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Unemployment Drop Still Leaves Low Skill Workers Behind

Washington Post (02/07/12) Michael Fletcher

Although the U.S. unemployment rate is now at a three-year low of 8.3%, experts say workers with a high school diploma or less have few employment opportunities. Close to 33% of the labor market has just a high school diploma, and the Urban Institute says more than 10% of these workers joined the ranks of the unemployed from late 2007 to early 2011. Meanwhile, about 20% of high school dropouts have become unemployed since 2007, and 13.1% of this group was unemployed in January.

Experts say finding a place in the work force for low-skilled workers remains a challenge, especially as community college budgets for job training programs have been cut. Linda Rice, president of Brevard Workforce, a job-training and placement service in Brevard County, FL, says many of these workers lack the necessary math, computer, and technical problem-solving skills.

Is the ‘Jobless Recovery’ Over?

CBS News (02/06/12) Dan Burrows

Although the January jobs report generally is disappointing as companies lay off temporary workers hired for the holidays, the most recent jobs report surpassed expectations. Ed Yardeni, economist and president of Yardeni Research, believes a shift has occurred from a “jobless recovery,” in which there is economic growth but no increase in hiring, to a “job-full expansion.”

Not only did payroll employment post its biggest month-over-month gain since April 2011, but household employment jumped 847,000 in January—the largest increase in nine years. Yardeni says the recovery may have begun months ago, as payroll employment increased by an average of 183,400 per month over the past five months, but January’s report was the first one to show across-the-board improvement.

Looking for Work? There May Be an App for That

Associated Press (02/07/12) Michael Liedtke

A new report from the technology trade group TechNet indicates that 466,000 jobs have been created since 2007 due to rising demand for apps—the services and tools built to run on smart phones, computer tablets, and Facebook’s online social network. These include 311,000 jobs at companies that develop apps and 155,000 jobs created by local merchants as higher spending on apps enabled them to expand their businesses. Economist Michael Mandel, who compiled the report, says an increase in devices running on the Google, Research in Motion, and Microsoft operating systems and the emergence of Internet-connected appliances could further spur job creation.

The report calculates that one nontechnical job in sales, marketing, human resources, or other administrative areas is created for every new app programming job. Most of the apps jobs are located in the San Francisco Bay area, New York, and Seattle, but TechNet says they are popping up in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Phoenix as well.

Learn About Locum Tenens Trends—ASAPro Webinar Today

Today from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time, attend the ASAPro Webinar “Have Stethoscope, Will Travel—The Growing Use of Locum Tenens,” presented by Kurt Mosley of AMN Healthcare. He’ll offer practical guidelines about the use of locum tenens physicians.

ASAPro Webinars are free for ASA members ($295 for nonmembers) and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Register online at

ASA CEO to Speak on Staffing Trends, Opportunities, and Challenges

The Georgia Staffing Association, an ASA-affiliated chapter, will host a luncheon Feb. 16. Join ASA president and chief executive officer Richard Wahlquist as he discusses talent advocacy and the staffing and recruiting industry’s short-term and long-term future.

Finding top talent; matching top talent with needs and opportunities; and ensuring that top talent are nurtured, challenged, and on identifiable growth trajectories have become pressing strategic priorities for businesses in the U.S. and around the world. Wahlquist will discuss ways that you can best leverage new opportunities on behalf of your firm, your clients, and your candidates and employees.

For details and to register visit This meeting qualifies for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal.

Get a Model Contract for Health Care Staffing

At your health care staffing firm, 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.

The model contract for health care staffing can be offered in lieu of the client’s standard contract form. It is based on the principle that each party is responsible for the risks associated with its own business, and that each party has a duty to indemnify the other only for those risks.

The agreement specifies a list of documents to maintain for each assigned employee and the types and limits of insurance the staffing firm will carry. Supplemental materials include frequently asked questions about the health care staffing agreement and insurance certification, definitions of insurance terms, and more. Alternative language for traveler positions is included. The materials are available to ASA members at The model contract for health care staffing provides suggested language but is not intended as legal advice.

California DLSE Issues Revised Wage Theft Law FAQs

American Staffing Association (02/06/12) Stephen Dwyer

California Labor Code section 2810.5(a) requires that certain wage and other information be provided to each employee at the time of hire in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information. On Jan. 23, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement issued revised frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the law, which became effective Jan. 1.

The revised FAQs were issued in response to widespread criticism from employers and employer groups that DLSE had not provided adequate guidance for compliance. ASA was among the first to seek clarification regarding the law’s implementation, particularly with respect to the notice to be provided to temporary employees. Accordingly, ASA developed a suggested notice form that reflects the practical realities of the temporary staffing business and addresses the statutory requirement that “employers must notify employees of the rate or rates of pay.” The form was developed in consultation with ASA California employment law counsel Richard Simmons of the law firm Sheppard Mullin in Los Angeles.

