the two years before that.

Manufacturing employs 11.8 million workers, accounting for less than 9% of all the jobs in the U.S. today. Lawrence Katz, a Harvard University labor economist, expects U.S. factories to hire more as the economy improves, but adds, “We don’t expect to restore agriculture as our primary source of employment growth. The same is true for manufacturing.” Modern factory jobs often pay well and are secure, but manufacturing employment is not going to be the chief source of jobs for the next quarter-century, and pretending otherwise is “foolish,” the column concludes.

Economists See Europe as Main Threat to U.S. Growth
Wall Street Journal (01/12/12) Izzo, Phil

The uncertainty surrounding Europe remains the biggest risk to growth in the U.S., according to economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal. Forty-eight of 50 economists surveyed say that the euro zone is in a recession now or that one is imminent, though the majority of those who predict a recession expect it to last less than a year. If the downturn in the euro zone proves to be deeper than currently forecast, the hit from exports alone could bring down forecasts for U.S. expansion in 2012.

“Through trade, a severe Europe recession could—directly and indirectly—take the U.S. economy under 2% growth,” says Allen Sinai of Decision Economics. That level would be below current forecasts for 2012, meaning slower job growth.


Legal Watch


Understanding Mandatory Paid Sick Leave
Heritage Foundation Reports (01/12/2012) Sherk, James

The Healthy Families Act and similar legislation before Congress would require employers to provide employees with at least seven days of paid sick leave benefits. James Sherk, senior policy analyst in labor economics in the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation, says the HFA would not increase workers’ total compensation because companies respond to mandated benefits by reducing cash wages. Less take-home pay means less savings and less consumption in the economy, which costs jobs, Sherk adds.

OSC Releases Info on Enforcement, Policy, Trends; Launches Webinar
Seyfarth Shaw (12/28/11) Paparelli, Angelo; Mozes, Gabriel; Quill, John

Nov. 6, 2011, marked the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which created the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices. To mark the occasion, OSC issued a commemorative newsletter featuring OSC’s enforcement, policy, and outreach trends and antidiscrimination efforts.

OSC says its enforcement work has been bolstered by a rise in referrals of potential discrimination from entities such as the U.S. Department of Labor, legal aid bureaus, and immigrant advocacy organizations. Recently, OSC has renewed its dialogue with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and with DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to ensure that appropriate referrals are made in a timely fashion. It has also initiated discussions with DOL’s Wage and Hour Division to identify appropriate cross-agency referrals.


Trends and Research


Want a Job? Try Manufacturing
Medill Reports (IL) (01/11/12) Washam, Christie

More than 225,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector continued to go unfilled in the U.S. during November, a 2% decrease from October but a 6.7% increase from November 2010. This, while the nation faces heavy unemployment, prompts the question of why so many manufacturing jobs remain open.

A recent survey of ASA corporate partner CareerBuilder.com listings found openings in hundreds of Illinois-based skilled manufacturing positions. Experts say there is a misconception that jobs in the industry have all been outsourced, when in reality those that have gone overseas are typically low-skilled work, not higher-tech jobs. Part of the issue is also a bad image. Many people still think of manufacturing as “dirty factory work,” says Mark Denzler, the vice president of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, even though the industry has gone through tremendous changes in the past 30 years with new technology throughout the production line.

Ingrid Goncalves, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council, adds that new industry jobs require more education and hands-on training, which can be hard to find because many high schools and community colleges tend to focus on broad liberal arts educations instead. Chicago Renaissance works with local manufacturers and communities to create educational programs for low-income residents to give them the skills necessary to fill the employment gap. Training takes time and with half of the skilled workers in the industry expected to retire in the next decade or so, creating the right educational programs now is more important than ever.

ASA for You


Reach Your Goals in 2012—ASAPro Webinar Next Week

Next Thursday, Jan. 19, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time, attend the ASAPro Webinar “Focus Now to Make 2012 Your Most Productive Year” and get the tools and knowledge to develop or fine-tune your strategic plan for 2012. This Webinar, presented by John A. Thomas, CSP, CTS, vice president of partner development for Nextaff, is free for ASA members ($295 for nonmembers).

ASAPro Webinars qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Visit americanstaffing.net to register.
ASA Members, Showcase Your Membership With ASA Logos and Graphics

Market research shows that staffing clients recognize membership in ASA as an indicator of excellence. By being a member of the association and displaying the ASA member logo, you promote your membership and show your commitment to legal, ethical, and professional practices. Use the ASA member logo on your Web site, stationery, and business cards, and in your ads and brochures.

The ASA member logo kit makes it easy. The logo kit includes an assortment of member logos, available for download in multiple formats, at americanstaffing.net. Additional graphics are also available to showcase your Certified Staffing Professional™ or Technical Services Certified™ credentials and to help promote National Staffing Employee Week, Sept. 10–16, and Staffing World® 2012, Oct. 9–11.
Mark Your Calendar

All ASAPro Webinars are FREE for ASA members.

Jan. 19
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Focus Now to Make 2012 Your Most Productive Year
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 26
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Gain a Competitive Advantage With ASA Certification
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 31
ASAPro Webinar

Conducting Harassment Investigations With Clients
Qualifies for ASA CE

Plan Ahead—Register Now!
April 17–18
2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference
Washington, DC
Qualifies for ASA CE

January 11, 2012


Headline News
2012 Job Market Brightens, But Unemployment Won’t Fall Fast
Four Job Seekers for Every Opening, Report Shows
2012 Expected to be Good Year for Law Firm Lateral Market
Fed’s Williams: Fed Should Use All Tools to Help the Economy
Ways to Manage Increased Hiring Demand for Industrial Engineers

Legal Watch
Health Care Reform Lawsuit: States File Legal Arguments Against Medicaid Expansion
Students, Volunteers, or Employees?
OSHA Publishes New Web Page That Features Safety and Health Information on Winter Storm Hazards

ASA for You
ASAPro Spotlight—Enhance Your Internal Hiring Strategy

Headline News


2012 Job Market Brightens, But Unemployment Won’t Fall Fast
USA Today (01/11/12) Davidson, Paul; Hansen, Barbara

The job outlook has brightened the past two months as higher consumer spending, improved business confidence, and a stock market rally have somewhat eased concerns about further shocks from Europe’s financial turmoil. Economists recently surveyed by the Associated Press expect employers to add 2.1 million jobs in 2012, an average of 175,000 a month. While the highest monthly pace in years, it would still fall short of the 250,000 to 300,000 needed to cut unemployment quickly. “It’s not going to be a breakout year,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.

Moody’s predicts that three categories—professional and business services, education and health care, and leisure and hospitality—will lead job gains, collectively producing more than 1 million. The energy sector will also continue to hire. Sun Belt states hammered by the recession—Florida, Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada—will rebound some, while Rust Belt manufacturing states such as Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana will generate jobs more slowly.

A survey of 18,000 employers released last month by staffing firm ManpowerGroup found employers’ hiring outlook for the first quarter was at its highest since 2008. At the same time, the level of employers unsure of their hiring plans was the most since 2005. Many large companies, in turn, are holding off on permanent hiring and relying heavily on contractors and temporary workers to complete projects, says Janette Marx, senior vice president of staffing company Adecco.

Four Job Seekers for Every Opening, Report Shows
MSNBC (01/10/12) Schoen, John

Even as hiring picked up in November, the number of job openings declined, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Employers filled about 4.15 million jobs in November, an increase but still badly lagging the pace in the three years before the recession hit, when employers were signing up more than five million new hires each month. Meanwhile, although hiring picked up in November, job openings shrank by 63,000, to 3.2 million.

With 13.3 million people unemployed in November, there were about 4.2 job seekers for every job opening, down a notch from the revised October ratio of 4.3-to-1. That is approximately triple the ratio seen before the recession hit in December 2007 but down from a peak of 6.9-to-1 in the summer of 2009. The drop in job openings was biggest for professional and business services (down 59,000) and government (down 18,000). Openings were slightly higher in construction (up 3,000), trade/transportation/utilities (4,000), education/health services (13,000), and leisure/hospitality (32,000).

2012 Expected to be Good Year for Law Firm Lateral Market
JD Journal (01/11/12)

Legal industry observers expect law firms to increase their lateral hiring in 2012 in an effort to expand their existing services. Firms are eager to hire lawyers who will bring new clients to the firm that fall into sectors the firms are looking to develop. The lateral market has “been picking up steam and will continue to do so. There’s a lot of people looking to make moves,” says Christopher Petrini-Poli from consulting firm HBR Consulting LLC.

Altman Weil Inc. released a survey in September that questioned 240 U.S. law firms on their growth strategies. Of the firms that responded to the survey, 91.6% of the law firms said that they were making an effort to hire laterals in 2011. Thomas Clay, an author of the report issued by Altman Weil, says that the increase in lateral hiring is due to the need for lawyers with business experience, not the need to fill jobs that were lost during the recession. “The people who were let go during the recession were mainly young lawyers,” Clay says. “This has nothing to do with filling up those ranks.”

Fed’s Williams: Fed Should Use All Tools to Help the Economy
Dow Jones Newswires (01/10/12) Derby, Michael

While the Federal Reserve should do all it can to help the economy recover, what it does next depends on how events play out, says John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. “It’s vital that the Fed use all the tools at its disposal to achieve its mandated employment and price-stability goals,” Williams states, adding that “the policy actions the Fed takes from here on out will depend on how economic conditions develop.”

