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Staffing Company Stocks Drop as Job Data Disappoints

Reuters (05/04/12)

U.S. staffing company shares declined on Friday after a government jobs report showed fewer jobs were created last month than economists had forecast. However, the government report held some evidence that the temporary staffing business is holding up well. Temporary payrolls increased by 21,000 in April, and the temporary penetration rate rose to 1.88% of the total U.S. work force, the highest since August 2007. Analysts and staffing industry observers expect that rate to eventually surpass record levels above 2% as more employers choose flexible or project-based staffing in a choppy economic environment.

“Companies are hiring differently,” says Joanie Ruge, chief employment analyst at Randstad Holding US. “We might see that temporary penetration rate hit historical highs. Most of that is driven by the professional sector.” Ruge notes that professional areas like engineering and information technology are showing the strongest demand for workers.

Job Gains Trailing Forecasts Add to U.S. Slowdown Concern

Bloomberg (05/05/12) Shobhana Chandra

The 115,000 increase in payrolls reported by the U.S. Department of Labor has increased concern that the nearly three-year-old economic expansion is cooling. “Employers are hiring, they’re just hiring at a very modest rate,” says Jonas Prising, president of the Americas at ManpowerGroup. “The current growth rate of employment is probably consistent” with economic growth of 2%, he says.

SHRM Tool Kit Helps Make Hiring Practices ‘Military Ready’

SHRMOnline (04/30/12) Theresa Minton-Eversole

Many human resource professionals say they do not know all they need to effectively locate and hire military veterans. The Society for Human Resource Management has published a tool kit to help them. The tool kit, Support From Behind the Lines: 10 Steps to Becoming a Military-Ready Employer, offers advice on how to source, assimilate, and support military veterans in the workplace. Among the steps companies can take to improve their military-veteran hiring practices are to understand the issues and challenges facing this population and to build a business case for hiring them.

PA: Kingston-Based Staffing Firm Closes Abruptly

Citizens Voice (Pennsylvania) (05/05/12) Denise Allabaugh

Gavlick Personnel Services, a staffing firm based in Kingston, PA, closed suddenly on May 3. President Norm Gavlick cited the firm’s inability to turn a profit due to increases in unemployment and workers’ compensation costs. He says, “Temporary staffing [companies] pay taxes to local, state, and county governments and put thousands of people to work every year and we get penalized with taxes and insurance to the point we can’t operate any more.”

Free ASAPro Webinar Thursday—Selling to Price-Conscious Buyers

With clients that are more demanding and less loyal, how can you keep and even increase your profits? Find out this Thursday, May 10, from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time, during the ASAPro Webinar “Sell Profitably to a Price-Conscious Buyer.” This one-hour Webinar is designed to help you set your firm apart, teach you to defuse rate and budget objections, and more.

All ASAPro Webinars are free for ASA members. Register online at

Network in Your Niche: ASA Technical, IT, and Scientific Section

Does your staffing firm place individuals with special skills or training in technical fields involving math or science, computer sciences and information technology, or communications technology? Do you want to maximize the value of your ASA membership? Join the technical, IT, and scientific section.

Section benefits include Webinars with industry experts that address the unique education needs of technical, IT, and scientific staffing firms; best practices; a sector-specific model contract; Section Forums at the ASA annual convention, sector-specific data, and a private networking group on LinkedIn. Sector-specific issues that the technical, IT, and scientific section will address this year include exempt versus nonexempt employees, pros and cons of overseas recruiting, and errors and omissions insurance requirements.

Individual enrollment is free and open to all ASA members specializing in technical, IT, and scientific staffing—sign up today. To learn more, visit

Employment Law Issues in the Workplace: EEOC Developments

JDSupra (05/04/2012) Brian Moore; Katherine Brings

The number of merit-based lawsuits filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rose by 11 to 261 during fiscal 2011, and the number of claims totaled 162 under Title VII, 80 under the Americans With Disabilities Act, 26 under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and two under the Equal Pay Act. The EEOC also reports a 5% increase in resolutions through its private sector mediation program to 9,831 in fiscal 2011, with over $170 million collected, and the amount recovered that year through 277 merit suits totaled $90.9 million.

Meanwhile, the EEOC is working on regulations associated with the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 and the Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act, plans to institute investigative and litigation strategies that detail practices it considers discriminatory, and will continue to concentrate on class action “pattern or practice” lawsuits. Despite budget cuts, the EEOC’s strategic plan for 2012-16 indicates a continued focus on systemic investigations and lawsuits against employers.

The Common FMLA Policy That EEOC Is Investigating

HR Morning (05/04/12) Tim Gould

In many instances when employees have used up all their leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act but cannot return to work, FMLA cases become Americans With Disabilities Act cases. This means that employers that might have been able to terminate employees under FMLA must engage in the interactive process under the ADA to determine whether reasonable accommodation will enable employees to continue at their jobs. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is taking an aggressive stance against employers with automatic termination policies once employees have missed a certain amount of work. Attorneys say employers can protect themselves by assuming all FMLA cases will become ADA cases, and they must be aware of the conflicts and overlaps between the two laws when it comes to light duty, stacking leave, fitness-for-duty certifications, medical exams, health insurance, confidentiality, and reinstatement.

Search and Placement Employment Up in March

American Staffing Association (05/04/12) Alexandra Karaer

Employment data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that search and placement sector employment in March was up 1.7% from February, totaling 277,100 for the month. In a year-to-year comparison, March employment was up 7.5% from the same month in 2011.

BLS employment estimates for search and placement firms are available on a nonseasonal basis only, and reports lag by one month.

Ready or Not, Boomers Are Retiring

Fox Business (05/07/12)

A recent study from the MetLife Mature Market Institute indicates that most retirement-age Baby Boomers are leaving the work force on time. While other surveys have reported that many workers are planning to delay retirement due to financial concerns, the MetLife report found that most Boomers who have hit age 65 are either partially or fully retired. Of those not yet retired, most say they still plan to retire at the same age they had planned a year ago. Overall, 59% of those surveyed were either partially or fully retired by age 65.

The study’s results are contrary to surveys published earlier this year that found that many workers feel their retirement will be delayed or even never achieved. PricewaterhouseCoopers 2012 Financial Wellness Survey found 53% of workers expect to delay retirement, and a February CareerBuilder survey indicated that 11% of mature workers expect to never retire.

The Incredible Shrinking Labor Force

Washington Post (05/04/12) Brad Plumer

Although job creation is weak, with just 115,000 jobs added to the economy in April, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate continues to decline, mainly because the labor force participation rate has decreased. The number of working-age Americans holding a job or looking for one dipped by 342,000 in March, and the unemployment rate followed suit because it looks only at workers actively seeking employment. But if the same percentage of adults were in the work force today as when president Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be over 11%.

For Most Graduates, Grueling Job Hunt Awaits

Wall Street Journal (05/07/12) Lauren Weber; Melissa Korn

Despite a 10.2% year-over-year increase in hiring by on-campus recruiters, most new college graduates this year will not have a job offer before they leave school. The job search for many new graduates will likely be a long one. In a new study by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, only 49% of graduates from the classes 2009 to 2011 had found a permanent job within a year of graduation, compared with 73% for those who graduated in the three years prior.

LINE: Manufacturing to Outpace Services in May Job Growth

SHRMOnline (05/03/12) Steve Bates

The U.S. manufacturing and services sectors will continue to add jobs to the economy this month, though not as many as were added last year, according to the most recent Society for Human Resource Management Leading Indicators of National Employment survey report. A net of approximately 30% of service businesses are hiring, compared with a net of approximately 40% of manufacturers.

Meanwhile, recruiting difficulty seems to be slowing. Still, skills shortages continue to hamper recruiting for some jobs. Ironically, as the job outlook improves, more unemployed people may decide to re-enter the job market, which could move the official unemployment rate higher.