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Temporary Employment Hiring Is Improving

Daily Markets (04/10/12) Mark Perry

The American Staffing Association’s weekly Staffing Index of
temporary and contract employment increased to a year-to-date
high of 90 for the week ending April 1, nearly 6% above the
year-ago level and 0.74% above the previous week. This was the
highest week 14 reading since 2008, and just a bit below the 91
index level for the comparable week in 2007. The upward trend in
the ASA Staffing Index this year and the upward trend in
temporary employment for the last two years suggest that
conditions in the labor market will continue to improve.

U.S. Metropolitan Area Employment Report for February

Bloomberg (04/10/12)

The U.S. metropolitan area employment report for February by the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that in the 372
metropolitan areas covered, unemployment rates decreased
year-over-year in 344, rose in 19, and held steady in nine. The
number of metropolitan areas with jobless rates of 10% or more
fell to 77 from 137 in February 2011, and the number of
metropolitan areas with unemployment rates under 7% climbed to 90
from 54. The highest jobless rates were recorded in El Centro,
CA, and Yuma, AZ, while the lowest rates were posted in Bismarck,
ND, and Midland, TX. Meanwhile, nonfarm payroll employment rose
year-over-year in 267 metropolitan areas.

New Orleans Health Care Staffing Company Acquires Oklahoma Firm

New Orleans Times-Picayune (04/10/12) Jaquetta White

In an $18 million deal, New Orleans-based health care staffing
firm Gifted Nurses has acquired Oklahoma-based Robison Medical
Group. The merged company will provide staff for intensive care
units, operating rooms, and emergency rooms, along with traveling
nurses, throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. P.K.
Scheerle, chief executive of Gifted Nurses, says, “Merging
with Robison introduces new talent to our already extraordinary

ASAPro Webinar Tomorrow—Never Negotiate Direct Hire Fees Again

Tomorrow afternoon, don’t miss the ASAPro Webinar
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

Protect Your Business With Free Resources From ASA

Turning to an employment law attorney every time you have a
question can be impractical and costly. But your firm needs
information from experts who know the staffing industry and
understand your business. As an ASA member, your company has
access to legal and legislative resources that help protect your

Working with seasoned experts in business and labor law, ASA has
developed specialized tools for staffing firms—such as
model contracts, issue papers about critical business and
employment topics, guidance on staffing-specific employment law,
and information about pending legislation.

Many of these legal resources are available on
. You can also view the ASA Staffing
Professional Catalog
for information on materials designed to
enhance your understanding of employment law. And you can contact
the ASA legal department at 703-253-2020 for the support you

Maryland Bill Preventing Employers From Asking for Social Media Passwords Has Passed

Baltimore Sun (04/10/12) Kevin Rector

A bill passed by the Maryland General Assembly and awaiting Gov.
Martin O’Malley’s signature would bar employers from
asking current and prospective employees for social media user
names and passwords. Maryland is the first state to pass such
legislation, but similar bills are under consideration in
Illinois and California. Social media privacy issues have
garnered attention from federal lawmakers, with U.S. Sens. Chuck
Schumer (D-NY) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) calling for
investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Chamber Wants Review of EEOC Background Check Guidance

Law360 (04/04/12) Abigail Rubenstein

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants the U.S. Office of Management
and Budget to make it mandatory for the U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission to seek public comment before issuing any
new guidance. In a letter to the OMB, the chamber said the EEOC
is planning to issue two guidance documents that both relate to
“interaction of disparate impact” under Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964. One of the documents is about
employer use of credit history, and the other is about employer
use of criminal convictions. “By all accounts, the EEOC is
now preparing to approve these significant guidance documents
without making them available for public comments and without
seeking review by the OMB,” the letter claims.

The chamber says its members are worried that the guidance could
eliminate or limit the use of the two tools used by employers
when making hiring and other decisions. The letter also says the
guidance might not interpret Title VII in a balanced way, so a
pre-adoption comment period would help control the more
controversial aspects of the guidance. Attorneys assert that the
EEOC’s upcoming guidance may make employers more vulnerable
to discrimination claims over their use of background checks.

Staffing Revenue Rising Faster Than Expected in 2012

Workforce (04/10/12)

U.S. temporary staffing revenue increased 14% last year, with
growth higher than anticipated for this point in the business
cycle, according to Staffing Industry Analysts. “In a year
marked by modest GDP [gross domestic product] growth of 1.7%, the
strong growth in temporary staffing revenue in 2011 is further
evidence of a secular shift in demand above the expansion
predicted by GDP growth, based upon the trend of the past 16
years,” says SIA research associate Timothy Landhuis.
“We project that U.S. staffing industry revenue will expand
by 10% in 2012.”

Business Executives Cheerier on Economy, Hiring—Chase Survey

Wall Street Journal (04/10/12)

Fifty-five percent of the executives recently surveyed by Chase
Commercial Banking plan to hire additional employees this year.
Just 4% said they intend to cut jobs. Some 49% of the executives
said they are optimistic about the U.S. economy, up from 39% last
year. Chase surveyed executives at 1,000 U.S. companies with
annual revenues between $10 million and $500 million.

Small Businesses Are Less Upbeat, But Jobs Are Open

Wall Street Journal (04/10/12) Eric Morath

Higher energy prices are pressuring small businesses, and many
plan to begin charging more for goods and services. The National
Federation of Independent Business small-business optimism index
declined to 92.5 for March from 94.3 in February. But a separate
report from the U.S. Department of Labor found the number of job
openings across the country at the end of February—3.5
million—was unchanged from January.

Boston High Tech Job Openings Increase 18%

Boston Business Journal (04/10/12) Joe Halpern

The Boston market saw an 18% increase in the number of technology
job openings at the beginning of April compared with a year
earlier, according to a survey by Dice Inc. Boston, the sixth
largest technology market in the U.S., saw the largest percentage
increase of tech job openings among the top tech markets. The New
York and New Jersey market, the biggest technology market in the
country, saw a 3% decline in job postings. Technology consulting
added more than 70,000 jobs in 2011 and 16,000 in the first
quarter of 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor