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July 17, 2014

Fed Reports Improved Labor Market Conditions With Moderate Employment Growth

Economic activity continued to expand in all 12 districts during the reporting period spanning late May, June, and early July, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s latest report on regional economies (known as the “beige book”). Overall consumer spending increased in every district. Manufacturing activity also expanded in all 12 districts. Labor market conditions improved, with all districts reporting slight to moderate employment growth. Conditions in the staffing services industry across the districts were unchanged or improved modestly compared with the previous survey period. Several districts continue to report difficulty finding skilled workers, causing upward wage pressure for those positions.
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Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Decreased Last Week
Bloomberg (07/17/14) Michelle Jamrisko

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits in the week ended July 12 dropped by 3,000 to 302,000, a sign that the labor market continues to strengthen, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The 51 economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast claims of 310,000. The four-week moving average of claims dropped by 3,000 to 309,000, the lowest level since June 2007.

Chicago Fed’s Evans Says Job Market Improvement Real and Welcome
Wall Street Journal (07/16/14) Jon Hilsenrath

The labor market has improved more quickly than expected, but the U.S. Federal Reserve should remain cautious about increasing interest rates, according to Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Rates should remain at near zero until inflation stabilizes at 2%, he says, though some Fed officials believe the U.S. should consider raising short-term interest rates due to lower than predicted unemployment levels.

“I’m still in the camp that thinks that it has been our appropriate monetary policy that has helped set the table for businesses to take advantage of the opportunities in front of them and hire more workers, and the consumer to do better,” Evans says. “I think that is going to continue to be appropriate well into 2015.”

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ASAPro Webinar Next Month—Handling Conflict With Clients

Regardless of how hard you strive to serve your clients, there’s bound to be conflict. Learn how to avoid the most common causes for conflict with clients, discover how to address conflicts that do arise, and find out how to strengthen your staffing provider–client relationship during the ASAPro webinar “How to Handle Conflict With Clients.” It takes place Thursday, Aug. 21, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time.

ASAPro webinars are $295 for nonmembers and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Join ASA and enjoy ASAPro webinars for FREE.
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