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ADP: Private Sector Adds 216,000 Jobs

Wall Street Journal (03/07/12) Kathleen Madigan

Private-sector payrolls increased by 216,000 in February, led by the service-providing sector and small businesses, according to the ADP employment report released today. The gain was close to expectations of 215,000 put forth by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires. The January gain was revised to 173,000 from a prior estimate of 170,000. As has been the case in recent months, the gain was fueled by small-business hiring.

The latest ADP report showed large businesses with 500 employees or more added 20,000 employees to their staffs in January, while medium-size businesses added 88,000 workers and small businesses that employ fewer than 50 workers hired 108,000 new workers. Service-sector jobs increased by 170,000 last month, and factory jobs increased by 21,000.

U.S. 4th-Quarter Productivity Revised Up to 0.9%

MarketWatch (03/07/12)

U.S. productivity was a bit higher in the fourth quarter of 2011 than originally stated, but the cost of producing goods and services climbed due to a significant rise in hourly wages, according to revised data from the U.S. Department of Labor. DOL reported that productivity rose 0.9% in the final three months of 2011, up from an earlier prediction of 0.7%. Meanwhile, hours worked rose 2.7%, a bit less than the initial 2.9% prediction. However, inflation-adjusted hourly wages rose 2.8%, sharply higher compared with the initial estimate of 1.9%. As a result, unit-labor costs also rose 2.8% instead of 1.2% as previously estimated.

Jobless Rate Falling Faster Than Many Predicted

USA Today (03/07/12) Tim Mullaney

The jobless rate is declining more quickly than some economists had predicted. The economy created an average of 223,000 new jobs a month in December and January, and a Bloomberg survey predicts 204,000 jobs were created in February. However, the additional jobs are not solely responsible for the falling jobless rate.

According to some economists, the real reason the jobless rate has declined so rapidly is that not as many people as expected are looking for work. There are 1.1 million discouraged unemployed workers—those who haven’t sought a job in the past month—and many of them are expected to stay out of the job market even once the economy recovers. In addition, more Baby Boomers are retiring.

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

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 tomorrow, 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

ASA Welcomes Section Policy Council Members

To represent all sectors of the staffing industry and to promote peer networking and collaboration, ASA offers sector-specific communities called membership sections. These sections support six broad areas of the industry: heath care; industrial; office–administrative; professional; search and placement; and technical, information technology, and scientific. It’s free for ASA members to join one or more sections.

Each section is led by a policy council composed of ASA member volunteers who advise the ASA board of directors on sector-specific issues, coordinate the section’s activities, and design programs and services to meet the unique business challenges faced by these sectors of the staffing industry. ASA congratulations all the newly appointed policy council members.

You can see the complete list of policy council leaders and sign up to join a section at

Membership sections are sponsored by RCS Services, an ASA corporate partner and pioneer in risk management strategies specific to the unique challenges of the staffing industry.

NY, NJ, CT Politicians Seek Minimum Wage Increase

Associated Press (03/06/12)

Legislative leaders in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are calling for the minimum wage in their states to be raised to about $10 an hour. Currently, Connecticut’s minimum wage is $8.25 an hour; the federal minimum wage rate is $7.25 an hour.

Pre I-9 Audit Planning: Prepare for the Worst and Hope for the Best (Part 2)

The I-9 and E-Verify Blog (02/23/12) Valentine Brown

In a continuation of yesterday’s article on Form I-9 audits, this article provides additional worst-case scenarios relating to internal I-9 audits and suggestions to help employers mitigate their potential ill effects.

There is no way to prevent an employee or former employee from filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Discrimination, but a company might prevent the complaint from turning into a full-blown investigation by following citizenship status and national origin polices that are applied evenly to all employees. An emergency preparedness plan should be put into place that includes clear lines of communication, preapproved responses, and the authority to quickly carry them out when necessary.

When doing an in-house audit, it is often prudent to let employees know ahead of time. Advise them of the importance of the project and that they may be asked to provide additional information or documentation. This will cut down on employee uncertainty while emphasizing the need for timely and full cooperation.

Young Adults See Their Pay Decline

Wall Street Journal (03/07/12) James R. Hagerty

New college graduates comprise the demographic most likely to take the brunt of the downward pressure on wages in the current economic climate, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The average inflation-adjusted hourly wage for male college graduates in their 20s declined 11% over the past 10 years to $21.68 in 2011, while the average wage for female college graduates the same age has fallen 7.6% to $18.80. In contrast, the average inflation-adjusted hourly wage for production and nonsupervisory workers of all ages and education levels has risen 3% over the past 10 years, government figures indicate.

More Workers Saying: ‘I Quit!’

MSNBC (03/06/12) Eve Tahmincioglu

New studies showing that more employees are quitting their jobs indicate an increase in worker confidence. A survey of recruiters by MRINetwork shows a jump in job openings resulting from resignations to 28% in January from 21% in July 2011. Meanwhile, a February report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that 1.9 million people quit their jobs, indicating more confidence about job availability among employees even though the figure trails the 2.8 million resignations reported in December 2007.

Nancy Halverson, senior vice president of operations at MRINetwork, adds that hiring has picked up a bit as well. “Organizations are adding and upgrading talent, and all of a sudden, employees are willing to say, ‘I’ll put my name out there,'” she says. Of the 163 recruiters polled by MRINetwork, 56% said candidates are driving the job market. As for how they identify candidates, 11% said active candidates were in the database already, 16% looked to the competition, 18% used referrals, and 25% searched third-party databases. The most desired qualities in candidates are a history of generating revenue, previous employment with a brand name company, and advanced degrees.

Study: Salaries Poised to Rise for Workers With Mobile, Cloud, UI Skills

Computerworld (03/06/12) Fred O’Connor

Salaries for people who have backgrounds in five popular technologies are expected to increase this year, according to a study from information technology staffing firm Bluewolf. Workers with experience in mobile application and software development, cloud computing, data analysis, and user interface design will benefit, Bluewolf says. The IT job market is already competitive, and it is expected to become even more so as current workers retire. The study covered a variety of IT positions, including executives, software developers, and system administrators.

CIOs Struggle to Find IT Talent

Network World (03/06/12) Ann Bednarz

Robert Half International polled 4,000 U.S. executives—including chief information officers, chief financial officers, senior human resource managers, lawyers, and advertising and marketing executives—to determine their hiring plans for the second quarter of 2012. More CIOs say recruiting is a challenge than do their counterparts in other professions, with 65% saying it’s a challenge to find talent. Candidates with a solid knowledge of cloud computing and software as a service are highly sought, Robert Half reports. Across all professions, 61% of the executives report recruiting challenges.

Among all respondents, 89% expect to maintain headcount in the second quarter, 5% expect to increase staff levels, and 3% expect to decrease staff. The strongest hiring activity is expected in the legal and marketing fields, with a net 22% of lawyers and 10% of marketing executives planning to increase headcount. Robert Half pollsters also asked executives about their companies’ prospects for growth in the second quarter, and 91% say they are confident about growth.