Court: Warehouse Can’t Fire Contract Workers

Workforce (02/03/12)

A judge in California recently issued a preliminary injunction to prohibit firing of contract workers at a Walmart-contracted warehouse in Mira Loma. The warehouse operator, Schneider Logistics Inc., and Premier Warehousing Ventures LLC—the staffing firm that staffed provided employees for the operation—are being sued for alleged improper record-keeping, inadequate payment for hours worked, and failure to provide meal and rest breaks. Premier Warehousing gave workers a termination letter saying their jobs would end Feb. 24, and indicated it would not rehire any of the workers.

The judge ruled the workers would likely be able to prove the firing was retaliatory. The judge also rejected Schneider’s argument that it was not a joint employer.

Payroll Tax a Mess in the Making

Politico (02/06/12) Seung Min Kim

U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) has warned Republican leadership that ongoing negotiations to extend the payroll tax cut are getting nowhere. The possibility of another shorter deal, such as the current two-month extension, has been broached, but Republicans say they will not accept that. “Small-business job creators need the certainty of a full-year extension—not another two-month fix—and the speaker is opposed to another two-month fix,” says Michael Steel, a spokesman for John Boehner, speaker of the House.

Search and Placement Employment Down Just Slightly in December

American Staffing Association (02/07/12) Alexandra Karaer

Recent employment data, released last Friday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that search and placement employment in December was down 0.2% from November, totaling 280,200 for the month. In a year-to-year comparison, December employment was up 8.7% from the same month in 2010.

BLS employment estimates for search and placement firms are available on a nonseasonal basis only, and reports lag by one month.

Adecco Staffing US Releases Annual Job Market Perspectives Report

PRNewswire (02/06/12)

Adecco Staffing US has released its annual Job Market Perspectives white paper. While 2011 started with cautious optimism for job growth and the risk of a double-dip recession, the economy was still able to average an additional 130,000 jobs a month and close out the year with the national unemployment rate at 8.5%. Based on this, 2012 will have to be marked with consistent job growth to continue the economic and labor market recovery.

Adecco’s 2012 Job Market Perspectives report examines both the current and future state of the labor market while also exploring how trends in U.S. economic development, as well as the upcoming presidential election, will impact America’s work force. “As we turn the corner on past economic troubles, we are optimistic about the potential of the job market in 2012,” says Joyce Russell, president of Adecco Staffing US.

Randstad U.S. Employment Report: U.S. Worker Confidence Jumps Five Points; Biggest Increase on Record

MarketWatch (02/03/12)

Recording its biggest climb since the survey’s inception, the Randstad Employee Confidence Index was 52.4 in January 2012 from 47.4 in December 2011. U.S. workers continue to be optimistic about the economy and job market, as their macroeconomic confidence increased 8.5 points this month to 40.1.

“Economists’ expectation of a stronger and more stable U.S. job market created a strong jump-start for this first Employee Confidence Index of 2012,” says Joanie Ruge, senior vice president and chief employment analyst of Randstad Holding US. “We remain very encouraged that our latest U.S. Employee Confidence Index rose 5.0 points—the biggest increase since the survey began over seven years ago.”

Monster Employment Index U.S. Rises 9% on Annual Basis, but Decelerating Due to Seasonality and Market Conditions

Monster Worldwide Inc. News Release (02/03/12)

Online recruitment activity in the U.S. decreased for the third consecutive month in January, according to new data from Monster Worldwide. The Monster Employment Index fell sharply to 133 in January from 140 in December. However, the indicator climbed 9% from the prior year. In November and October, the readings were 147 and 151, respectively.

January U.S. Employment Trends Index Rises

Dow Jones Newswires (02/06/12) Javier David

The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index found U.S. companies appeared to step up hiring efforts in January. The ETI rose 0.73% in January to 105.81, up from December’s revised figure of 105.04 and up 5.9% from the same period last year.

Despite the ETI rising for four consecutive months, the Conference Board expressed some caution. “We expect sluggish growth in economic activity in the first half of 2012 and therefore we do not foresee the strengthening of the labor market to be sustained in the second quarter of 2012,” even though job growth currently seems more robust, says Gad Levanon, director of macroeconomic research at the Conference Board.

Survey: Start-Up CEOs Expect Strong Revenue Growth in 2012

Wall Street Journal Online (02/06/12)

A recent poll of 87 start-up chief executives by ExpertCEO indicates that 80.4% anticipate revenue increases this year, and 47.1% of these respondents think revenue will rise by more than 20%. The survey also shows that 55.8% of chief executives plan to increase their work forces this year. Only 5.8% expect their work forces to shrink, and 38.4% do not anticipate any work force changes.