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BLS: Staffing Employment Little Changed in March

Seasonally adjusted employment data released this morning by the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that staffing industry
employment dipped slightly, shedding 7,500 jobs (down 0.3%) from
February to March. In a year-to-year comparison, temporary help
employment for the month was 8.0% higher than in March 2011.

U.S. nonfarm payroll employment in March grew at about half the
rate of that noted in February, adding 120,000 new jobs to the
economy. Most of the employment growth continued to be driven by
new job creation in the private sector.

“For the most part, staffing firms continued to see healthy
demand in March, as was reflected by the nonseasonally adjusted
BLS employment numbers,” says Richard Wahlquist, president
and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association.
“In the current environment, businesses are understandably
cautious about when and how to add additional flexible and
permanent staff.”

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number
of jobs in the economy, indicated that the staffing industry
added 29,400 jobs (up 1.2%) from February to March. On a
year-to-year basis, there were 8.5% more staffing employees in
March compared with the same month in 2011.

U.S. Hiring Slows in March as Employers Add Just 120K Jobs, Unemployment Rate Dips to 8.2%

Associated Press (04/06/12)

The U.S. economy added 120,000 jobs in March, marking the
smallest increase in five months, the government reported this
morning. The number of jobs created last month fell well below
expectations and failed to break the 200,000 level for the first
time since December. The unemployment rate dipped to 8.2%, but
mostly because more Americans stopped looking for work. Though
the economy has added 858,000 jobs since December—the best
four months of hiring in two years—the mixed report was a
disappointment after three months of solid job growth.

Nearly 8,000 Wisconsinites to Lose Extended Jobless Benefits

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (04/05/12) John Schmid

Wisconsin does not meet the federally required threshold for
long-term unemployment benefits, because its unemployment rate
fell to 6.9% in February. As a result, 7,761 state residents will
lose their extended jobless benefits on April 7, and the maximum
number of weeks that unemployed residents can claim benefits will
drop from 86 to 73. The National Employment Law Project says
Wisconsin will fall another tier on June 1 if its unemployment
rate remains under 7%, meaning that benefits can be claimed for
only 60 weeks. Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio,
Oregon, South Carolina, and Tennessee also will lose extended
benefits, according to NELP.

Conduct a Successful Site Visit With Free Resources From ASA

Hosting a site tour for legislators; local, state, or federal
government officials; or local reporters provides an unmatched
opportunity to educate public policy makers and journalists about
the staffing industry and the role your business plays in the
community. A hands-on experience is a powerful way to make a
positive impression.

A good site tour takes careful planning. That’s why ASA
created a guide to hosting site tours for influentials. Part of
the public relations 101 section of the industry marketing tool
kit, the guide is free to members. This resource is designed to
help you put your best foot forward and keep your public image

Download the guide to hosting site tours for influentials at

How to Handle the New ADA Landscape

Texas Lawyer (04/02/12) Michael P. Maslanka

Attorneys are just beginning to feel the effects of amendments to
the Americans With Disabilities Act that went into effect in 2009
and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations that
went into effect last year. The ADA amendments ordered the courts
to interpret the law’s language on “substantial
limitation” in a pro-employee manner, expanding the number
of life activities covered by the law to include everything from
cell growth to communication. Experts say this means that
lawsuits that once were regularly dismissed are making their way
to juries, so that someone who claimed morbid obesity as a
disability, for instance, will pass the summary judgment phase if
it impacts his or her ability to walk, and under EEOC regulations
that interpret the amendments, cancer is considered a covered
disability. Lifting and bending are now deemed major life
activities, so a painful back condition is considered a
“substantial limitation.”

Managers should be trained to recognize that conditions that may
not seem to be disabilities could be interpreted by the courts as
such. They also should understand that employers generally win
cases in which a worker with a disability is not otherwise
qualified for the job, meaning that if they cannot be at work the
required number of hours per week, no reasonable accommodation
will change that. However, employers are obligated under law to
reasonably accommodate workers with disabilities, interacting
with them to develop a reasonable accommodation.

When Making Reference-Check Calls, Take and Retain Good Notes

Business Management Daily (04/04/12)

When employers check applicants’ references, they must be
sure to take careful notes during those discussions and retain
those notes in case there is litigation. The recent case of
Romero v. State of North Carolina highlights that need. After
Janet Romero, who is white, applied and was rejected for two
internal promotions, she sued for race discrimination after two
African-American women were selected for the openings.

The supervisor explained to the court that when a choice between
candidates was close, he checked their references. Romero’s
ex-boss explained that he had reservations about her
communication skills, a key part of the new job. As the
supervisor’s notes showed, the other two candidates’
supervisors rated both of them highly, offering no reservations
about communication skills. The court said that even if Romero
met the other requirements, she was not the best qualified based
on her supervisor’s assessment, and that was a legitimate
reason for passing her over.

Monster Employment Index U.S. Holds Steady in March

Monster Worldwide Inc. News Release (04/06/12)

The Monster Employment Index U.S. shows annual growth of 5% in
March, an eased pace from the 11% annual growth recorded in
February. The index held steady from February levels on a monthly
basis. Commerce activity continues to maintain steady momentum
with transportation and warehousing, retail, and wholesale trade
recording solid annual growth rates. Public administration
remains the weakest trending sector in the index, dropping 16% on
an annual basis. All metro markets tracked by the index continue
to exhibit positive annual growth.

NFIB Jobs Survey Shows Mixed Signals

NFIB News Release (04/05/12)

Small businesses created the most jobs in March in about a year,
according to a National Federation of Independent Business survey
released on April 5. The survey of 757 small businesses found
that the average number of workers per firm increased by 0.2
workers—the highest since January and February
2011—after being flat in February. However, prospects for
the labor market dimmed somewhat, with 15% of respondents
reporting unfilled job openings last month, down two points from
February. The share of businesses planning to add new workers
fell for a fourth straight month.

After Increased Hiring, the Travel Industry Is Ready for Your Summer Vacation

Wanted Analytics (04/05/12) Abby Lombardi

During the past two months, travel agencies, hotels, casinos,
airlines, and other travel-related businesses have advertised
more than 24,000 jobs online, a 22% increase from a year earlier.
Hotels posted 18,000 of the ads, followed by travel agencies and
casino hotels. The most in-demand occupations are hotel, motel,
and resort desk clerks; maids and housekeeping cleaners;
first-line supervisors or managers of food preparation and
serving workers; waiters and waitresses; and restaurant cooks.
The Washington, DC, metro area saw the highest volume of jobs in
the industry, followed by the New York metro area and the Las
Vegas metro area.