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ManpowerGroup Reports 1st Quarter 2012 Results

ManpowerGroup News Release (04/20/12)

ManpowerGroup today reported that net earnings for the three months ended March 31 were $40.2 million, or 50 cents per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $35.7 million, or 43 cents per diluted share, a year earlier. Global revenues for the first quarter were $5.1 billion, similar to the prior year, up 3% in constant currency. U.S. revenues were $735.8 million for the quarter, compared with $750.9 million from the prior year and in line with analysts’ expectations. Net earnings in the first quarter were negatively impacted by 2 cents per diluted share, as foreign currencies were relatively weaker compared with the prior year period.

Jeffrey A. Joerres, ManpowerGroup chairman and chief executive officer, said, “We were able to achieve very solid profitability despite the continued headwinds of slow economic growth. Our geographic footprint, wide range of offerings, and very good expense management contributed to the strong quarter. Our work force solutions business continued to grow by solid double digits while our permanent recruitment business continues to outpace last year.”

U.S. Leading Economic Index Increases in March

The Conference Board News Release (04/19/12)

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. increased 0.3% in March to 95.7, following a 0.7% increase in February, and a 0.2% increase in January. Ataman Ozyildirim, economist at the Conference Board, says: “The LEI increased for the sixth consecutive month, pointing to a more positive outlook despite subdued consumer expectations and weakness in manufacturing new orders. Moreover, the six-month growth rate of the LEI continues to improve.”

Ken Goldstein, economist at the Conference Board, adds: “Despite relatively weak data on jobs, home building, and output in the past month or two, the indicators signal continued economic momentum. We expect a gradual improvement in growth past the summer months.”

Economic Reports Fan Fears

Wall Street Journal (04/20/12) Ben Casselman; Nick Timiraos

Although new claims for unemployment benefits declined slightly to 386,000 last week from 388,000 a week earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, those figures may not hold up. In fact, the job market seems to be losing the momentum it had built earlier in the year, and layoffs may be increasing once again.

However, Chris Lawson, who runs a staffing firm in Texas, says business has risen in recent months as companies have become confident about hiring, and recent signs of weakness in the jobs market haven’t tempered clients’ enthusiasm. “It’s a slow, gradual process, where we might have some steps forward and some steps back,” Lawson says. “But the vibe and the pulse that I get is that companies are hiring.”

Fears Rise That Recovery May Falter in the Spring

New York Times (04/20/12) Annie Lowrey

Increasing layoffs, slowing manufacturing activity, and concerns about Europe are sparking fears that the economic recovery is headed for a springtime stall for the third year in a row. Forecasters have said that the trends point to a moderation of economic growth in the U.S., but they still expect the recovery to continue this year. The slowdown in part reflects an unusually warm winter, which pulled forward economic activity, making January and February seem artificially good and perhaps making recent weeks look worse than they truly were.

There are signs that the sharp decline in the unemployment rate—which fell to 8.2% in March from 8.9% in October—might be over, with economic growth not robust enough for employers to continue adding jobs so rapidly. In March, employers added just 120,000 new jobs, the fewest since November. The recent rise in new jobless claims has raised worries that the April report will also be disappointing, although some forecasters say the jobless-claims statistics have been affected by the timing of Easter. Economists are divided over the import of the recent slowdown, with many saying it is more likely to seem like a blip than a major change.

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Opportunity for States to Develop Innovative Demonstrations of Re-Employment Strategies

U.S. Department of Labor News Release (04/19/12)

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced guidance for state demonstration projects to identify innovative strategies that quickly connect unemployed workers with good jobs. Up to 10 states will be able to use administrative funding—or apply for a waiver to use Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds—to implement and evaluate programs that expedite the ability of people to return to work.

The newly released guidance provides details on the application process, activities that may be pursued, the requirements for obtaining a waiver of the withdrawal standard or methods of administration requirements in existing law, and the requirements for evaluation of the demonstration projects.

Earn Recognition for Your Firm’s Environmental Efforts

This Sunday, April 22, marks the 42nd annual Earth Day. Has your firm recently spearheaded an eco-friendly campaign?

If so, submit an entry for this year’s ASA Care Award. The award program recognizes outstanding corporate social responsibility initiatives among ASA member companies and affiliated chapters. DRA Recruiting & Staffing Solutions, a 2011 Care Award recipient, created a “Growing Greener” campaign that the company estimates achieved a 65% reduction of waste company-wide.

Want to celebrate Earth Day every day? Get ideas for how your company can create business-wide sustainability programs by visiting

Are You a Staffing World® Star?

As the industry buzz continues to build about Staffing World 2012, Oct. 9–11 in Las Vegas, more and more people are viewing the latest video about this can’t-miss event for staffing executives. With thousands convening for the ASA convention and expo each year, there’s a good chance you’ll see yourself or a colleague in this video.

Staffing World is the industry’s largest, most comprehensive professional development, networking, and expo event. Register by May 18 and save up to $400 per person. Register today.

OSHA Issues Directive on Communicating With Family Following a Workplace Fatality

Occupational Health & Safety (04/19/12)

A new U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration directive guides agency representatives in communicating investigation procedures with family members following a workplace fatality. The guidance is geared to ensure that OSHA representatives speak to the worker’s family early in the investigation process, establish a point of contact, and maintain a working relationship with the family.

Under the new directive, OSHA representatives will contact the victim’s family to explain the investigation process and timeline and provide the family with updates throughout the investigation. Once the investigation is closed, OSHA will explain findings to the family and address any questions. If an employer has been issued citations, OSHA will provide a copy of the citation(s) to the family.

Temporary Firm Owner Admits Evading Paying Employment Taxes (04/19/12) John Barna

Vanna Kem, the owner of Tri State Labor Services, has entered a guilty plea in federal court on tax evasion charges. Kem paid Tri State employees more than $1million in cash wages between the first quarter of 2006 and the last quarter of 2008 but did not withhold employment taxes. She also failed to file U.S. Internal Revenue Service Form 941, in which she was required to report the wages paid to employees.

U.S. Manufacturing, Defying Naysayers

Wall Street Journal (04/20/12) John Bussey

South Carolina is experiencing a resurgence in manufacturing. Although the new factories are automated and don’t require the number of workers the old ones did, they are employing college-educated engineers and machinists. In March the Institute of Supply Management’s manufacturing index revealed expansion for the 32nd month nationally, and South Carolina is benefiting from that expansion. At least 30 companies have expressed interest in moving to or expanding into the Greenville, SC, area. Meanwhile, 37% of 106 large U.S. manufacturers surveyed by the Boston Consulting Group say they intend to bring production back to the U.S. from China, or are thinking about it.

Need a Summer Job? Better Start Looking

San Diego Union-Tribune (04/19/12) Jonathan Horn

A new survey by Internet career site Snagajob found that more hiring managers plan to fill summer job openings quickly this year. Almost 25% of the 1,000 hiring managers surveyed said they intend to hire all of their seasonal employees by the end of March; another 23% said they expect to hire seasonal employees by the end of April. Seventy-nine percent of the jobs should be filled by the end of May.