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Last Day to Get Hotel Group Rate for the ASA Staffing Law Conference

The ASA group rate at the Hotel Helix ends today
; this hotel is about a 10-minute walk from the Westin City Center Hotel—the location for the 2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference, April 17–18, Washington, DC. The Westin is sold out, but ASA has secured a block of rooms at the Hotel Helix for conference attendees.

Make reservations by calling the Hotel Helix at 800-706-1202 and asking for the 2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference group rate. And register today for the Staffing Law Conference.

Staffing Stocks Poised to Outperform on U.S. Job Gains

Bloomberg (03/28/12) Anna-Louise Jackson; Anthony Feld; Alex Kowalski

After nearly nine months of underperformance, the new Bloomberg U.S. Employment Services Index, featuring such staffing companies as Robert Half International Inc., Kelly Services Inc., and Insperity Inc., has climbed 48% since Sept. 22, 2011, while the Russell 2000 Index of small company stocks rose just 31%. With 734,000 temporary and permanent jobs added between December and February, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Carl Camden, president and chief executive of Kelly Services, says businesses are less pessimistic. Although the portion of temporary workers relative to all employees on nonfarm payrolls climbed 1.86% in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment outlook for the next six months reveals some uncertainty. The Conference Board reports that the share of Americans believing there will be more jobs minus the share of those anticipating fewer jobs dropped to minus one percentage point this month.

However, analysts say shares of staffing firms with domestic exposure are performing better than those with European exposure. Moreover, Camden encourages investors to watch the conversion rate of temporary workers taking permanent positions. He notes, “Staffing firms are seeing an increase in temporary-to-permanent conversion that is typical at a second stage of recovery.”

Orders for Durable Goods in U.S. Increased 2.2% in February

Bloomberg (03/28/12) Timothy Homan

Orders for long-lasting U.S. goods climbed 2.2% in February amid strong demand for a broad variety of commercial and military-related products, the U.S. Commerce Department reported today. It was the fourth increase in five months. Economists forecast a 3% gain, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.

Corporate equipment upgrades and consumer purchases of new cars are bolstering production, prompting factories to hire and keeping the industry a source of strength for the expansion. Nonetheless, higher fuel costs and slowdowns in Europe and China may limit the pace of manufacturing this year.

Growing Natural Gas Supply to Fuel Jobs

USA Today (03/28/12) Paul Davidson

The fast-growing supply of inexpensive natural gas in the U.S. is setting off a manufacturing revival that is expected to create hundreds of thousands of jobs as companies build or expand plants to take advantage of the low prices. Nearly 30 new chemical plants have been proposed in the U.S. for the next five years, according to the American Chemistry Council. The projects would employ 200,000 workers at the factories and related suppliers, says council president Cal Dooley.

PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Robert McCutcheon estimates inexpensive natural gas could help U.S. manufacturers save $11.6 billion a year and create more than 500,000 jobs by 2025. Affected industries include chemical, steel, and agriculture.

Recent Job Growth Not a Fluke: White House Aide

Reuters (03/27/12) Jason Lange

Although Wall Street analysts credit a mild winter and possible seasonal adjustment problems in the data with playing a key part in driving down the unemployment rate since last summer, Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, says there is more evidence that a broad-based economic recovery is taking hold. He says parts of the U.S. that are typically less affected by cold weather saw similar declines in the unemployment rate as did the U.S. as a whole. He says he is “skeptical that seasonal factors are skewing our key statistics in a major way.” The Council of Economic Advisers says the economy will create about two million jobs this year.

Staffing World® 2012 Keynote Speaker Announced—Simon Mainwaring of We First

During his exciting closing general session at Staffing World, “Use Technology and Social Media to Build Community, Profit, and Positive Impact,” Simon Mainwaring—one of the world’s foremost experts on branding and social media—will present strategies that business leaders need to leverage technology and build stronger company brands and profits. Drawing from best practices and case studies of Fortune 500 brands, Mainwaring leads a powerful session designed to give companies the confidence and action steps to become social technology leaders.

Staffing World will be Oct 9–11 in Las Vegas. Don’t miss this opportunity to get lessons you can apply at your firm. For more information and to register, visit

Reduce Legal Risk With Nurse Staffing Firm Best Practices From ASA

Nurse staffing is a highly regulated segment of the staffing industry. To help protect nurse staffing firms from legal risk and help them better serve their clients and employees, ASA created Nurse Staffing Firm Best Practices and Operations Information. This information was developed by the ASA health care section policy council, which is composed of ASA health care staffing firm company representatives committed to the development of education, tools, and resources for the health care staffing sector.

The best practices address compliance with laws and regulations; determination of applicant experience and qualifications; client relations; and complaint, grievance, and incident management.