Williams is encouraged by improvements in the December jobs report, but says the dip to 8.5% unemployment is not “a game changer.” Tepid growth is the trend and if economic performance were to further weaken in the first quarter “that would make a strong case for doing more” to stimulate the economy, he says.

Ways to Manage Increased Hiring Demand for Industrial Engineers
Wanted Analytics (01/10/12) Lombardi, Abby

With hiring demand for engineers expected to remain strong in 2012, recruiters in that field will face challenges in dealing with a limited talent supply, especially for the most demanded engineering job—industrial engineers. In December, more than 12,900 job ads were posted for industrial engineers by 3,800 companies. Many companies are recruiting for hundreds of openings and recruiters are likely to compete heavily to attract enough talent to fill all their open positions.

In order to source enough candidates and fill open industrial engineer positions, hiring managers and recruiters may want to discuss hiring from areas with more favorable recruiting conditions. Locations currently experiencing the easiest conditions for sourcing industrial engineers include Palm Bay, FL; Houma, LA; Binghamton, NY; Anderson, SC; and Lakeland, FL. If relocating talent is not an option for an organization, recruiters and hiring managers should look at other skills that may be easily translated to the job opening. For example, mechanical engineers are experiencing better recruiting conditions than industrial engineers. Also, many times industrial engineers go by different job titles—such as quality engineer or process engineer—that should also be included in candidate searches.


Legal Watch


Health Care Reform Lawsuit: States File Legal Arguments Against Medicaid Expansion
Politico (01/10/12) Haberkorn, Jennifer

Twenty-six states have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the health care reform law’s mandatory state expansion of the Medicaid program, an issue in the health care reform lawsuit that could determine how much leverage the federal government has with the states on any issue. Attorney Paul Clement, who is representing the states, said in a brief, “While some individuals are exempt from the penalties designed to enforce the mandate, no state is exempt from the massive penalty—the loss of the entirety of funding under the single largest grant-in-aid programs for the states—and so Congress did not even contemplate the possibility of a state opting out of Medicaid.”

The expansion of Medicaid under the reform law is one of four issues being targeted by states, but if the Supreme Court agrees with the states, it could limit the federal government’s power to use money as an incentive for the states to act on any issue. The states have said that expanding Medicaid is “an illegal commandeering of states’ autonomy” because it ties all federal funding for the program to the expansion, which amounts to coercion.

Students, Volunteers, or Employees?
HR.BLR.com (01/09/12)

Hofstra University in New York was recently sued by 256 graduate and undergraduate students who charged the school had underpaid them for the work they did, a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. In a federal district court, Hofstra settled the case for nearly $500,000, so the judge did not rule on whether they were students or employees.

The lead plaintiff in the Hofstra case, a graduate student, charged that she had worked more than 40 hours a week during the fall semester managing the football team and performing other on-campus jobs. She was paid only a $700 stipend for the whole semester—less than minimum wage, with no overtime pay provided. The National Labor Relations Board has seesawed on whether graduate students working for/at their schools are allowed to unionize, meaning they are employees. The board said in 2000 that they could, reversed that stance in 2004, and observers say they may be set to reverse it again.

OSHA Publishes New Web Page That Features Safety and Health Information on Winter Storm Hazards
Seyfarth Shaw (12/22/11) Simonsen, Craig

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has just published a Web page that provides “safety and health information on winter storm hazards.” OSHA indicates that winter storms “create a variety of hazards and can have lingering impacts on everyday tasks and work activities,” noting that the National Weather Service reports that about 70% of injuries during winter storms result from vehicle accidents, and about 25% of injuries result from being caught out in the storm. The new OSHA Web page provides guidance on winter storm preparedness, response and recovery, and additional resources.

ASA for You


ASAPro Spotlight—Enhance Your Internal Hiring Strategy

ASAPro—the ASA online professional development center—posts new courses monthly to help you in your professional development. Most ASAPro courses are free for ASA members. Check out “Enhance Your Internal Hiring Strategy to Produce Better Results.”

During this ASAPro course, Scott Wintrip, PCC, founder and president of StaffingU, provides you with a powerful system for profiling who you will recruit and hire. Learn how to find and assess the best and final fit for your staffing firm.

The course is free for ASA members ($195 for nonmembers) and qualifies for 1.0 passive continuing education hour toward ASA certification renewal. To view this course, log in to your personal account and search for the course by title, then add it to your shopping cart and purchase the course. No payment will be required from ASA members.

For more information, contact ASA at 703-253-2020 or asa@americanstaffing.net.
Mark Your Calendar

All ASAPro Webinars are FREE for ASA members.

Jan. 19
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Focus Now to Make 2012 Your Most Productive Year
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 26
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Gain a Competitive Advantage With ASA Certification
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 31
ASAPro Webinar

Conducting Harassment Investigations With Clients
Qualifies for ASA CE

Plan Ahead—Register Now!
April 17–18
2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference
Washington, DC
Qualifies for ASA CE

January 10, 2012


Headline News
More U.S. Part-Timers Find Full-Time Jobs
Contract Lawyers in Hot Demand
Recession Holds Down Health Spending
Challenger: Holiday Retail Hiring Jumped 15% On Year, Nearing 2007 Levels

Legal Watch
Labor Board Swears In Three New Members
DOL, Knoxville Firm Reach Agreement on Security Guards’ Back Pay

Trends and Research
Search and Placement Employment Slips in November

ASA for You
New ASA Certifications Increase 170% in 2011


Headline News


More U.S. Part-Timers Find Full-Time Jobs
Bloomberg (01/09/12) Homan, Timothy

An increasing number of U.S. workers are moving from part-time to full-time jobs. While the number of people putting in a full week rose to 113.8 million in December, the most since February 2009, 8.1 million worked fewer hours because they could not find a full-time job, the least since January 2009. “It’s what will traditionally happen when the job market overall is beginning to improve,” says Tig Gilliam, chief executive officer of Adecco Group North America.

The underemployment rate, which includes part-time employees who would prefer a full-time job, dropped from 16.4% to 15.2%. “By moving into more permanent positions, you get a more productive work force,” says Michael Gapen, a senior U.S. economist at Barclays Capital Inc. “It makes labor more valuable and that means moderate wage growth, even with the unemployment rate at 8.5%. That translates into better consumption momentum entering this year.”

Gilliam says his industry “is still seeing double-digit growth in permanent placements and conversions” from part-time and temporary to full-time employment. “When the market gets that much better, the direct hiring accelerates even more,” he says.

Contract Lawyers in Hot Demand
Crain’s New York Business (New York) (01/09/12) Fioravante, Janice

An increasing number of New York City law firms are turning to contract help. The economic climate has prompted many corporate law firms to run so lean that they have to outsource legal work. According to the National Law Journal’s April survey, almost 2,900 fewer lawyers worked for the nation’s largest 250 law firms in 2010; about 6,600 attorneys departed such employment in 2009.

With so many large law firms located in the city, there is a wide talent pool, extending from laid-off lawyers to recent law school graduates with prestigious degrees who are having difficulty obtaining associate positions. While $60 to $80 an hour was the prerecession norm for contract lawyers, current rates have dipped to between $32 and $40, and sometimes are as low as $25. Providers of contract help say that they see no signs of the trend slowing down, as staffing firms outbid each other to be the lowest-cost suppliers of legal talent, in a process called reverse bidding.

“Corporations are refusing to pay $250 an hour for first- or second-year attorneys,” says Courtney Sapire, a co-founder of RFx Legal, which automates the process of finding contract lawyers and offers other services. “They want the level of expertise to match the task that they’re billing for.”

Recession Holds Down Health Spending
New York Times (01/10/12) Pear, Robert

National health spending increased by a slight 3.9% in 2010, reports the Obama administration, as Americans delayed hospital care, doctor’s visits and prescription drug purchases for the second year in a row. Lingering effects of the recession reduced the explosive growth of health spending, which totaled $2.6 trillion in 2010. Health spending normally grows much faster than the economy, but in 2010 growth rates were similar, so that health care accounted for the same share of total economic output in 2009 and 2010.

“U.S. health spending grew more slowly in 2009 and 2010″ than at any other time in the 51 years the government has been collecting such data, said Anne Martin, an economist in the office of the actuary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Medicare spending grew in 2010 by 5%, the smallest rate of increase in more than a decade, the report said, citing a slowdown in spending for the managed care program known as Medicare Advantage. Government economists said President Obama’s health care overhaul had little impact on the overall level of health spending and, in some cases, simply shifted payments from one source to another.

Challenger: Holiday Retail Hiring Jumped 15% On Year, Nearing 2007 Levels
Dow Jones Newswires (01/09/12) Lamar, Mia

Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. reports that retail hiring for the holidays jumped 15% over the same period in 2010. The sector recorded a net gain of 718,500 workers over the final three months of the year, according to the firm’s analysis of employment data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, just short of the 720,800 workers added in 2007, when the U.S. economy was still relatively strong.

Job gains in the retail sector this year were better than anticipated, according to the firm’s chief executive, John Challenger, who noted early sales and strong performance on the Black Friday sales day likely contributed to added workers in December. Still, he cautioned those gains could fade in the months ahead. “Now, the question is whether the consumer will go into post-holiday hibernation. Several retail experts have predicted that this year could see particularly weak January sales, as Americans try to recover from holiday spending, much of which was on credit cards,” Challenger stated.


