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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 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.”

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

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 to register.

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.”

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.