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Jobless Claims in U.S. Fell to Lowest Level in Four Years

Bloomberg (04/05/12) Lorraine Woellert

The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits
fell by 6,000 last week to 357,000, the U.S. Department of Labor
reported today. The median forecast of 43 economists in a
Bloomberg News survey estimated a decrease to 355,000. The
four-week moving average decreased to 361,750 last week, from
366,000. “The labor market is going to continue to gradually
heal, though we have a long ways to go,” says Ryan Sweet, a
senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. “The economy
is pulling up pretty well given the headwinds we’re seeing
from Europe.”

U.S. Service Firms Grow at Steady Pace, Boost Hiring

Associated Press (04/04/12) Christopher Rugaber

U.S. service companies stepped up hiring in March and continued
to expand at a solid pace. The Institute for Supply Management
reported on April 4 that its index of nonmanufacturing activity
dropped to 56 in March, down from February’s 57.3, which was
a 12-month high. Economists say the slight decline is not
troubling because the reading is still at a healthy level that
points to growth.

“The (ISM) survey still suggests that domestic demand is
contributing more to the recovery,” says Paul Dales, an
economist at Capital Economics. “This survey is still
consistent with some decent rates of economic growth.”
Sixteen of the 18 industries tracked by the survey reported
growth. Greater spending “reflects the increased confidence
level of businesses and consumers,” says Anthony Nieves,
chairman of the ISM’s services committee.

Older Workers Capture More New Jobs

USA Today (04/05/12) Paul Davison

Older workers are gaining an outsized share of job gains in the
economic recovery as they put off retirement. In February,
employment for workers 55 and older rose by 277,000 from January,
or 65% of the total 428,000 gains, according to the U.S.
Department of Labor’s household survey. Since the start of
the recession in December 2007, employment for those 55 and older
is up by 3.9 million, even as total payrolls have fallen by 4.2
million. Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist for Barclays Capital,
notes that more-experienced employees are often more productive
and earn higher salaries, generating economic growth that itself
yields additional jobs.

Attend the ASA Staffing Law Conference, Earn Legal Continuing Education

If you’re a staffing professional who’s earned the
Certified Staffing Professional™ or Technical Services
Certified™ credential, this month’s ASA
Staffing Law Conference
provides a total of 8.25 continuing
education hours—the six employment law CE hours you need to
maintain your ASA certification, plus 2.25 hours that can be used
toward the general CE requirement.

Staffing professionals who have earned the CSP™ and
TSC™ credentials need to recertify every three years by
earning 30 hours of continuing education, six of which must
pertain to employment law. More than 5,000 staffing professionals
have earned the CSP and TSC—to find out about
certification, visit

If you’re an attorney, the Staffing Law Conference may
qualify for continuing legal education. Attorneys interested in
receiving CLE credit for the 2012 ASA Staffing Law Conference
should contact their state bar for consideration. Upon request,
ASA will provide documentation to validate participation in the

The Staffing Law Conference is April 17–18 in Washington,
DC. To learn more and to register, visit

ASAPro Webinar Next Week—Never Negotiate Direct Hire Fees Again

Next Thursday, April 12, don’t miss the ASAPro
Webinar “How
to Never Negotiate Direct Hire Fees Again
.” Neil
Lebovits of the Dynamic Sale will share a technique that will
help you stop negotiating direct hire fees so you can maximize
your profits.

And mark your calendar for the April 24 Webinar “Recruiting
in the Cloud

All ASAPro Webinars are free for ASA members ($295 for
nonmembers) and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA
certification renewal. Webinars take place 3–4 p.m. Eastern
time. Register online at

Most Alabama Businesses Miss Immigration E-Verify Goal

Associated Press (04/04/12)

Although some calculations indicate that nearly 369,000 companies
do business in Alabama, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
says just 18,137 were enrolled in the E-Verify system as of April
2, meaning thousands of businesses missed the April 1
registration deadline set forth by the state’s immigration
law. Currently, businesses do not face penalties for failing to
register, but officials say they are encouraging them to do so to
provide legal protection in the event that it is determined they
hired illegal immigrants, the consequences of which include the
loss of their business license.

The Misclassification Risks of Hiring Independent Contractors

Corporate Counsel (03/29/12) Shannon Green

While companies see an advantage in hiring independent
contractors when they are unsure of their staffing needs or their
budgets are tight, they first should weigh the risks, says Emily
Sanford Johnson, labor and employment attorney with United Parcel
Service Inc. Johnson says that despite the flexibility, lower
costs, and specialized skills associated with hiring independent
contractors, employers face significant tax consequences at the
state and federal levels if they misclassify these employees. She
adds that employers face liability associated with overtime and
minimum wage payment violations, employee benefits, pension
plans, workers’ compensation, and state meal and rest period
laws, among other things. The U.S. Department of Labor, along
with states, is cracking down on worker misclassification.

Johnson says employers could be scrutinized when they file
unemployment or workers’ compensation claims with the state
or when employees shift from W2 status to 1099 status in the same
year at the same company. Johnson adds that to avoid charges of
misclassification, companies should not tightly control how the
independent contractor does his or her job, pay worker per
project rather than hourly or via salary, and stipulate that
failing to complete the project as per the agreement will result
in consequences. “If they are going to get paid regardless,
it looks more like they’re an employee,” she says.

Hiring Outlook for the Second Quarter Similar to Pre-Recession, CareerBuilder’s Survey Finds

PRNewswire (04/05/12)

Hiring plans in the U.S. are getting back to prerecession levels,
according to ASA corporate partner CareerBuilder’s latest
nationwide survey. One-third of employers added full-time,
permanent employees in the first quarter of this year, on par
with 2007 and the highest increase reported since the recession
began. The momentum is expected to continue with 30% of employers
planning to add new full-time, permanent staff in April through

“We have moved from an anemic job market to one that is
stable and growing,” says Matt Ferguson, chief executive
officer of CareerBuilder. “While still cautious, employers
are feeling better about the state of the U.S. economy and the
debt situation in Europe. Forty-one percent of companies reported
their sales have increased over the last six months, which is
helping to fuel greater confidence in hiring.”

The study also showed there is increased competition for talent
among employers. Of employers that recruited for positions in the
last year, 56% reported that a candidate rejected a job offer
from their organization. Forty-one percent of those attributed
the rejection to their inability to provide the candidate’s
desired salary, while 22% said they didn’t offer the position
quickly enough and the candidate was already hired somewhere

Hiring at U.S. Workplaces Jumps in March

Gallup News Service (04/04/12) Lydia Saad

Gallup’s Job Creation Index rose to +18 in March, up from +14
in February. In March 35% of U.S. adult workers said their
companies were hiring or expanding their work forces, while 17%
said their companies were letting workers go and reducing their
work forces. The percentage of companies hiring is the highest
reported since September 2008. The Midwest continues to lead the
rest of the nation in new hiring, followed by the South, East,
and West. All four regions posted their best Job Creation index
scores since the fall of 2008.

IT Salaries: 10 Cities Where IT Professionals Earn the Most

CIO (04/03/12) Meridith Levinson

Technology recruiting company CyberCoders has released a list of
the top 10 cities where IT workers earn the biggest salaries. The
top 10 cities are San Jose, CA, San Francisco, New York,
Washington, DC, Boston, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, NY, Philadelphia,
Chicago, and Dallas. Technology workers in No. 1-ranked San Jose,
CA, earn an average of $119,412, while technology workers in No.
10-ranked Dallas earn an average of $94,799.