Legal Watch


Labor Board Swears In Three New Members
Wall Street Journal (01/10/12) Trottman, Melanie

The National Labor Relations Board swore in three new members Jan. 9 as Republicans continue to argue the recess appointments made by President Barack Obama are illegal because they say the Senate was not technically in recess. The new members are Democrat Richard Griffin, previously general counsel of the International Union of Operating Engineers; Democrat Sharon Block, former Labor Department deputy assistant secretary for congressional affairs; and Republican Terence Flynn, who was chief counsel to Republican board member Brian Hayes.

The three members join two others on the board, Democratic Chairman Mark Pearce and Hayes, to restore a Democratic majority and full powers to the group. It recently lost its quorum—and most of its decision-making abilities—when Democrat Craig Becker’s term expired. The board can now resume deciding a backlog of about 175 cases. The board can also continue to make major new rules that shape union-organizing and workplace policies, which it resumed doing last year for the first time since the 1980s, citing a need to modernize and streamline dated processes under the decades-old National Labor Relations Act.

DOL, Knoxville Firm Reach Agreement on Security Guards’ Back Pay
Knoxville News-Sentinel (01/10/12) News Sentinel Staff

Knoxville, TN-based Custom Security Solutions Inc. has agreed to pay $62,038 in back wages to 34 security guards as a result of an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division. The regulatory agency found the employees were improperly classified as independent contractors and denied minimum wage and overtime wages due under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Wage and Hour Division said its investigators determined that the 34 employees were paid a “straight time” rate for all hours worked instead of time and one-half their hourly rates for hours over 40, as required by the FLSA. “The misclassification of employees as independent contractors is an alarming trend, particularly in industries that often employ low-wage, vulnerable workers and in which the Wage and Hour Division historically has found significant wage violations,” the Labor Department said in a statement.


Trends and Research


Search and Placement Employment Slips in November
American Staffing Association (01/10/12) Karaer, Alexandra

Recent employment data, released last Friday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that search and placement employment in November was down 3.1% from October, totaling 253,600 for the month. In a year-to-year comparison, November employment was up 2.9% from the same month in 2010.

BLS employment estimates for search and placement firms are available on a nonseasonal basis only, and reports lag by one month.

ASA for You


New ASA Certifications Increase 170% in 2011

The industry is getting smarter, savvier, and more competitive. By the end of 2011, 612 staffing professionals were newly certified by ASA—a 170% increase over new certifications in 2010.

To date, more than 6,000 individuals have earned the ASA Certified Staffing Professional™ or Technical Services Certified™ credential. Those with the CSP™ or TSC™ designation earn, on average, nearly 10% more in base pay than their uncertified counterparts.

Make 2012 the year you and your staff join the ASA-certified elite. Certified individuals who are employed by an ASA member firm receive free professional development, including the continuing education they need for certification renewal.

January 9, 2012


Headline News
Unemployment Scars Likely to Last for Years
Job Numbers Mask Complex Picture
Analysis: Amid Jobs Gains, Worries Persist Over Europe
Robert Half International Is Cashing in on Growth in Temporary Staffing
Weekly Economic Indicators: 2012 Starts With a Bang

Legal Watch
Rule Gives Illegal Immigrants a Break
Suit Planned Against Hotel Staffing Company
GOP Cautious in Payroll Tax Fight
California Court of Appeal Provides Roadmap on the Proper Classification of Independent Contractors
Do Your Social Media Accounts Belong to Your Business? Why Worry, When There Are Safeguards You Can Take Now

ASA For You
Register Today for the 2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference

Headline News


Unemployment Scars Likely to Last for Years
Wall Street Journal (01/09/12) Casselman, Ben

While the U.S. job market is showing signs of a sustained recovery, the nation’s prolonged struggle with unemployment will leave scars that are likely to remain for years. The crisis has exposed problems in the U.S. labor market that will not quickly recover when the economy eventually rebounds, and the longer that unemployment remains high, the greater the danger that it will create structural problems that will endure.

With approximately 5.6 million Americans having been out of work at least six months, and 3.9 million of them for a year or more, long-term unemployment may be the biggest problem. Research shows that the longer people are unemployed, the less likely they are to find jobs. Economists say the risk is that the U.S. will develop an underclass of semipermanently unemployed workers, with severe consequences for productivity, public finances, and social stability.

The U.S. labor market has over the past two decades lost much of the edge it enjoyed over other developed countries. Americans are moving less frequently and changing jobs less often, making the job market less flexible. Also, a smaller share of Americans are working, as the labor force participation rate has been falling for more than a decade.

Job Numbers Mask Complex Picture
Wall Street Journal (01/07/12) Cronin, Brenda

Employment experts say that to truly understand the U.S. labor market, observers need to focus less on the unemployment rate and more on job creation. The current recovery trails previous ones in that area, reflecting, in part, “a very big shift in the way that America runs,” according to Eric Lascelles, chief economist at RBC Global Asset Management. He cites four factors behind today’s weak job generation: first, the extremely slow pace of the overall recovery; second, a sectoral mismatch of workers’ skills to available jobs; third, a geographic mismatch where workers are trapped in areas with few jobs; and fourth, rising efficiency in the work place.

Tom Porcelli, U.S. market economist at RBC Capital Markets, highlights companies’ increased productivity as a strong factor keeping a lid on hiring. When productivity is strong, he says, “companies don’t necessarily have to bring back head count. They can bring back hours first…and that underpins the jobless recovery.”

Analysis: Amid Jobs Gains, Worries Persist Over Europe
Reuters (01/06/12) Zieminski, Nick

The stronger-than-expected December U.S. jobs growth figures on Jan. 6 draws a sharp contrast with European numbers, but executives in the temporary staffing and employment services field say anxiety about a likely recession in Europe keeps cropping up in conversations with clients and, in some cases, is putting hiring plans on hold. Faced with falling sales and profits in Europe, multinational clients may look for offsetting savings in other markets, including the U.S., analysts warn.

Randstad Holding NV’s recruitment outsourcing business, SourceRight Solutions, which handles large-scale hiring of as many as 500 people at a time, says it has a banking client that tentatively plans aggressive expansion in 2012. However, “there’s still caution around Europe and how they could impact the U.S.,” says Joanie Ruge, Randstad senior vice president and chief employment analyst. “That is (clients’) biggest concern right now, though they seem optimistic about all the economic indicators in the U.S. moving in the right direction.”

Robert Half International Is Cashing in on Growth in Temporary Staffing
Barron’s (01/07/12) Doherty, Jacqueline

Robert Half International is rebounding from its 2009 low and, over the next few years, is positioned to increase revenue and earnings beyond their 2007 cyclical peak. The staffing firm is expected to boost revenue by 10% in each of the next three years, while raising operating margins to 12%, up from a current 7%, and producing $2.70 a share of earnings, according to Quoc Tran, a portfolio manager at Lateef Investment Management, the company’s largest shareholder.

In last year’s first three quarters, Robert Half’s Accountemps division contributed 37% of revenue, and Robert Half Finance and Accounting, which offers permanent-placement services in the accounting, financial, tax and banking areas, contributed 8%. “Our mid-market client base for the most part doesn’t have a [human-resources] capability. They’re outsourcing that to us,” says Keith Waddell, the company’s president and CFO.

Weekly Economic Indicators: 2012 Starts With a Bang
Business Insider (01/08/12)

The monthly economic data reported in the first week of 2012 was positive, although a few came in lighter than expectations. Construction spending, Institute for Supply Management manufacturing and services reports, factory orders, vehicle sales, and most importantly, payrolls, all were positive month over month. The ASA Staffing Index fell by seven points to 86 last week, but that is due to seasonality, and in fact, the index is back above year ago levels, after stagnating in mid-2011. Overall, the economic data show an ongoing solid, if not stellar, recovery.


Legal Watch


Rule Gives Illegal Immigrants a Break
Wall Street Journal (01/07/12) Jordan, Miriam

The Obama administration on Jan. 7 announced it will make it easier for illegal immigrants who are related to a U.S. citizen to seek legal U.S. residency, a rule change that could affect thousands of illegal immigrants who might qualify for a green card but have not applied because they feared either not being allowed back into the U.S. or a lengthy separation from family. Currently, an illegal immigrant must apply for and receive a legal visa from his or her country of origin to rejoin a spouse or child in the U.S., a process that can take years. The rule modification will enable the immigrant to remain in the U.S. for much of the process.

Suit Planned Against Hotel Staffing Company
WTHR-TV (Indianapolis) (01/09/12)

Fourteen employees of Hospitality Staffing Solutions are filing a lawsuit against the company in Indianapolis, alleging that Hospitality underpays its employees. The suit claims that housekeepers, food service employees, and others in hospitality were not getting paid for the 40 hours they worked, or told they would not be paid overtime even if they worked more than 40 hours. Ten major hotels are expected to be named in the lawsuit, which also alleges that Hospitality interfered with workers’ abilities to find work elsewhere.

Hospitality chief executive Rick Holliday says news of the suit is the first he has heard of any problems employees had with pay, noting the company has a system in place for complaints. He also says the timing of the action is suspect, with the Super Bowl being held in Indianapolis on Feb. 5.

GOP Cautious in Payroll Tax Fight
Roll Call (01/09/12) Shiner, Meredith

Republicans are reported to be loath to repeat the fight over an extension of the payroll tax cut in the opening weeks of 2012. The conference committee formed at the behest of House Republicans to deal with a long-term extension of the payroll tax holiday has already begun its work, and members of each faction are working to reach a deal before March. Democrats clearly believe they have the upper hand, emboldened by a serious messaging win on the short-term payroll extension that divided Republicans in December.

