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Temporary Work Firms Signal Economy’s Health, Direction

Columbus Dispatch (OH) (04/22/12)

The number of temporary help services jobs has become a closely watched bellwether for the U.S. job market. Since hitting bottom in August 2009, the number of temporary jobs has been rising steadily. Combined, U.S. staffing companies employed an average of 2.8 million temporary and contract workers per day in 2011—up 8% from the previous year, the American Staffing Association reported last month. “Through career counseling, training, employment, and job placement, staffing and recruiting companies add value to people’s lives across every sector and occupation,” says Richard Wahlquist, the association’s president and chief executive officer. Industry sales totaled $98.3 billion in 2011—12.4% more than in 2010.

Cherie Nelson, senior business development manager for Kelly Services, says that “the fact that we are seeing the same slow, cautious increase in our business—meaning staffing of direct-hire, temporary-to-hire, and temporary employees—is a great indicator to me that the economy is on the mend.”

Economists Upping Their Forecasts for 2012

USA Today (04/12/12)

The U.S. economy will likely grow more quickly this year than previously anticipated, according to USA Today’s quarterly survey of 50 economists. Their median estimates are higher than they were in January for a number of benchmarks including hiring. They think job growth will be about 20% more robust than they did at the beginning of the year. The economists predict average employment gains of about 185,000 per month through December, up 29,000 from their January predictions.

CSG Partners and De Bellas & Co. Advise Hamilton-Ryker on Sale to ESOP

CSG Partners News Release (04/23/12)

CSG Partners LLC and De Bellas & Co announced that they served as financial advisors to the Hamilton-Ryker Group Inc. on its recent sale to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Hamilton-Ryker is now owned 100% by its employees. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. As part of the ESOP transaction, the management team will remain the same, with Kelly McCreight continuing as president.

The Hamilton-Ryker ESOP continues the trend of staffing companies implementing ESOP buyouts. In addition to Hamilton-Ryker, CSG Partners has closed ESOP transactions for Burnett Staffing (Houston), Penmac Staffing (Springfield, MO), and Internal Data Resources (Atlanta).

Free ASAPro Webinar Tomorrow—Recruiting in the Cloud

You’ve probably heard about “cloud computing,” but do you know how you can use distributed data storage to improve how you recruit and interact with clients?

Tomorrow, April 24, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time, attend the ASAPro Webinar “Recruiting in the Cloud” and learn how cloud technology can help streamline your day-to-day operations.

ASAPro Webinars are free for ASA members ($295 for nonmembers) and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Register online at

Staffing World® 2012: Three Things to Do Right Now

You’ve still got time to pack your bags—Staffing World 2012 takes place Oct. 9–11 in Las Vegas—but now is the perfect time to do three things: register, reserve, and book.

1. Register and save. Save up to $400 per person when you register by May 18.

2. Reserve your suite at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, where Staffing World takes place. Get the ASA group rate while it’s still available.

3. Book your flight now and get the best airfare. Fly into McCarran International Airport.

Visit for details.

California Issues Revised Wage Theft FAQs

American Staffing Association (04/23/12) Stephen Dwyer

The California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement has issued revised answers to frequently asked questions about, and a revised model wage notice form for complying with, a law that requires employers to provide certain wage and other information to employees at the time of hire. The FAQs were revised in response to questions and concerns expressed by employers regarding the wage notice requirement. ASA was among the first to seek clarification of the notice requirements, pointing out that the original model DLSE form was problematic because it appeared to require that staffing firm clients provide the notice to the staffing firm’s employees. The revised form clarifies that staffing firms, not their clients, are responsible for providing the notice to temporary employees.

Concerns remain for staffing firms, such as revised FAQ No. 30, which suggests that, if the client is not known at the time of hire, the client’s name, address, and telephone number must be provided to the employee, either in a new notice or on a timely paystub. This is not practical for staffing firms, especially in cases where temporary employees are assigned to multiple clients in the same pay period.

To address these concerns, ASA representatives will meet with the California labor commissioner May 8 to discuss the compliance issues the FAQs pose for the staffing industry. While waiting for clarification from DLSE, California staffing firms should consider using the suggested notice form developed by ASA, which reflects the practical realities of the temporary staffing business and which the association believes is consistent with the law.

U.S. Department of Labor Takes on More Overtime Cases

Detroit News (04/23/12) Bill Bowen

The number of fair wages cases investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor has increased since the economic downturn. The number of cases investigated by the department’s Dallas office alone rose from 642 in 2008 to 1,193 in 2011, and recently workers of Dallas-based Temp Team Inc. won $244,000 in overtime back wages due to being misclassified as exempt.

Experts attribute the increases in investigations and lawsuits involving overtime pay to companies working to scale back labor costs, a boost in DOL funding and enforcement, and employers simply not understanding the complex rules. Others say the Fair Labor Standards Act is no longer relevant, as clear demarcations between managers, hourly employees, administrative workers, and outside salespeople are gone; more workers have flexible hours, telecommute, or are connected to their jobs no matter the hour or location by mobile devices; and more employees are placed by temporary staffing firms or operate as independent contractors. Experts say most violations involve training issues, meaning that managers simply need to be educated about the law.

How Did the New Law Change USERRA?

Business Management Daily (04/22/12) David B. Ritter

The Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act amended the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on military status in regard to “the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.” Employees can now bring a hostile work environment cause of action under USERRA, as the amendment establishes the same standard as a Title VII hostile work environment claim.

Houston Businesses Fined $2 Million for Hiring Undocumented Workers

Lexology (04/11/12) Pierre Georges Bonnefil; Patrick G. Brady; Robert S. Groban Jr.; et al.

Two Houston companies have each agreed to pay $2 million in fines to settle allegations they knowingly hired undocumented workers, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reports. ICE audited Champion Windows and Advanced Containment Systems Forms I-9 and found a “pattern and practice” of serious violations, including a large percentage of undocumented workers who were hired based on “egregiously suspect” identification and employment eligibility documents.

More Companies Planning to Hire: NABE Survey

Reuters (04/22/12) Jason Lange

A new survey by the National Association for Business Economics shows an increase in respondents anticipating an increase in hiring at their firms over the next six months to 39% in April from 27% in January. Meanwhile, 44% of those polled noted increases in wages and salaries, compared with 26% in January.

More Than a Third of Large Manufacturers Are Considering Reshoring From China to the U.S.

Boston Consulting Group News Release (04/20/12)

A new survey from the Boston Consulting Group finds that more than a third of U.S.-based manufacturing executives at companies with sales greater than $1 billion are planning to bring back production to the U.S. from China or are considering it. Approximately 37% of decision makers at 106 companies across a broad range of industries say they plan to reshore manufacturing operations or are “actively considering” it. That response rate increased to 48% among executives at companies with $10 billion or more in revenues—a third of the sample.

“These survey findings confirm our own analysis and what we are hearing from major companies,” says Harold Sirkin, a BCG senior partner. “Companies are realizing that the economics of manufacturing are swinging in favor of the U.S., for goods to be sold both at home and to major export markets. This trend is likely to accelerate starting around 2015.”