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April 25, 2012


Headline News
Robert Half International First Quarter Profit Jumps
Mastech Holdings Inc. Reports First Quarter 2012 Results
BBSI Reports First Quarter 2012 Financial Results
ASA Staffing Index Highest Since 2008 for Week 16
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Virtually Unchanged
Orders for U.S. Goods Decrease by the Most in Three Years

ASA for You
ASA Employee a Champion for Administrative Professionals Day

Legal Watch
Labor Board Meets Rising Resistance
EEOC Rules Job Protections Also Apply to Transgender People
Feel Free to Authenticate Suspicious Documents
Workers Claim Abuse Across Eastern U.S.

Trends and Research
The Rise of the Supertemp
Express Survey Reveals Hiring Trends Increasing for Administrative and Commercial Jobs
Information Technology Leaders Expect IT Hiring and Spending to Increase in 2012


Headline News


Robert Half International First Quarter Profit Jumps
Robert Half International News Release (04/24/12)

Robert Half International Inc. reported net income of $48.3 million or $0.34 per share, on revenues of $1.02 billion, for the quarter ending March 31. Net income for the prior year’s first quarter was $26.7 million or $0.18 per share, on revenues of $880.9 million. Strong demand for specialized staffing and consulting services boosted revenue.

Staffing revenue in the U.S. rose 19.6% compared with the year before, while international revenue grew 9%. The increase in U.S. staffing was driven by a 28.1% increase in permanent job placements, while temporary placements were up 19%.

“We were pleased with our financial results for the quarter, which were the result of continued strong demand for our specialized staffing and consulting services,” says Harold M. Messmer Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Robert Half International.

Mastech Holdings Inc. Reports First Quarter 2012 Results
Mastech Holdings News Release (04/25/12)

Mastech Holdings Inc.’s revenues for the first quarter of 2012 were $24.5 million, which represented a 23% increase over the corresponding quarter last year and a 2.5% improvement over fourth-quarter 2011 results. Consolidated net income for the first quarter of 2012 totaled $352,000, or $0.10 per diluted share, compared to $37,000, or $0.01 per diluted share, in the same period last year. Demand for the company’s information technology and health care staffing services remained solid during the first quarter. Market conditions in health care staffing remained largely positive and the company achieved sequential revenue growth for the seventh consecutive quarter.

BBSI Reports First Quarter 2012 Financial Results
Barrett Business Services News Release (04/24/12)

Barrett Business Services Inc. reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31. The company’s net revenues were up 20% compared with the first quarter of 2011, to $82.4 million. The improvement is attributed primarily to the net increase in the company’s professional employer organization clients and same-store sales.

ASA Staffing Index Highest Since 2008 for Week 16
Daily Markets (04/24/12) Mark Perry

The ASA Weekly Staffing Index for the week ending April 15 rose to 91, marking the highest reading in 2012 and the highest in the month of April since 2008. The index rose 1.84% from the previous week and 6.9% from the same period in 2011. It came in just below the index of 93 during the same week in 2007 just prior to the recession. Observers say the index points to continuing improvements in the overall labor market.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Virtually Unchanged
The Conference Board News Release (04/24/12)

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index barely budged in April following a slight drop in March, coming in at 69.2. The Expectations Index, meanwhile, slipped from 82.5 to 81.1, and the Present Situation Index rose from 49.9 to 51.4. Consumers had mixed feelings about the job market, with a drop in those believing jobs are “hard to get” from 40.7% to 37.5% and a decline in those believing jobs are “plentiful” from 9% to 8.4%. As for the labor market outlook during the next six months, the percentage of consumers expecting job growth slipped from 17.4% to 16.9%, and those predicting fewer jobs fell from 18.5% to 18%.

Orders for U.S. Goods Decrease by the Most in Three Years
Bloomberg (04/25/12) Timothy Homan

Orders for long-lasting U.S. goods sank 4.2% in March, the steepest monthly decline in three years, the U.S. Commerce Department reported today. Economists forecasted a 1.7% decline, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. Slowdowns in Europe and China may limit exports, while business investment cools after the strongest 10-quarter performance in a decade, leading to a slowdown in manufacturing.


ASA for You


ASA Employee a Champion for Administrative Professionals Day

Today is Administrative Professionals Day, and—thanks in part to the enthusiasm and leadership of Kemetia Foley, CAP, ASA finance and customer service coordinator—the nation’s understanding of administrative professional careers is growing. Foley, who is featured today in a U.S. News & World Report article called “The Evolution of the Secretary,” owns the friendly voice ASA members hear each workday when they call the association.

ASA member companies, particularly those that specialize in office–administrative staffing services, also are ardent supporters of Administrative Professionals Day. For example, Office Team offers these recognition tips, and Adecco shares this video of appreciation and ideas for saying thank you.

ASA also provides resources and support for staffing firms that place office administrative associates through the ASA office–administrative membership section, one of six sections that support the broad areas of the industry and promote peer networking and collaboration.
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Legal Watch


Labor Board Meets Rising Resistance
Wall Street Journal (04/25/12) Melanie Trottman

The U.S. Senate has rejected a measure advanced by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) to overturn a new National Labor Relations Board regulation that would hasten union-organizing elections by preventing companies from completing legal challenges until after the voting. The regulatory changes to elections go into effect April 30 but could be reversed by courts.