California Court of Appeal Provides Roadmap on the Proper Classification of Independent Contractors
Seyfarth Shaw (01/05/12) Ortman, Tripper; McFadden, Robb

The California Court of Appeal recently held in Arnold v. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company that insurance agents and other types of salespeople with the discretion to determine when, how, and whether to sell a company’s products may properly be classified as independent contractors. A lower court had previously applied the common law test for independent contractor/employee status set forth in S. G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Dept. of Industrial Rel. and found that Arnold was properly classified as an “independent contractor,” and granted Mutual’s motion for summary judgment. Arnold appealed.

The Court of Appeal rejected Arnold’s argument that Division Three of the Labor Code provides a statutory definition of the term “employee.” Instead, the court agreed with the trial court and held that the common law Borello test should be used to determine whether Arnold was an employee or an independent contractor. Because the court determined that the common law Borello control test was the appropriate test to analyze employment status in California—and many jurisdictions around the country employ similar control tests—this decision should have far-reaching implications for the insurance and other industries that employ independent contractor salespeople outside California. Post-Arnold, companies that utilize independent contractors to sell their products in such states may apply the analysis in Arnold as a benchmark to assess and review these relationships in order to determine whether changes should be made.

Do Your Social Media Accounts Belong to Your Business? Why Worry, When There Are Safeguards You Can Take Now
Social Media Law Update (12/29/11) Sherman, Michelle

Michelle Sherman of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP cites a federal case in the Northern District of California where a mobile news and reviews resource company, PhoneDog, is suing a former employee Noah Kravitz over who owns a Twitter account that was started in association with PhoneDog, and is now being used by Kravitz as his own Twitter account. A key issue drawing attention to the case is who owns a social media account—the employee who posts on it, or the employer on whose behalf the employee was posting. The other issue is what value, if any, can be placed on Twitter followers when social media attracts people who are portable and not “owned” by the social media account.

Sherman says that while PhoneDog “does not enter court with the best of facts in order to decide these larger issues of interest to employers and the social media community … the shortcomings in PhoneDog’s case are instructive in terms of steps employers should take to better demonstrate ownership over their social media sites.” She concludes that in general, companies should to the greatest extent possible register social media accounts in their own names or through a senior marketing person and/or social media manager if the account needs to be in the name of a person. The case also highlights the importance of having an agreement with employees concerning their access and use of social media accounts on behalf of the company, according to Sherman, and ensuring that the agreement clearly spells out the relationship and the parameters for it because some courts will literally interpret agreements with employees.

ASA for You

Register Today for the 2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference
Don’t miss the 2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference, April 17–18 in Washington, DC, which will feature prominent in-house staffing firm attorneys and outside counsel who regularly advise staffing firms on employment law. These industry experts will discuss the latest and most pressing legal and legislative issues facing the staffing business—making this a can’t-miss event.

As an added bonus for the 2012 election year, the ASA Staffing Law Conference luncheon speaker is Charlie Cook, the pre-eminent authority on U.S. elections and political trends.

Register today
or contact ASA at 703-253-2020 for more information.

January 6, 2012


Headline News
U.S. Economy Created 200,000 Jobs in December
December Planned Layoffs Lowest in Six Months: Challenger
Services Activity Edges Up in December: ISM Survey
Five Best Businesses to Get In for 2012
NFIB Jobs Statement: No Rally in Jobs at Close of 2011, But Small Business Is Cautiously Optimistic About 2012

Legal Watch
ASA Issues Revised Wage Notice Form for Complying With New California Law
Pro-Union Boycott Hits Indiana House
Staffing Firm Settles Lawsuit Filed by Amazon Applicant
Employers Rush to Court to Block Labor Board’s New Election Rule: Coalition for a Democratic Workplace
With Public Employment Stagnant, Groups Urge Lawmakers to Let Private Sector Grow

Trends and Research
In U.S., a Cheaper Labor Pool
Supercharging Productivity Through Work Force Innovation

ASA for You
New Employer Health Care Provisions Take Effect in San Francisco

Headline News


U.S. Economy Created 200,000 Jobs in December
Dow Jones Newswires (01/06/12) Sparshott, Jeffrey; Barkley, Tom

The U.S. economy gained 200,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5%, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday. Private companies added 212,000 jobs, while the public sector shrank by 12,000. The unemployment rate, obtained by a separate survey of U.S. households, sank to 8.5% in December, its lowest level since February 2009. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a gain of 155,000 in payrolls and a jobless rate of 8.7%.
ASA: BLS Data Show Staffing Jobs Dip in December

Seasonally adjusted employment data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that staffing employment fell slightly from November to December (down 0.3%). In a year-to-year comparison, temporary help employment for the month was 4.4% higher than in December 2010.

“Staffing firms added about 100,000 new jobs to the economy in 2011 and indicators remain positive for the year ahead,” says Richard Wahlquist, American Staffing Association president and chief executive officer. “ASA members report continued demand for temporary and permanent positions across most sectors.”

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that staffing industry employment was down by 0.9% from November to December, better than the 15 year average decrease of 1.3%. On a year-to-year basis, there were 4.2% more staffing employees in December than in the same month in 2010.


December Planned Layoffs Lowest in Six Months: Challenger
Reuters (01/05/12) Leong, Richard

Planned layoffs by U.S. employers in December declined to its lowest level since June, according to a new report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Employers announced 41,785 planned job cuts in December, down 1.6% from 42,474 in November. Despite the decrease toward the end of 2011, the figure in December was still a 31% increase over December 2010.

“Job cuts in 2011 were dominated by the government and financial sectors. These two alone accounted for 41% of all the job cuts announced last year,” said John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger. The 183,064 government job cuts in 2011 represented a record high for that sector since Challenger began tracking it in 2002.

Services Activity Edges Up in December: ISM Survey
MarketWatch (01/05/12) Goldstein, Steve

The Institute for Supply Management’s services index rose in December to a reading of 52.6% from November’s 52.0%, showing growth for the 25th straight month. Of key subcomponents, employment increased from 48.9% to 49.4%. Eleven industries, including retail trade and finance, reported growth, while seven, including health care and real estate, reported contraction. The service sector employs about 90% of all workers.

Five Best Businesses to Get In for 2012
Yahoo! Finance (01/05/12) Kulikowski, Laurie

According to the International Franchise Industry’s 2012 Business Outlook report, among the hottest industry segments going into 2012 is outsourcing/staffing. Terry Mackin, managing director at Generational Equity, a mergers and acquisitions firm, says that as businesses learn the value of technology in their operations, “not only do they get leaner and meaner, but they don’t have to rehire.” This creates a lot of opportunity for outsourcing, particularly when it comes to staffing, because “businesses have found they now can take advantage of concentrating on their core competency while bringing in other [part-time or temporary] professionals who have expertise in other areas,” Mackin notes.

Sara Sutton Fell, founder of FlexJobs.com, says companies specializing in alternative staffing will see lots of growth as employers look to hire on a project basis as opposed to permanent. “The long-held full-time job was proven not so secure a few years ago,” Sutton Fell says. There is “a lot of skepticism now in putting all your eggs in one basket where employers don’t owe you anything. The perception of a full-time job and what kind of security that actually lends has changed.”

NFIB Jobs Statement: No Rally in Jobs at Close of 2011, But Small Business Is Cautiously Optimistic About 2012
NFIB Small-Business News (01/05/12)

Chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business William Dunkelberg on Jan. 5 issued a statement on the December job numbers—based on NFIB’s monthly economic survey that will be released on Jan. 10—indicating that “December’s jobs numbers fizzled, with the net change in employment per firm turning negative again.” He noted that small businesses lost an average 0.15 workers per firm. According to Dunkelberg, “45% of owners hired or tried to hire in the past three months, but 34% of them reported few or no qualified applicants for the position(s).”

“The good news is that the number of owners cutting jobs has ‘normalized,’” added Dunkelberg. “In the past several months, reports of those cutting workers have been at the lowest levels since the recession started in December 2007. … Given this trend, reports of new job creation should see a slight uptick in the coming months.”


Legal Watch


ASA Issues Revised Wage Notice Form for Complying With New California Law
American Staffing Association (01/06/12) Lenz, Ed

In the Jan. 5 issue of Staffing Today, ASA provided a link to a sample ASA notice form that staffing firms can use to comply with the new California wage notice law in lieu of the form provided by the state’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. The ASA form has been revised to reflect the most current information.

Pro-Union Boycott Hits Indiana House
Wall Street Journal (01/06/12) Nicas, Jack

For the second consecutive year, Indiana House Democrats are boycotting their chamber to block a state right-to-work bill, which in Indiana would ban labor contracts that require all employees to pay union dues, weakening unions’ finances and clout in the workplace. Supporters of the bill, including Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma and Gov. Mitch Daniels, say it would make the state more attractive to employers, while opponents maintain it is an attack on unions and would drive down wages.

Bosma unsuccessfully tried to call for a quorum twice on Jan. 5. The state Constitution requires 67 of the 100 House members to answer the roll call to begin the session. Three of the 40 House Democrats joined Republicans in the chamber Thursday, leaving the House four members short. Bosma says he will invoke fines against Democrats for boycotting the chamber, “if necessary.”

