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February 10, 2012


Headline News
TrueBlue Reports 2011 Fourth Quarter Results
Job-Market Bellwether Strengthens
Quinn: Ban Hiring Discrimination Against Jobless
Demand Exceeds Supply for Some Health IT Jobs

Legal Watch
Administration Signals Flexibility in Defining “Full-Time” Employee for Purposes of Health Care Coverage
Contract Workers Get Help From Government
Missouri Employers’ Tax Rate Rises to Cover Unemployment Comp Loan

Trends and Research
Government Gridlock Killing Jobs? Not So, Yoh Work Force Planning Survey Shows
85% of Insurers Outsource Some Element of Information Technology

ASA for You
Don’t Wait for the Mail—Read Staffing Success Magazine Now
Staffing World® 2012 Welcomes Ground-Breaking Business Researcher and Best-Selling Author Jim Collins
Get a Model Contract for Technical, IT, and Scientific Staffing

Headline News


TrueBlue Reports 2011 Fourth Quarter Results
TrueBlue News Release (02/08/11)

TrueBlue Inc. has reported revenue for the fourth quarter of 2011 of $350 million, an increase of 12% compared to revenue of $312 million for the fourth quarter of 2010. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $7.6 million, compared to net income of $4.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2010.

In a conference call with investors, TrueBlue chief executive officer Steve Cooper said, “Revenues continue to show strong growth, and gross margins also look strong here in the beginning of 2012.”

For the first quarter of 2012, TrueBlue estimates revenue in the range of $300 to $310 million.

Job-Market Bellwether Strengthens
Wall Street Journal (02/10/12) Conor Dougherty

New claims for unemployment insurance declined 15,000 to 358,000 last week, the government reported Feb. 9, and the four-week moving average, at 366,250, reached its lowest level since April 2008. Economists welcomed the news, but some expressed caution that the job market could still stumble.

The recent warm weather likely contributed to more job creation in January and is also playing a part in declining jobless claims, because warm weather spurs building projects and other activities. In fact, a number of states said their jobless claims indicated fewer layoffs in construction. Furthermore, the volatility caused by hiring around the holidays seems to be subsiding.

Quinn: Ban Hiring Discrimination Against Jobless
Wall Street Journal Online (02/09/12) Samantha Gross

In a State of the City speech on Feb. 9, New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn said the council is considering a measure that would make it illegal for city employers to not hire applicants because they are unemployed, which she considers to be discrimination. Similar bills are being considered by state and federal lawmakers. Another proposal announced by Quinn would assist small businesses in hiring in neighborhoods with high unemployment rates using federal tax credits.

Demand Exceeds Supply for Some Health IT Jobs
Healthcare IT News (02/09/12) Bernie Monegain

A recent brief from eHealth Initiative concludes more health information technology job opportunities are available than qualified people to fill them. “Given the prevailing air of economic uncertainty in the U.S. and the unprecedented level of support for health information technology from the federal government, growth in health information systems may represent an untapped market for both job creation and market savings,” the brief states.

The issue brief notes there are large numbers of new job opportunities available at organizations focused on exchanging health care data. A large number of health information exchange initiatives are facing a shortage of staff with IT experience, with more than 25% of respondents reporting that they are short on staff with IT experience. Clinical software implementation and support (which includes jobs such as project managers, analysts, application coordinators, report writers, trainers, informatics staff, and technical writers) are identified as the skill sets most in demand.
For ASA Members Only: Health Care IT Developments in Staffing

ASA recently published “Get Ahead of the Health Care IT Boom” in its member magazine, which lands in mailboxes next week. View the digital version of the article now.


Legal Watch


Administration Signals Flexibility in Defining “Full-Time” Employee for Purposes of Health Care Coverage
American Staffing Association (02/10/12) Ed Lenz

ASA and its business allies in the Employers for Flexibility in Health Care coalition have been working to mitigate the effect of the Affordable Care Act on employers with large numbers of part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees. ASA has been urging the Obama administration to issue regulations requiring employees to work up to a full year before they can be considered full-time for purposes of an employer’s obligation under the act to offer health insurance coverage to employees or pay penalties.

Yesterday, the Obama administration took a significant step in a positive direction for the staffing industry. In questions and answers issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, the administration outlined the proposed guidance expected to be issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Treasury Department for defining who is a “full-time employee.” The proposed rules are complex and may be challenging to administer, and several technical questions remain as to how they will work in practice. But they appear to give employers substantial flexibility and reasonable discretion in determining who must be offered health coverage.

ASA will be analyzing the FAQs in detail and will provide thorough analysis to its members in the coming days. The coalition will submit comments to the administration as appropriate.

Contract Workers Get Help From Government
Orange County Register (California) (02/09/12) Mary Ann Milbourn

The U.S. Department of Labor and California are cooperating and are pursuing companies that misclassify contract workers who should be treated as employees, the DOL and state officials announced Feb. 9. The issue is one of fairness, they said—not only for workers who are being underpaid but also for companies that already comply with the law and therefore are at a financial disadvantage.