In addition to the best practices, these documents are available:

  • Employment Application
  • Supplemental Employment Questionnaire
  • License or Certification Verification Form
  • Skills Checklist for a registered nurse
  • Reference Check Form
  • Orientation Verification
  • Acknowledgement of OSHA Training Requirements
  • Employee Health Form
  • Office of Inspector General Exclusion Search
  • Hepatitis B Consent and Vaccination Record
  • Model Agreement for Health Car Staffing (including Sample Rate Schedule, Sample Benefits Waiver for Assigned Employees, Sample Confidentiality Agreement for Assigned Employees)
  • Initial Shift Evaluation of Supplemental Staff Form
  • Client Feedback Form

To view the Nurse Staffing Firm Best Practices and Operations Information, visit

States’ Anti-Illegal Immigration Bills Hit Roadblocks

USA Today (03/27/12) Alan Gomez

Utah, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Indiana passed illegal immigration laws on the heels of Arizona, but Republican lawmakers in other states have halted or abandoned similar bills to see how legal challenges to these laws and the upcoming election play out. The U.S. Supreme Court is slated to review Arizona’s landmark 2010 illegal immigration law in April. A bill in Missouri has stalled after passing a Senate committee, and lawmakers in Virginia and Kansas do not expect any bills to advance this year. Meanwhile, legislation proposed in Mississippi has been scaled back, eliminating provisions that would have allowed law enforcement to conduct roadside immigration checks, required school officials to verify students’ immigration status, and forced residents to carry identification papers.

Health Care Security Ordinance Annual Reporting Form Now Available

San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (03/27/12)

The 2011 Health Care Security Ordinance Annual Reporting Form is now available for online submission. The HCSO requires the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement to collect information on a yearly basis from companies regarding their health care expenditures. To avoid penalties of $500 per quarter, “covered employers” must submit the ARF by April 30, 2012. The 2011 ARF has been updated this year to reflect the November 2011 Amendment to the HCSO, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012. Employers should read the Instructions for Completing the 2011 HCSO Annual Reporting Form before they fill out and submit the online form. The instructions and the ARF itself are now available at the OLSE Web site.

Federal Agencies Told to Take Into Account Cumulative Costs of Regulations on Business

Bloomberg BNA (03/27/12) Cheryl Bolen; Stephen Lee

Cass Sunstein, administrator of the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has issued a memorandum to all federal agencies asking them to be sensitive to the costs and cumulative impact regulations pose to businesses. The memo also asks agencies to identify opportunities to harmonize and streamline various rules. The memo asks agencies to pay special attention to small and start-up companies.

House Committee OKs Bill to Freeze Federal Rules Until Unemployment Drops

Bloomberg BNA (03/27/12) Stephen Lee

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee has approved bill HR 4078, which would prohibit federal agencies from advancing new significant regulations until the unemployment rate falls to 6%. The proposed Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act, sponsored by Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR), now heads to the full House for consideration. The committee also approved a manager’s amendment that would allow the president to submit a regulation to Congress that does not fall under one of the bill’s other exemption parameters. Those exemptions include rules that are considered “necessary because of an imminent threat to health or safety or other emergency, for the enforcement of criminal laws, or for U.S. national security, or issued to implement an international trade agreement.”

2012 IT Budgets Up by 20% but Employer Fears Loom Regarding Losing IT Talent

MarketWatch (03/27/12)

A new survey of more than 700 director to chief information officer level executives by Protech, an information technology search and staffing firm in Boca Raton, FL, shows that 42% of tech leaders expect to boost IT staff in 2012. Moreover, 57% of respondents are worried about losing top IT talent, with 58% citing compensation as the top reason.

Additionally, the survey shows a greater increase in direct hiring than in temporary staffing. Deborah Vazquez, chief executive of Protech, says, “Employers are more confident about making longer-term hiring decisions in IT, which can further propel corporate growth and streamline operations.” The best perks offered by employers were flextime, telecommuting, and bonuses, and the average pay increase was 3.5% last year, compared with 2% in 2010. Vazquez says, “We are effectively now in an employee-driven market due to low unemployment in IT and specialized candidates weighing multiple job offers.”

Obama, Unions Work to Bring Back Overseas Jobs

The Street (03/27/12) Ted Reed

Over the past months, companies in the automobile and airline industries have repatriated or agreed to repatriate thousands of jobs from overseas in auto manufacturing, airline call centers, and other areas. US Airways, for example, brought back 400 reservation agents’ jobs from the Philippines to the U.S. over the past year. President Obama is supporting the efforts, in January hosting an “Insourcing American Jobs” forum at the White House. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) is sponsoring a bill that would prevent businesses that outsource U.S. call center jobs from being able to obtain federal grants and loans.