Staffing Firm Settles Lawsuit Filed by Amazon Applicant
Allentown Morning Call (Pennsylvania) (01/06/12) Kennedy, Sam

Integrity Staffing Solutions has settled a discrimination lawsuit brought by an African-American man convicted of manslaughter almost 30 years ago, after Integrity denied him a job at Amazon.com because of his criminal record. “Employment policies that impose a blanket exclusion on people with past convictions, without any consideration of the relationship of the conviction to the job in question, can constitute unlawful discrimination,” says Jennifer Clarke, executive director of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.

The Public Interest Law Center says ISS “has reaffirmed its policy of providing equal employment opportunity for people with past criminal convictions” and “also has further reemphasized to supervisors and personnel engaged in the hiring process the importance of and appropriate review of a job applicant’s criminal convictions.” ISS declined to discuss the matter.

Employers Rush to Court to Block Labor Board’s New Election Rule: Coalition for a Democratic Workplace
MyPrivateBallot.com (12/20/11)

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 20 filed suit in federal court to block the National Labor Relations Board’s “ambush” election rule, which would change the process for union representation elections. The new rule effectively shortens election time frames, limiting employees’ opportunity to hear from employers and make an informed choice and diminishing employers’ due process. The complaint seeks to enjoin the NLRB from enforcing the final rule.

CDW chairman Geoffrey Burr said, “Instead of putting fairness first, the NLRB bowed to special interests by abandoning longstanding rules governing union-representation elections for this new rigged system where employees have less information and employers have fewer legal rights and a diminished due process.” He continued, “Big Labor’s paid union organizers seeking more dues-paying members spend months making their pitch. Employees deserve to hear from employers too—employees deserve the full story.” Burr concluded that the only way to block the rule was to take legal action.

With Public Employment Stagnant, Groups Urge Lawmakers to Let Private Sector Grow
Maryland Gazette (01/06/12) Shay, Kevin James

With federal budget cuts making private-sector job creation more important than ever, small businesses in Maryland want to see a “do no harm” policy from legislators, says Ellen Valentino, the state director for the National Federation of Independent Business. “The economy is still very unsettled,” she notes. “We may see more measured action with respect to considering laws that could adversely impact businesses.”

Valentino is looking for a “strict” implementation of the federal health insurance reform law to “make sure that Maryland doesn’t go beyond” it. Business are also concerned about a number of tax proposals, such as combined reporting or even imposing a sales tax on certain professional services. The Maryland Chamber of Commerce has specifically warned against proposed legislation that expands the grounds to sue employers or contributes to the company’s legal costs.


Trends and Research


In U.S., a Cheaper Labor Pool
Wall Street Journal (01/06/12) Hagerty, James R.; Linebaugh, Kate

U.S. manufacturing has become more competitive globally thanks to minimal wage growth and the ability of manufacturers to use more-flexible work practices and increased automation to make the same amount of goods with far fewer people.

U.S. manufacturing labor costs per unit of output in 2010 were 13% below the level of a decade earlier as workers became more productive, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U.S. outperformed Germany, where unit labor costs increased 2.3%; Canada, where they rose 18%; and South Korea, up 15%.

“Manufacturing in the U.S. is more and more attractive,” said Daniel Meckstroth, chief economist for the research group Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation. Meckstroth expects the U.S. to remain mainly a services economy but thinks manufacturing is likely to stop shrinking.

Supercharging Productivity Through Work Force Innovation
Forbes.com (01/05/12) Gardner, Dave

Management consultant Dave Gardener notes that the relationship between information technology and a company’s human resource department is more important than ever. Chief information officers now have to take an active role in employee satisfaction and staffing, recruiting new talent, and retaining existing talent.

The demand for mobility is increasing. By 2013, 1.2 billion people are expected to be in the mobile work force, an increase of 35% from current figures. A Dell employee survey indicates that remote employees are the most satisfied employees, due in part to employees being able to time-shift events in their days.

The real challenge CIOs face is to harness the power of information technology to supercharge productivity and to enable the social enterprise, connecting employees and customers. CIOs directly impact the happiness of employees by enabling the mobile work force, while information technology plays a critical role in enabling more effective and efficient collaboration.

ASA for You


New Employer Health Care Provisions Take Effect in San Francisco

The San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement announced key changes in the city’s health care security ordinance (HCSO), which took effect Jan. 1. Among the new provisions are requirements that “covered employers” post an Official OLSE Notice regarding the HCSO at every workplace. For more information, visit americanstaffing.net.
Meet Industry Peers in Your Community

Right in your area, staffing and recruiting professionals are attending valuable educational programs, hosting networking functions, and monitoring and acting on important legislative initiatives that affect your business. You can join them by becoming a member of the ASA-affiliated chapter in your area.

ASA has chapters in most states and the District of Columbia. These chapters are independent state or local trade associations affiliated with ASA. Chapters serve as the voice of the staffing industry in communications with state and local association members, legislative leaders, regulators, news media, businesses, employees, and residents. Membership in ASA and your state or local chapter helps you stay abreast of national, state, and local issues, and gives you the tools you need to provide superior service to candidates and clients in your area.

Get involved with the chapter in your area today. For more information,
americanstaffing.net
or contact Tracy Rettie, assistant vice president, chapter relations and education, at 703-253-2028 or trettie@americanstaffing.net.
Mark Your Calendar

All ASAPro Webinars are FREE for ASA members.

Jan. 19
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Focus Now to Make 2012 Your Most Productive Year
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 26
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Gain a Competitive Advantage With ASA Certification
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 31
ASAPro Webinar

Conducting Harassment Investigations With Clients
Qualifies for ASA CE

Plan Ahead—Register Now!
April 17–19
2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference
Washington, DC
Qualifies for ASA CE

January 5, 2012


Headline News
U.S. Company Payrolls Expanded by a More-Than-Estimated 325,000, ADP Says
Temporary and Contract Hiring to Increase in 2012, According to CareerBuilder Survey
Mass Layoffs at Hospitals Slow Near End of 2011
Jobless Rates Drop in Most Cities
Online Labor Demand Rises in December
30% of Companies Expect IT Hiring Freeze in 2012

Legal Watch
ASA Issues Revised Wage Notice Form for Complying With New California Law
Obama Adds Labor Board to Recess Appointments
Congress, White House, Supreme Court Weigh In on Health Care Reform
Payroll Tax Conferees Likely to Meet in Mid-January
New Employer Health Care Provisions Take Effect in San Francisco
California Law Confirms E-Verify is Voluntary for Private Employers

ASA for You
New Online: Membership Matters Web Site

Headline News


U.S. Company Payrolls Expanded by a More-Than-Estimated 325,000, ADP Says
Bloomberg (01/05/12) Homan, Timothy

Private-sector payrolls increased 325,000 in December, led by the service-providing sector and small businesses, according to the ADP employment report released on Jan. 5. The large gain exceeded the highest projection in a Bloomberg News survey, and is a sign that the U.S. labor market was gaining momentum heading into 2012.

The November level was revised to 204,000 from a prior estimate of 206,000. Observers look to ADP’s report on private-sector payrolls to provide some guidance on the U.S. Labor Department’s jobs estimate, which will be released on Jan. 6 and includes information on both private- and public-sector payrolls.

Temporary and Contract Hiring to Increase in 2012, According to CareerBuilder Survey
Dow Jones Newswires (01/05/12)

Approximately 35% of American firms are operating with smaller staffs than before the recession, and to keep pace with market demand, many are turning to staffing and recruiting companies and temporary workers. A new survey from ASA corporate partner CareerBuilder finds that 36% of businesses will engage contract or temporary workers in 2012, up from 34% for 2011, 30% for 2010, and 28% for 2009. Of the firms engaging temporary or contract workers this year, 35% plan to hire them on a permanent basis. Areas of demand for staffing and recruiting positions include health care, information technology, clerical, and managerial. Read the CareerBuilder release.

“Temporary jobs from staffing and recruiting firms are playing an increasingly important role in the economic recovery,” says Eric Gilpin, president of CareerBuilder’s Staffing & Recruiting Group. “Our studies have pointed to a rise in these positions postrecession as companies address growing market needs. Employers are relying on temporary and contract workers to support leaner staffs, and in many cases, will transition those workers to permanent roles.”

“Staffing and recruiting firms are on the front lines when it comes to sourcing talent for businesses of all sizes and across all sectors. Candidates will find good pay, flexibility, opportunities to change careers, valuable skills training, and a bridge to permanent employment,” says Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “We’ll see more employers and job seekers making connections in the New Year.”

Mass Layoffs at Hospitals Slow Near End of 2011
American Medical News (01/05/12) Elliott, Victoria Stagg

Fewer mass layoffs occurred at hospitals in the final months of 2011, and a Manpower survey suggests hiring may increase in the health care industry this year. Mass layoffs are defined as at least 50 people losing their jobs from a single firm. There were seven such incidents at hospitals in November 2011 that affected at least 464 employees, according to the latest report on mass layoffs issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonclinical staff, rather than physicians, tend to be most affected when an institution lays off workers.

Meanwhile, the quarterly Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for the U.S. found that the number of companies planning to hire in the first quarter of 2012 went up. “Slow but steady momentum has improved employer confidence, which is likely why more employers are planning to hire in the first quarter,” says Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president of the Americas. Jobs in health and education are expected to increase by 3% in the first quarter of 2012, according to the survey.

Jobless Rates Drop in Most Cities
Wall Street Journal Online (01/04/12) Izzo, Phil

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that while unemployment rates in most cities were below year-earlier levels in November, 133 of 372 metropolitan areas posted flat or declining employment from November 2010.

The highest unemployment rates were concentrated in California with seven of the top eight located in the state. Among metropolitan areas with over a million people, Las Vegas and California’s Inland Empire topped the list with 12.5% each. Minneapolis-St. Paul was the lowest among large cities with a rate of 5.1%.

Online Labor Demand Rises in December
The Conference Board Review (01/12)

Online advertised vacancies increased by 93,800 in December to 3,951,000, according to The Conference Board’s latest report. The December gains offset the declines of 76,000 in November and 14,000 in October. The supply/demand rate stands at 3.45, indicating there were 3.5 unemployed for every online advertised vacancy in November. “The December increase was a welcome lift for labor demand after a lackluster year,” says June Shelp, vice president at The Conference Board.

Demand for management was among the top occupation groups seeing increased demand, as online advertised vacancies increased by 15,100 to 381,200, which more than offset the previous 2-month decrease of 11,700. Labor demand for computer and mathematical Science workers rose 10,400 to 524,100.

30% of Companies Expect IT Hiring Freeze in 2012
CyberMedia News (01/05/12)

The recent Outlook 2012 survey from InformationWeek Reports found that 56% of respondents said they expect their company to increase tech spending in 2012, a 10% increase from last year. The survey, which encompassed over 600 business technology professionals, found a much better outlook for IT hires than it did two years ago when only 14% of companies were expanding and 18% were making cuts. Now, 25% are planning on expanding and only 9% are reducing.


Legal Watch


ASA Issues Revised Wage Notice Form for Complying With New California Law
American Staffing Association (01/05/12) Lenz, Ed

In the Jan. 4 issue of Staffing Today, ASA provided a link to a sample ASA notice form that staffing firms can use to comply with the new California wage notice law in lieu of the form provided by the state’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. The ASA form has been revised to reflect the most current information.

Obama Adds Labor Board to Recess Appointments
Roll Call (01/05/12) Dennis, Steven

President Barack Obama surprised Republicans on Jan. 4 with three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. Senate Republicans had pre-emptively warned Obama against making recess appointments to the agency, but the president ignored them by installing three labor-friendly picks—Sharon Block, Terence Flynn, and Richard Griffin.

The NLRB was set to be inoperative this year because it only had two members out of five board slots. A third board member, Craig Becker, was recess appointed by Obama in 2010, but his term has expired. Democrats praised the move, while angry Republicans called it a power grab.

Congress, White House, Supreme Court Weigh In on Health Care Reform
American Staffing Association (01/05/12) Malara, Toby

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act remained a dominant issue in Washington, DC, in 2011. The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a request in the summer for public input on issues relating to employer health coverage and tax penalties. The Employers for Flexibility in Health Care—of which ASA is a founding member—submitted general comments on behalf of its members, and individual coalition members—including ASA—submitted comments on behalf of their industries.

In October the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s subcommittee on Health Care, the District of Columbia, the Census, and the National Archives held a hearing to examine the effect of health care reform on the staffing industry. Among those testifying on behalf of the staffing industry was Edward A. Lenz, Esq., ASA senior vice president, legal and public affairs

ASA and other coalition members have made intensive efforts over the past year and a half to educate the Obama administration about the unique concerns of temporary and variable-hour workers. ASA and its coalition partners continue to work with the administration on regulations to require that employees work full-time for up to a year before being considered full-time for purposes of the employer tax penalties. Proposed regulations are expected some time this year. Discussions with the administration provide a basis for cautious optimism.

As expected, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider key constitutional and procedural issues regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The court’s decision could have a major impact on the future of the law, including the employer tax penalties.

Payroll Tax Conferees Likely to Meet in Mid-January
The Hill (01/04/12) Becker, Bernie

A congressional conference committee created to reach agreement on a longer extension of the payroll tax cut will likely not meet for at least another 10 days, Hill aides from both parties have suggested. The 20 legislators on the panel will instead probably convene for the first time the week of Jan. 16—the same week House members are due back for the 2012 session. That would give the conference committee roughly six weeks to form a yearlong extension of the payroll tax cut, which was first enacted in late 2010.

New Employer Health Care Provisions Take Effect in San Francisco
American Staffing Association (01/05/12) Lenz, Ed

The San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement announced key changes in the city’s health care security ordinance (HCSO), which took effect Jan. 1. Among the new provisions are requirements that “covered employers” post an Official OLSE Notice regarding the HCSO at every workplace.

For more details, including answers to frequently asked questions, visit the HCSO Web site, sfgsa.org. You may also contact OLSE at 415-554-7892 or hcso@sfgov.org.

California Law Confirms E-Verify is Voluntary for Private Employers
Lexology (12/15/11) Exner IV, John E.

On Oct. 9, 2011, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Employment Acceleration Act of 2011, confirming that neither the state nor any city, county, city and county, or special district in California may require private employers to use E-Verify as a condition to receiving a government contract or applying for a business license or as a penalty for violating licensing or similar laws.

The new law means the patchwork of previously enacted local ordinances in the state mandating the use of E-Verify for certain private employers will be defunct. The law will have no effect on existing federal laws that require the use of E-Verify as a condition to participating in federal contracts or receiving federal funds. California private employers should take note that the use of E-Verify is still voluntary, and employers are free to choose to participate in the program. The law has no effect on an employer’s responsibility to prepare and maintain I-9 records.

ASA for You


New Online: Membership Matters Web Site

ASA has launched a Web site called Membership Matters to provide fast access to a host of membership benefits. The site delivers content in these main areas: professional development, legal and legislative issues, benchmarking data, marketing resources, and ways to engage with ASA.

The new Membership Matters site also provides an easy way to renew your ASA membership. Need a brief tutorial? Contact any member of the ASA membership department at 703-253-2020.
Mark Your Calendar

All ASAPro Webinars are FREE for ASA members.

Jan. 19
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Focus Now to Make 2012 Your Most Productive Year
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 26
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Gain a Competitive Advantage With ASA Certification
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 31
ASAPro Webinar

Conducting Harassment Investigations With Clients
Qualifies for ASA CE

Plan Ahead—Register Now!
April 17–19
2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference
Washington, DC
Qualifies for ASA CE

January 4, 2012

ASA Data Signal Year-End Employment Uptick


Staffing industry employment the week before Christmas showed greater strength than usual—compared with the same period of previous years as well as the months leading up the holiday. Typically, staffing employment peaks somewhere between mid-November and mid-December, after which it plummets unfettered for several weeks before turning upward in mid-January. Temporary and contract employment, as measured by the ASA Staffing Index, recorded fewer job losses than observed in prior years. Paradoxically, a decline in job losses suggests improved performance over the long term.

The ASA Staffing Index for the week of Dec. 19–25 came in at 86, a decline of 6.96% from the index of the previous week, which was at 93. Temporary and contract jobs are practically certain to drop off the last two weeks of the year, but the index suggests that the week ending Dec. 18 may have been the industry’s employment peak all of 2011.

The index illustrates the unusual length and strength of staffing employment around the end of its annual cycle. Growth occurred virtually nonstop throughout the year, but its pace slowed in August, putting year-to-year comparisons in the red. The index for the week ending Dec. 25 put staffing jobs in green, positive territory. Interpretation is complicated this time of year, though, because 2011 is a year that actually has 53 weeks. Let’s get through the 53rd week before we break out the champagne. Oh, but that might be complicated too, by this calendar rarity.

To keep up with the latest developments in staffing employment, sign up now to participate in the free ASA Staffing Index survey (it takes as little as 12 seconds to complete) and have detailed results e-mailed directly to you.


Headline News
Contracts/Deals: Japanese Recruit Gets Transatlantic Advantage
Reedley Hospital Brings on New Staffing Firm
New Study Shows Architecture, Arts Degrees Yield Highest Unemployment
ISM Index of U.S. Manufacturing Hits Highest Level Since June 2011

Legal Watch
Congress and Administration Busy Before Election Year Starts
California Wage Theft Law Takes Effect
E-Verify Use on the Rise, But Some Businesses Frustrated
NLRB Postpones Implementation of Posting Requirement Rule Until April 30, 2012
Connecticut Paid Sick Leave Law Takes Effect

Trends and Research
We’re Wary but Hopeful As 2012 Gets Under Way

ASA for You
ASA Quarterly Employment and Sales Survey Now Open

Headline News


Contracts/Deals: Japanese Recruit Gets Transatlantic Advantage
Recruiter (UK) (01/12)

Japanese staffing and outsourcing firm Recruit has acquired Delaware-based staffing and outsourcing company Advantage Resourcing America and Advantage Resourcing Europe from affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management. The deal is worth approximately $410m, with Recruit acquiring 100% of the company. The acquisition will make Recruit the world’s fourth-largest staffing firm by revenue, up from its current fifth-place.

Reedley Hospital Brings on New Staffing Firm
Business Journal (California) (01/04/12) Business Journal Staff

Adventist Medical Center in Reedley, CA, became the sixth Adventist Health Hospital to contract CEP America to provide management and staffing services for its emergency department. CEP’s proprietary Rapid Medical Evaluation program has brought the average wait time down to 20 minutes below the national average.

“Based on CEP America’s continued success with our fellow Adventist Health hospitals, we knew they were the right choice for us,” says Denyse Bales-Chubb, administrator of Adventist Medical Center. “By partnering with CEP America, we can continue to enhance the quality of care to our emergency department visitors.” The center in Reedley services around 14,000 patients a year in its emergency department.