“The misclassification of employees as something else, such as independent contractors, presents a serious problem, as these employees often are denied access to critical benefits and protections—such as family and medical leave, overtime compensation, minimum wage pay, and unemployment insurance—to which they are entitled,” said a DOL statement. “In addition, misclassification can create economic pressure for law-abiding business owners, who often struggle to compete with those who are skirting the law.”

Missouri Employers’ Tax Rate Rises to Cover Unemployment Comp Loan
Kansas City Star (02/09/12) Diane Stafford

Missouri made no principal payments during the last two years on a federal loan used to pay jobless benefits to unemployed workers, which means the state’s employers are now paying a higher Federal Unemployment Tax Act rate. The state was due to repay the loan by the target date of Nov. 11, 2011, but it carries an outstanding balance of $773 million. The state’s effective tax rate for taxable wages earned in the latter half of 2011 was 0.9%, but it has risen to 1.2% this year and stands to increase to 1.5% next year and 1.8% in 2014.


Trends and Research


Government Gridlock Killing Jobs? Not So, Yoh Work Force Planning Survey Shows
Yoh News Release (02/07/12)

A workforce planning survey of executives at 100 Global 1000 companies shows that political gridlock and indecision have relatively little effect on employment decisions compared to economic uncertainty. The survey—commissioned by Yoh, a provider of talent and outsourcing services, and conducted by Amplitude Research—found only 9% of respondents said that political uncertainty will discourage them from adding personnel in 2012. On the other hand, 61% reported that economic uncertainty represents the greatest obstacle to increased hiring in the new year.

The survey also uncovered a number of troubling realities that actually do dampen employment. Many of these factors revolve around the uncertainty of a company’s own hiring practices and could serve to delay a rebound in hiring as the economy heals and opportunities present themselves. The survey asked respondents how long it would take their organizations to recruit and train employees if the economy rebounded to prerecession levels. Approximately 62% reported that it would take three to nine months to find and train enough qualified employees to meet prerecession demand from clients. A surprising 24% of organizations indicated that they only re-evaluate staffing levels as needs arise, and 7% admitted having no plan at all.

85% of Insurers Outsource Some Element of Information Technology
Claims Journal (02/09/12) Denise Johnson

A new report by research and advisory firm Novarica, based on a survey of more than 100 U.S. insurer chief information officers, finds that 85% are currently outsourcing at least some elements of information technology, and between 25% and 35% are planning to increase their level of outsourcing in 2012.

Among the key findings of the report, large insurers outsource more than 25% of their IT work, while small and mid-size companies typically outsource only 15% of their IT work. More than a quarter of large insurers are planning to increase their reliance on outsourcing in variable staffing, legacy application maintenance, and data center/infrastructure.


ASA for You


Don’t Wait for the Mail—Read Staffing Success Magazine Now

ASA members can now access the latest issue of Staffing Success magazine as a digital edition. The print version of the January–February issue lands in mailboxes next week.

This issue features Chris Hoover, the 2012 National Staffing Employee of the Year, and tells the story of how a staffing firm helped him land his dream job as an interactive Web designer. Other features in this issue offer advice on getting ahead of the health care IT boom and insights on a new breed of self-motivated employees.
Staffing World® 2012 Welcomes Ground-Breaking Business Researcher and Best-Selling Author Jim Collins

Excitement is quickly building for Staffing World 2012, Oct. 9–11 in Las Vegas, where world-renowned business researcher and author Jim Collins will deliver a keynote presentation.

Ten years after releasing the global best-seller Good to Great, Collins returns with another ground-breaking work, this time to examine why some companies thrive in uncertainty, even in chaos, and others do not. Collins will present the latest research from his new book Great by Choice and share valuable insights and strategies with the crowd of executives that will convene at the annual ASA convention and expo.

An engaging and highly sought-after speaker, Collins draws record crowds at the few speaking engagements he accepts each year. See Collins address leadership strategies and employee motivation in this short video.

Staffing World is the can’t-miss event for staffing executives. Register today at staffingworld.org. Save up to $400 per person when you register by May 19.

Get a Model Contract for Technical, IT, and Scientific Staffing

In your technical, information technology, or scientific staffing business, do you feel pressured to accept clients’ contracts? Are your clients asking to be indemnified against various types of liability? To help ASA members and their attorneys deal with these and other issues, ASA has developed suggested contract language that spells out the staffing firm’s and the client’s responsibilities.

Six templates are available for various types of technical, IT, and scientific staffing:
  • Supplying technical services on a time and materials basis on the service company’s premises
  • Supplying technical services on a time and materials basis on the client’s premises
  • Supplying technical temporary personnel
  • Outsourcing
  • Supplying independent contractors
  • General employment
The materials are available to ASA members at americanstaffing.net. The model contracts for technical, IT, and scientific staffing provide suggested language but are not intended as legal advice.