In recent weeks the NLRB has encountered resistance to its actions, including a requirement that companies hang a poster informing employees of their right to join a union; a federal appeals court has brought a halt to the requirement at least until the court resolves questions about the merits of the rule. The challenges to the board’s authority could stall or prevent new board regulations and rulings.

EEOC Rules Job Protections Also Apply to Transgender People
Los Angeles Times (04/25/12) Sam Quinones

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that a gender-based job discrimination complaint filed against the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives by a former soldier and police officer who applied for a job as a man and then transitioned to a female can move forward. The ruling clarifies that rules of employment law apply to transgender people. Jennifer Pizer, legal director of the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, says courts have ruled that transgender people are protected against discrimination under federal law and indicated that practices should change.

Feel Free to Authenticate Suspicious Documents
Business Management Daily (04/22/12)

A black woman working as a certified nursing assistant was placed in a nursing home by a staffing firm, which forwarded her nursing assistant certificate to the nursing home. The woman filed suit against the nursing home claiming discrimination when it requested additional certification information, as it had fired another nursing assistant with the same first and last name and certificate number just days earlier. The court determined that the nursing home’s request was not burdensome, and therefore, not an adverse employment action, so the discrimination claim was dismissed. Thus, employers concerned about professional credentials or other certifications can reasonably request clarification.

Workers Claim Abuse Across Eastern U.S.
Courthouse News Service (04/24/12) Adam Klasfeld

A complaint under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act by 17 Filipino workers accuses several employers and staffing firms in Florida, South Carolina, and New York of luring them to the U.S. under H-2B guest worker status between 2006 and 2009. The workers claim they were promised fair pay, humane treatment, and green cards, but instead they received less than minimum wages, were not given overtime pay, and were forced to fulfill their contracts under threat of deportation and arrest. They also were told they would lose their $1,200 to $2,350 security deposits if they stopped working. Among the defendants are Lincoln Road Employment Advisory Services and South Beach Employment Advisory Services. The lawsuit accuses the defendants of RICO fraud, misrepresentation, and violations of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the Alien Tort Statute, and the Fair Labor Standards Act and seeks treble damages.


Trends and Research


The Rise of the Supertemp
Harvard Business Review (05/01/12) Jody Greenstone Miller; Matt Miller

So-called “supertemp” professionals—including chief financial officers, attorneys, and consultants—increasingly are trusted by companies to do work that previously would have been done by permanent employees or established outside firms. According to research by McKinsey, 58% of U.S. companies expect to use more temporary arrangements at all levels or their organization in the coming years. Currently, 16 million Americans are working independently, according to research by MBO Partners, and that number is expected to rise to 20 million over the next two years. Although separating out highly paid professionals from the numbers is difficult, if the assumption is made that they account for just 10% of the total (the share of American adults with graduate degrees), then the U.S. may soon have three million supertemps.

Several companies focus exclusively on high-end temporary talent. Axiom, for example, supplies 650 temporary attorneys to nearly half the Fortune 100. Traditional executive recruiters are becoming involved as well: Lauren Doliva, the managing partner of Heidrick & Struggles’ new Chief Advisor Network, says Baby Boomers’ retirement will shrink the supply of executives even as demand holds steady—increasing the need for temporary talent.

Express Survey Reveals Hiring Trends Increasing for Administrative and Commercial Jobs
PR Newswire (04/24/12)

The hiring outlook in all regions of North America is increasing for administrative and commercial jobs, according to a recent hiring trends survey conducted by Express Employment Professionals. Hiring trends for the second quarter of 2012 are expected to be greatest in commercial and light industrial jobs, with 32% of respondents planning to hire—a 3% increase from the first quarter.

Twenty-eight percent of respondents anticipate adding administrative and office clerical staff, an increase of 8% from the previous quarter. Additionally, 43% plan to fill positions in “other” sectors that include clinical or health care, customer service, food service, general labor, maintenance, medical or dental or nursing, and sales.

Information Technology Leaders Expect IT Hiring and Spending to Increase in 2012
TEKsystems News Release (04/24/12)

More than a third of information technology leaders anticipate increases in both permanent (40%) and temporary (37%) IT headcount in 2012, according to TEKsystems’ most recent quarterly IT Executive Outlook survey. Of those IT leaders expecting to increase permanent and temporary IT headcount, 15% intend to do so by more than 5%. Senior IT leaders like chief information officers and IT vice presidents are most optimistic about IT hiring in 2012 with 54% and 43% expecting increases in permanent and temporary IT headcount, respectively.

“With consumerization of IT, mobility, social media, big data, and security being at the top of most executives’ priority lists, organizations need to ensure their work force strategy is capable of supporting the current and future state of their business,” says TEKsystems director Rachel Russell. “Businesses are realizing their work force requirements will vary from initiative to initiative. By work force planning and effectively leveraging a contingent model, organizations can ramp up or down and efficiently get their IT initiatives done.”