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Team Health Holdings Inc. Announces First Quarter Results

MarketWatch (05/01/12)

Team Health Holdings Inc. reported net revenues of $478.7 million for the first quarter of 2012, a 16% increase compared with the same period in 2011. Reported net earnings were $14.4 million, compared with net earnings of $20.1 million in the first quarter of 2011. Projected growth in net revenue for the full year of 2012 has been revised to an expected range of 14% to 15% from the prior 12% guidance.

The company also announced the acquisition of the Exigence Group and its related entities. Based in Amherst, NY, Exigence provides care to approximately 500,000 patients each year through the management and staffing of 12 emergency departments, three hospital medicine programs, and eight freestanding, patient-centered urgent care centers operating under the name Immediate Care Centers. The group’s current operations are located in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Weekly Jobless Claims Decline 27,000 to 365,000

Wall Street Journal (05/03/12) Jeffrey Sparshott; Eroc Morath

The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits fell last week for the first time in a month, down 27,000 to 365,000. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected 378,000 new claims. The drop was the biggest since May 2011 and follows three weeks of disappointingly high readings. The U.S. Department of Labor also reported the four-week moving average of claims, which smoothes out week-to-week volatility, increased by 750 to 383,500.

AP Survey: Economists Confident That Hiring Gains Will Help Sustain U.S. Recovery

Associated Press (05/03/12)

An Associated Press survey of 32 leading economists forecasts a gradually brighter job picture that will be strong enough to push the unemployment rate down to 7.9% by Election Day in November. The economists conclude the economy has entered a “virtuous cycle” in which hiring boosts consumer spending, which fuels more hiring and spending.

However, the economists think it will be at least three more years before unemployment falls below 6%, which would be a sign of a healthy economy. They predict the economy will grow 2.5% this year, up from 1.7% in 2011. The economists expect job growth to average 177,000 a month from April through June and 189,000 in the second half of the year.

U.S. Productivity Drops 0.5% in First Quarter

MarketWatch (05/03/12) Jeffry Bartash

The U.S. Department of Labor reports a 0.5% decrease in U.S. productivity during the first quarter, less than the 1% drop predicted by economists in a MarketWatch survey. The manufacturing sector, however, experienced a 5.9% jump in productivity. The DOL reports a 2.7% annual jump in goods and services produced, a 3.2% gain in hours worked, and a 2% rise in unit-labor costs. It also shows a 0.9% inflation-adjusted decline in hourly compensation.

Fresh Raids Target Illegal Hiring

Wall Street Journal (05/03/12) Miriam Jordan

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has ordered 500 businesses “of all sizes and types” to submit their Forms I-9 and other hiring records for inspection. The order is part of DHS’ efforts to crack down on firms that hire illegal immigrants. Over the past three-and-a-half years, the Obama administration has audited more than 7,500 firms suspected of hiring illegal immigrants and imposed about $100 million in fines.

“The expanding rate and reach of I-9 audits is starting to chip away at the perception that only the most egregious employers are at risk of an enforcement action by ICE,” says Julie Myers, who was Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief during the Bush administration. “Companies in all industries need to be vigilant.”

Temporary Staffing Firm Owner Admits to Employment Tax Fraud (05/02/12) John Barna

Heach Pang, the owner of All Pro Staffing in New Jersey, has pleaded guilty to employment tax fraud. From July 1, 2006, to Oct. 31, 2006, Pang failed to collect, account for, and pay over to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service about $54,852.33 of employment taxes.

Staffing World® 2012: Check Out the 30+ Workshop Descriptions

There is no other staffing industry event that offers the caliber of executive education like Staffing World. Check out the more than 30 workshop descriptions now available online as well as details about this year’s keynote speakers, which include the highly touted Jim Collins.

Staffing World, Oct. 9–11 in Las Vegas, takes place at the famous Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino, a five-diamond, all-suite hotel. Ask for the special ASA group rate when you call 877-283-6423 to make your reservation.

And don’t forget to register for Staffing World by May 18—you’ll save up to $400 per person. Not feeling the energy yet? Take a look at this short video that encapsulates the Staffing World experience.