New Study Shows Architecture, Arts Degrees Yield Highest Unemployment
Washington Post (01/04/12) Whoriskey, Peter

A study set to be released today by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce reports that recent college graduates with bachelor’s degrees in architecture, the arts, and humanities experienced significantly higher rates of joblessness. The recent college graduates with the lowest rates of unemployment had degrees in health, education, and agriculture and natural resources. Those with business and engineering degrees also fared relatively well.

The analysis was based on 2009 and 2010 data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and comes amid an increasing debate over the value of college education as an economic investment. Study co-author Anthony Carnevale and his team have also quantified the value of various majors in terms of wages. Over a lifetime, the earnings of workers who have majored in engineering, computer science or business were as much as 50% higher than the earnings of those who majored in the humanities, the arts, education, and psychology.

Even across relatively similar fields, unemployment rates could be significantly different. For example, the unemployment rate for recent college graduates in information systems was 11.7%, while the rates for majors in computer science was 7.8%. Unemployment rates were generally higher among those with degrees in non-technical fields, according to the study.

ISM Index of U.S. Manufacturing Hits Highest Level Since June 2011
MarketWatch (01/03/12) Goldstein, Steve

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index for December climbed to 53.9% from 52.7% in November, which is a six-month high. Economists polled by MarketWatch had anticipated a 53.0% reading. Any reading above 50% indicates expansion. The production and employment gauges each rose 3.3 points, and there was a 0.9 percentage point gain for the new orders index.


Legal Watch


Congress and Administration Busy Before Election Year Starts
American Staffing Association (01/04/12) Malara, Toby

In 2011, the Obama administration and Congress worked to score political points before a crucial election year. Some key policy decisions from Congress and the White house in 2011 that could have an effect on staffing firms relate to the areas of unemployment insurance reform, union rules, employers’ use of criminal background checks, immigration and customs enforcement, worker misclassification, and employer tax credits.

Faced with an angry electorate and uncertain political futures, the Obama administration and Congress worked to score political points before a crucial election year—in 2012, control of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate, and the presidency will all be up for grabs.

These are some key policy decisions from Congress and the White house in 2011 that could have an effect on staffing firms. UI Reform: Congress and the Administration—Congress’s attempt at unemployment insurance reform stalled, but with defeat came a victory for employers.


California Wage Theft Law Takes Effect
American Staffing Association (01/04/12) Lenz, Ed

California Labor Code requires that certain wage and other information be provided to each employee at the time of hire in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information. Any changes in such information must be provided within seven days of the changes unless such changes are reflected on a timely wage statement. The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement issued a notice form that employers can use to comply with the new law. However, the DSLE form is problematic for temporary staffing firms.

Effective Jan. 1, 2012, California Labor Code section 2810.5(a) requires that certain wage and other information be provided to each employee at the time of hire in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information. Any changes in such information must be provided within seven days of the changes unless such changes are reflected on a timely wage statement.

The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement issued a notice form that employers can use to comply with the new law. However, the DSLE form is problematic for temporary staffing firms because it says a “work site employer” that uses another business, such as a “temporary services agency” or PEO, should provide the wage information “for the other business.” This suggests that temporary staffing firm clients would have to provide the notice to the staffing firm’s employees (and does not rule out the possibility that both the staffing firm and the client must provide the notice). Although temporary staffing firm clients may be co-employers for some purposes, they do not hire the firm’s employees—the staffing firm hires them, generally when it completes the I-9 form. Moreover, clients are not the employer of record for the payment of wages to the staffing firm’s employees and would have no way of knowing a temporary job applicant’s potential rate or rates of pay. Nor do they provide workers’ compensation coverage to the staffing firm’s employees. Therefore, the client should have no obligation to provide the notice of wages and workers’ compensation information to staffing firm employees.


E-Verify Use on the Rise, But Some Businesses Frustrated
Nashville Public Radio (01/03/12) George, Bradley

An increasing number of Tennessee businesses are using E-Verify, the federal online database that checks if someone is in the U.S. legally. In 2007, about 400 Tennessee businesses used it, while today, more than 4,000 are signed up. Increased auditing of employment records by the federal government is one reason for the increase, as is the fact that states surrounding Tennessee have passed laws requiring employers to check their workers’ immigration status.

Jeff Bates of TA Staffing says his firm has been using E-Verify since it started, and calls it a selling point when he is recruiting businesses to hire his temporary workers. “You know, if 10 people are walking in the door and applying each day and they’re not eligible for employment in the U.S.,” says Bates, “then why are they wasting their time with those 10 candidates?”

Out of every 500 names he runs through E-Verify, Bates says only one will come back as being in the country illegally. E-Verify use is still optional in Tennessee, but state legislators will push next year to make its use mandatory. The Tennessee chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business says reviews are mixed, with some business owners liking it, while others find it too time consuming. The group also notes it can be a challenge for businesses in rural areas.

NLRB Postpones Implementation of Posting Requirement Rule Until April 30, 2012
Seyfarth Shaw (01/04/12)

The National Labor Relations Board has announced that it has again postponed implementation of its published rule requiring private sector employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act to post an official notice informing employees of their rights under the NLRA, and penalizing employers for non-compliance.

The NLRB decided to postpone implementation as a result of a request made by Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court in connection with a consolidated lawsuit brought by the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Fund Inc. which alleges that the NLRB does not have statutory authority to implement such a rule. The NLRB had already postponed implementation until Jan. 31 because of the litigation.

Connecticut Paid Sick Leave Law Takes Effect
American Staffing Association (01/04/12) Dwyer, Stephen

Connecticut’s paid sick leave law went into effect Jan. 1. The law requires certain employers to provide paid sick leave to service employees. “Day or temporary workers” are excluded from the law, however.

The law defines a day or temporary worker as an individual who performs work for another on a per diem basis, or on an occasional or irregular basis for only the time required to complete such work, whether such individual is paid by the person for whom such work is performed or by an employment agency or temporary help service.

Under the new law, hourly service workers, such as waiters, cashiers, fast food chefs, and others, will earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours that they work, up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid sick leave a year. It is estimated that 200,000 to 400,000 workers will be covered under the law.

The law applies only to businesses with 50 or more employees. Along with day or temporary workers, the bill excludes manufacturing companies, nationally chartered nonprofit organizations, and independent contractors.

Connecticut joins the District of Columbia and San Francisco as the only U.S. jurisdictions to impose a paid sick leave mandate on employers.


Trends and Research


We’re Wary but Hopeful As 2012 Gets Under Way
ERE.net (01/03/12) Zappe, John

Americans are relatively optimistic regarding the state of the economy as the new year begins. Consumer confidence is up, the stock market has gained of late, and there is a cautious willingness among employers to add even more staff this year.

That caution has led Monster to predict that temporary hiring is likely to be strong well into 2012. In its December report, the American Staffing Association reported that the staffing index has been increasing, slowly, but steadily, since February 2011, and is now pretty much where it was at the end of last year. ASA corporate partner CareerBuilder says that one in four employers plans to add permanent staff this year, about the same number the job board reported for 2011. Manpower’s quarterly employment survey was even a bit more positive, finding that 14% of employers intend to add jobs in the first three months of the year, its strongest hiring outlook since 2008.

CareerBuilder chief executive Matt Ferguson predicts a better employment picture for 2012 than the numbers might imply. “Historically, our surveys have shown that employers are more conservative in their predictions than actual hiring,” says Ferguson. “Barring any major economic upsets, we expect 2012 to bring a better hiring picture than 2011, especially in the second half of the year.”

ASA for You


ASA Quarterly Employment and Sales Survey Now Open

The ASA quarterly survey on temporary and contract staffing, which collects data on sales, payroll, and employment, is now open for the fourth quarter of 2011. The Web-based survey takes only about 15 minutes to complete. Participants receive a free exclusive report on the results, which includes payroll data available nowhere else. ASA research partner Inavero, a market research firm, administers the survey to ensure confidentiality of participant data.

Data are due Feb. 6, and results will be released Feb. 20. Register today to take the survey or download a sample questionnaire. For more information, contact Alexandra Karaer, ASA director of research, at 703-253-2048 or akaraer@americanstaffing.net.
Mark Your Calendar

All ASAPro Webinars are FREE for ASA members.

Jan. 19
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Focus Now to Make 2012 Your Most Productive Year
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 26
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Gain a Competitive Advantage With ASA Certification
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 31
ASAPro Webinar

Conducting Harassment Investigations With Clients
Qualifies for ASA CE

Plan Ahead—Register Now!
April 17–19
2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference
Washington, DC
Qualifies for ASA CE

January 3, 2012

A New Year Brings a New Benefit From ASA


Welcome to the debut issue of Staffing Today—a new daily e-newsletter that delivers fresh business, legal, and economic news for busy staffing and recruiting professionals.

Staffing Today is now your one-stop resource for staffing industry information, replacing ASA’s weekly e-newsletters. Be sure to add asa@infoinc.com to your e-mail safe list. Or click through to this Whitelist page—also available at the bottom of this issue and all future issues—to ensure you receive Staffing Today every morning of every business day.

Enjoy your first issue—and share your thoughts on what you like and what you’d like to see. Send your feedback to asa@americanstaffing.net.

Happy New Year!

