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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.

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.

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, You may also contact OLSE at 415-554-7892 or

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.