Network in Your Niche: ASA Professional Section

Join the ASA professional section, a community for member companies that place temporary or contract employees such as accountants, lawyers, teachers, managers, and executives.

Sector-specific issues this section will address this year include best practices for video résumés, Skype and long-distance recruiting; bridging the talent gap; and understanding social media and emerging technologies. Section benefits include Webinars that address the unique education needs of the professional staffing sector, sector-specific data and model contract, Section Forums at Staffing World, and a private networking group on LinkedIn.

Individual enrollment is free and open to all ASA members specializing in professional staffing—sign up today. To learn more about the professional membership section, visit

ASA Publishes Issue Paper on California Meal Break and Rest Period Case

American Staffing Association (05/03/12) Anne Duffy

Last month, the California Supreme Court issued a favorable ruling for employers in Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court. The court held that employers must provide their nonexempt employees with 30-minute meal breaks but need not ensure that the employees actually stop working during those breaks.

Other issues addressed in Brinker included the required timing of meal breaks as well as the kind of evidence a plaintiff needs to justify class-action lawsuits for alleged denials of meal breaks, rest breaks, and pay for work completed off the clock.

ASA outside counsel Richard Simmons, Esq., of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, has prepared an issue paper for ASA members discussing the case and analyzing the effect of the ruling on staffing firms.

Federal Court Enters Summary Judgment for Blackstone Consulting in EEOC Class Litigation (05/02/12)

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed defendant Blackstone Consulting Inc. from U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. RJB Properties Inc. et al. The district court rejected the EEOC’s efforts to expand the scope of employer liability under the “single employer” and “joint employer” theories, and granted summary judgment to Blackstone on all claims.

In this case, Blackstone was not the direct employer of any of the employees on whose behalf the EEOC alleged claims of national origin discrimination. It was included as a defendant based on the EEOC’s allegation that Blackstone was either a joint employer of the claimants at issue, or a single employer with co-defendant RJB Properties Inc., an Illinois janitorial services company that employed the claimants. Blackstone is a California company that provided consulting services, including human resource consulting, payroll, and management consulting services, to clients, including RJB Properties.

The EEOC argued that Blackstone, by providing these services, was potentially liable as a Title VII employer for the alleged acts of national origin discrimination. The court rejected the EEOC’s arguments and awarded summary judgment to Blackstone, concluding that there is no basis for liability against Blackstone, among other reasons, because it was not the employer of any of the employees at issue.

Why Small Business Owners Are Hesitant to Hire

Associated Press (05/02/12) Joyce M. Rosenberg

Small businesses were the first to hire when the economy showed signs of improvement, but the pace of hiring has slowed along with economic growth. ADP says small and medium-sized businesses added just 116,000 jobs in April, down from 181,000 the prior month. Most small firms can handle new projects at current staffing levels, and they are hesitant to take on more workers when the economic and business outlook is so uncertain. Independent Community Bankers of America chief economist Paul Merski says small businesses taking out loans to cover expansion plans would be an indication that they are ready to boost hiring, but he says companies are not taking out loans and have not tapped open lines of credit.

Disabled Americans Shrink Size of U.S. Labor Force

Bloomberg (05/03/12) Alex Kowalski

Economists say as much as one-quarter of the decline in the U.S. labor force participation rate in the past four-and-a-half years can be attributed to a greater number of workers collecting Social Security Disability Insurance. According to an analysis from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley, disability recipients may account for as much as 0.5% of the 2% drop in job participation since the end of 2007. Policy analysts say that to reduce disability insurance’s strain on the system, the SSDI program should be modified to financially penalize companies that have a larger share of employees on disability so that these employers offer better accommodations and rehabilitation programs to keep employees in the work force.

Hiring Is Rising for Many Majors, Not Just Science and Tech Fields

Daily Comet (Louisiana) (05/02/12) Emily Roach

Recent college graduates have seen improvements in their employment outlook despite a 15% unemployment rate in their demographic at graduation time during the last three years, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The number of new college graduates hired this year will jump 10% from 2011, according to Michigan State University Collegiate Employment Research Institute director Phil Gardner, who says employers are looking at all college majors, not just the technical fields, computer science, and business.