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Temporary Jobs Are Not the New Norm

U.S. News & World Report (02/28/12) Heidi Shierholz

Heidi Shierholz, economist at the Economic Policy Institute, says the economic recovery has boosted growth in the temporary help services industry, but she says temporary jobs account for fewer jobs now than before the recession. The industry has added more than 650,000 jobs since the recession ended in mid-2009, but it eliminated more than 900,000 jobs from mid-2006 to mid-2009.

Employment in temporary help agencies began to decrease in the fall of 2006, more than a year before overall employment began to decline. However, the industry began to see growth in September 2009, several months before the overall labor market began adding jobs. Temporary help services jobs accounted for 1.9% of all jobs in 2006, falling to 1.3% by the summer of 2009. The figure currently stands at 1.8%, which is lower than its prerecession level.

Hiring, Key to U.S. Recovery, on Upswing

MarketWatch (03/04/12) Jeffry Bartash

The U.S. likely added 208,000 jobs in February, and the unemployment rate stayed put at 8.3%, predict economists surveyed by MarketWatch ahead of the March 9 jobs report. However, economists believe businesses are not hiring at a rapid pace and that fewer firings are fueling payroll growth. Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services, says to lower the U.S. employment rate to prerecession levels, 250,000 to 300,000 jobs per month must be created, and he does not think that is possible. Meanwhile, Neil Dutta, economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, says flat consumer spending, among other things, means a faster pace of hiring cannot be sustained. Other economists believe the economy may have gotten a boost from the unseasonably warm winter, and such growth will not continue into spring.

Small Business Hiring Edges Up in Feb: Poll

Reuters (03/02/12) Jason Lange

Hiring at small U.S. companies rose in February as the number of companies laying off employees declined to its lowest level since 2007. However, companies scaled back plans to hire employees, according to a poll by the National Federation of Independent Business. NFIB reported on March 2 that companies in its survey added an average 0.04 jobs in February. The reading was flat in January. Overall, 9% of companies added jobs in February.

Fed Takes a Break to Weigh Outlook

Wall Street Journal (03/05/12) Jon Hilsenrath

U.S. Federal Reserve officials will consider the perplexing economic outlook when they meet next week, but they are not expected to take any new action to boost economic growth. In his January news conference, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke appeared to favor a new bond-buying program to help drive down long-term interest rates even more, but he also indicated that more purchases would hinge on the nation’s economic performance. The odds of more bond buying would become more remote if growth or inflation pick up.

Find Out Where the Best Candidates Come From—ASAPro Webinar Thursday

Measuring the return on investment of recruitment advertising should be a major priority for every staffing firm owner and recruiting professional. Get tips for maximizing the ROI of your online recruitment advertising this Thursday, March 8, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time, in the ASAPro Webinar “Source-Tracking: Maximize Your Online Recruitment Budget.”

Shane O’Donnell, senior director of sales at, will help you identify inefficiencies in your company’s candidate source-tracking processes and make measurable improvements to your recruitment strategies.

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

Get Tips on Earning Government Contracts

Selling to the federal government can provide significant revenues for your staffing firm—but the process can be a bit overwhelming. ASA offers free resources that can help you position your company for government contracting opportunities.

A series of Webinars available on ASAPro—the ASA online professional development center—teaches the basics of selling to the government, shows you how to get started, and explains how you can pursue opportunities. Participants can take an online quiz after each course and earn an electronic certification of completion to present when bidding for government contracts.

In addition, ASA members that have successfully sold to the federal government created reference tools to help their peers explore and consider doing business with the government. These resources, including information on federal procurement, federal acquisition regulation, market research, and more, are available at

Federal Court Rules That NLRB Can Require Employers to Post ‘NLRA Rights’ Notice

Seyfarth Shaw (03/02/12) John Toner; Joshua Ditelberg

In National Association of Manufacturers v. National Labor Relations Board, et al., U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on March 2 granted in part and denied in part the plaintiff association’s request to block the NLRB’s new notice posting rule, which is to go into effect April 30, 2012. Judge Jackson ruled that the NLRB did not exceed its authority under the National Labor Relations Act by requiring all employers subject to the act to post a notice advising employees of their rights under the act. However, she also ruled that the portion of the rule which would deem an employer’s failure to post the NLRB notice to be an unfair labor practice, and the provision that delays the statute of limitations in the case of unfair labor practice charges where the employer failed to post the notice, do in fact violate the act and are therefore invalid as a matter of law.

The District Court’s decision may be appealed, and there is a separate lawsuit challenging the notice posting rule pending in the U.S. District Court for South Carolina.

Top 10 Trends in Background Checks for 2012: EEOC Scrutiny of Criminal Background Checks Heads List (03/05/12) Lester Rosen

Background checking company Employment Screening Resources says the biggest trend in employment screening background checks for 2012 is that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is paying closer attention to the use of criminal background checks by employers for employment purposes. Also making ESR’s list of the Top 10 Trends in Background Checks for 2012 is that states increasingly are regulating the use of credit reports by employers, with California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington passing laws that limit the use of credit reports for employment purposes.

Additionally, the report indicates that social media background screening checks of job applicants are gaining popularity and generating some controversy, and employers are automating background screening to boost efficiency, though such a move also increases risks. Other trends listed in the report include an increase in diploma mills providing fake degrees and credentials, more lawsuits being filed against employers for alleged violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, and employers having to navigate more complex federal and state rules for the use of the E-Verify system.

Why Recent Job Gains May Stick This Time

Wall Street Journal (03/05/12) Conor Dougherty; Rob Barry

While the U.S. job market has improved of late, observers note strong job growth early in 2011 was followed by a slowing in the spring and summer. However, job growth this year has spread to more of the nation’s largest metro areas—divisions bigger than cities that can include several counties. According to data from the government and Moody’s Analytics, 82 of the 100 largest metro areas saw year-over-year job growth through December, up from 71 metro areas with an increase through December 2010.

Meanwhile, initial claims for unemployment benefits, which are a reliable indicator of hiring, have declined for four months. Forecasters expect the overall trend to continue. IHS Global Insight projects job growth will increase in all 50 states this year, with a handful reaching prerecession employment levels by the end of 2012 or 2013. They note the recovery has led to a ramp-up in business investment, higher consumer spending, and, finally, more hiring.

‘Hiring Panic’ May Lift U.S. Confidence Soon: Chart of the Day

Bloomberg (03/02/12) David Wilson

Edward Yardeni, president of the New York-based investment advisory firm Yardeni Research Inc., says a hiring panic may erupt within the next few months. He says jobless claims indicate the ease of finding employment, and he cites statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor indicating that the four-week average of unemployment benefits applications has tumbled to a four-year low of 354,000. Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents in the Conference Board’s consumer-confidence surveys stating that jobs are hard to get dropped to 38.7% in February, after hovering in the 42% to 49% range over the past three years. Yardeni says, “More companies are having trouble finding the employees they need.”