Richard Wahlquist
ASA President and Chief Executive Officer



Headline News
Temporary Work Often the Gateway to Full-Time Employment
Cloud Computing Will Buoy Firms
Hiring Survey Bullish on Industry
Weekly Indicators: 2011 Ends With a Bang
Adecco Snaps Up Japanese Staffing Firm VSN

Legal Watch
A Gathering Storm Over ‘Right to Work’ in Indiana
South Carolina Immigration Law in Effect While Parts of it On Hold
OFCCP’s “Game-Changing Section” 503 Disability Regulations – Seyfarth Shaw (Jan. 5, Webinar)

Trends and Research
Releasing 15th Annual Industry Outlook; Maybe It Is Different This Time
Companies Fighting for IT Talent

ASA for You
Members Only: Free ASAPro Webinars and Archived Courses
New Online: Membership Matters Web Site

Headline News


Temporary Work Often the Gateway to Full-Time Employment
Florida Today (FL) (01/01/12) Peterson, Patrick

According to the American Staffing Association, 74% of job seekers look for full-time employment by first working as temporary employees. Also, 72% of temporary employees surveyed by ASA corporate partner CareerBuilder.com said they found permanent jobs with the employer with which they initially performed temporary work.

“What we have seen is that those positions lead to full-time roles,” says Bill Peppler, managing partner at Kavaliro Staffing Services in central Florida. Surveys show that temporary positions lead to a full-time job nearly three-fourths of the time. “The first people they go to are the people who have worked for them in the past,” Peppler adds.

Cloud Computing Will Buoy Firms
Investor’s Business Daily (01/03/12)

U.S. chief financial officers polled by professional services firm Tatum see part-time hiring as a trend that will help companies in 2012. Temporary hiring is described by financial executives as a way to retain flexibility while pursuing growth, a sign that temporary employment might become the new norm.

Hiring Survey Bullish on Industry
Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel (01/01/2012) Schmid, John

In a recent survey by the QPS Employment Group—a staffing and recruiting firm based in Brookfield, Wis.—41% of companies polled plan to add hires in the first quarter of 2012, up from 39% in the final quarter of 2011. The survey presents a January-March outlook of the state’s major industries. “In comparison to the fourth quarter of 2011, employers are slightly more optimistic when it comes to business conditions and hiring trends,” QPS says in its analysis of its data.

The survey is considered a bellwether because it offers a measure of industrial sentiment in an industrial region, and because the firm specializes in industrial and manufacturing trades. Nearly all of the 184 employers that it surveyed are from Wisconsin manufacturers, with a few from Illinois.

Weekly Indicators: 2011 Ends With a Bang
Seeking Alpha (01/01/12) Stewart, Hale

The ASA Staffing Index rose by one to 93 last week, though it will likely decline in the next couple of weeks due entirely to seasonality. The index is now equal to last year’s levels, after stagnating earlier this year.

Other recent indicators for the job market have been positive as well, including the Daily Treasury Statement showing that withholding for the first 19 days of December stood at $144.2 billion vs. $143.7 billion a year ago. For the last 20 reporting days, $151.8 billion was collected vs. $147.0 billion a year ago, a gain of 3.3%. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, meanwhile, reported that the four-week average of jobless claims declined to 375,000, the lowest level in more than three years. Seasonality is still significant, but even if the numbers are slightly overcompensating for seasonal factors, the author notes the trend remains very good.

Adecco Snaps Up Japanese Staffing Firm VSN
Reuters (01/03/12)

Adecco announced on Jan. 3 that it will buy Japan-based VSN Inc. for an enterprise value of 90 million euros ($116.8 million) to double its exposure to professional staffing services in the world’s second-largest staffing market. Adecco, which competes with Manpower Inc. and Dutch group Randstad Holding NV, has seen its general staffing business continue to outpace its more lucrative professional staffing business in recent quarters, which has weighed on margins. “The deal makes sense from a strategic point of view and will add some 11% to 12% to Adecco Japan revenues, but less than 1% to group sales,” Vontobel analyst Michael Foeth said in a note. VSN Inc. is focused on the engineering sector.


Legal Watch


A Gathering Storm Over ‘Right to Work’ in Indiana
New York Times (01/03/12) Greenhouse, Steven

Republican leaders in the Indiana House and Senate say their first priority for 2012 will be to push through a right-to-work law. With the state legislature in firm control of Republicans, and Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels in support of the measure, Indiana is expected to join 22 other states in prohibiting union contracts at private sector workplaces from requiring employees to pay any dues or other fees to the union.

Should Indiana enacts such a law, it will give new momentum to those who have previously pushed such legislation in Maine, Michigan, Missouri, and other states. Corporations view such laws as an important sign that a state has policies friendly to business. Labor leaders say that allowing workers to opt out of paying any money to the union that represents them weakens unions’ finances, bargaining clout, and political power.

South Carolina Immigration Law in Effect While Parts of it On Hold
WCBD.com (SC) (01/02/12)

South Carolina’s new immigration law is now in effect, even though a federal judge put parts of the law on hold in December. Among the portions now in effect is a requirement for businesses to use E-Verify, an online program that allows employers to input information from required I-9 hiring forms and find out a new employee’s legal work status. South Carolina government jobs, including positions at public universities, have been screened with E-Verify since 2009, as have private jobs at companies with more than 100 employees.

With the new law, that requirement extends to all businesses. Employers that are not registered to use E-Verify will have a grace period until July. After that, businesses that violate the law will get a year probation and have their license revoked for repeat violations.

OFCCP’s “Game-Changing Section” 503 Disability Regulations – Seyfarth Shaw (Jan. 5, Webinar)
Seyfarth Shaw (12/09/11)

On Dec. 8, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs published for public comment a proposed revision to the regulations that implement Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The proposed regulations would dramatically expand federal contractors’ compliance requirements regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action for applicants and employees with disabilities under Section 503. The proposed regulations demonstrate the OFCCP’s intent to hold contractors to much higher standards for increasing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and add a myriad of recordkeeping and self-assessment obligations so that OFCCP may more easily audit contractor compliance to detect deficiencies.

Seyfarth Shaw will conduct a Webinar Jan. 5 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time to discuss the proposed changes, their possible impact on organizations, and what needs to be done now. Speakers include Valerie Hoffman, partner / chair, OFCCP & Affirmative Action Practice Group; and Christine Hendrickson, senior counsel, OFCCP & Affirmative Action Practice Group. There is no cost to attend this program. If there are any questions, please contact events@seyfarth.com.


Trends and Research


Releasing 15th Annual Industry Outlook; Maybe It Is Different This Time
BMO Capital Markets (01/03/12)

BMO Capital Markets predicts another good year for U.S staffing, with potential upside surprises. The firm’s latest industry outlook reports that U.S. temporary staffing grew at 10%, toward the low end of expectations in 2011, as U.S. economic growth slowed midyear. If the current uncertain economic environment continues, strong usage of temporary help should continue.

BMO Capital Markets projects temporary staffing revenues will increase at a 6%-8% rate in 2012, with annual growth accelerating to 7%-9% in 2013. Information technology staffing should be among the best performing sectors in 2012, with a 12% increase projected for 2012. BMO Capital Markets believes “much of this growth has been driven by a preference for employers to use contractors and temporary staff rather than add to the full-time hiring ranks for a segment of the work force typically viewed as ‘back office.’”

Companies Fighting for IT Talent
Network World (01/03/12) Bednarz, Ann

As companies try to balance the technical challenges and opportunities on the information technology front, they are also dealing with a shortage of skilled professionals. IT pros with application development, virtualization, or cloud computing skills are in short supply, as are those with business analytics expertise.

The number of available IT jobs in the U.S. is up about 12% compared to a year ago, and demand for tech professionals is expected to get even stronger in 2012, according to Dice.com. When the jobs site surveyed 1,200 IT hiring managers and recruiters, 65% said they are planning to add tech professionals in the first half of 2012. Among those planning to hire, 27% said they plan to expand headcount by more than 20%.

Tech professionals with in-demand skills and relevant experience are not having trouble finding jobs, notes Jack Cullen, president of IT staffing and recruiting firm Modis. “If candidates have strong skills, robust backgrounds, and they communicate well, they’re getting snapped up fast,” he says. In fact, many hiring managers haven’t adjusted to the new pace. “They’re still slow to react, still very deliberate in the hiring cycle,” Cullen says. “They’re really looking for that quality hire.”


ASA for You


Members Only: Free ASAPro Webinars and Archived Courses

ASA members have a new and exciting benefit for 2012: Free ASAPro Webinars and more than 150 free archived courses for their entire staff. ASAPro Webinars qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal.

For additional information about this new ASA member benefit, membership, or any of the ASAPro Webinars, contact ASA at 703-253-2020 or Web Link | Return to Headlines

New Online: Membership Matters Web Site

ASA has launched a Web site called Membership Matters to provide fast access to a host of membership benefits. The site delivers content in these main areas: professional development, legal and legislative issues, benchmarking data, marketing resources, and ways to engage with ASA.

The new Membership Matters site also provides an easy way to renew your ASA membership. Need a brief tutorial? Contact any member of the ASA membership department at 703-253-2020.
Mark Your Calendar

Happy New Year! All ASAPro Webinars are FREE for ASA members.

Jan. 19
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Focus Now to Make 2012 Your Most Productive Year
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 26
ASAPro Webinar

3–4 p.m. Eastern time
Gain a Competitive Advantage With ASA Certification
Qualifies for ASA CE

Jan. 31
ASAPro Webinar

Conducting Harassment Investigations With Clients
Qualifies for ASA CE

Plan Ahead—Register Now!
April 17–19
2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference
Washington, DC
Qualifies for ASA CE