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Helping Those With ‘Help Wanted’ Signs

Forbes (05/10/12) Mary Ellen Biery

Privately owned temporary help services and job placement companies are seeing strong sales growth, and net profit margins have recovered to pre-recession levels, according to a recent financial statement analysis by Sageworks Inc. Employment services firms have enjoyed nearly 21% sales growth over the past year, following 21% to 22% increases in both 2010 and 2011. Net profit margins, meanwhile, have more than doubled from 2009, with margins topping 5% over the last 12 months, compared with about 4% in 2006 and 2007.

Sageworks analyst Robb Granado says the strong growth in employment services sales is not surprising, considering firms will often use placement firms to hire temporary help if they want a hedge on the investment of a permanent worker, or if they need stop-gap help until they can find qualified permanent help.

Brooks Personnel Acquired by Perry Resources

PRLog (05/11/12)

The staffing firm Brooks Personnel Inc., of Voorhees, NJ, has been acquired by Perry Resources Inc. of Marlton, NJ. Brooks Personnel founder Wendy Brooks will continue with the combined company in a consultative role.

Activists in Seattle Slam Working Conditions at Amazon Warehouses

Seattle Times (05/10/12) Amy Martinez; Hal Bernton

More than 50 people participated in a rally Thursday outside Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. The participants hope to draw attention to working conditions at the company’s warehouses. Former employees say that at some warehouses in Pennsylvania and Kentucky workers have collapsed in the heat or been fired after being injured. Labor group Working Washington organized the rally and has crafted an warehouse-workers bill of rights. The document asks the company to stop using temporary firms and “recognize that freedom of association and collective bargaining are an essential ingredient for a productive work force.”

InGenesis Among 100 Fastest-Growing Inner-City Firms

San Antonio Business Journal (05/10/12) James Aldridge

The 2012 Inner City 100, sponsored by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and Fortune, lists InGenesis Inc. of San Antonio, TX, as the fifth-fastest growing inner-city firm in the nation. The company, which provides health care staff to military, federal, and state government facilities worldwide, employs 1,000 people in 40 states and Washington, DC.

Astyra Among 100 Fastest-Growing Inner-City Firms

Richmond Times-Dispatch (Virginia) (05/11/12) John Reid Blackwell

Staffing firm Astyra Corp. is one of the country’s fastest-growing inner-city small companies, according to the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and Fortune. The company ranks No. 29 on the 2012 Inner City 100. Astyra chief executive officer Kenneth Ampy says the company’s growth is due partly to more businesses using staffing services coming out of the economic downturn.

Extended Jobless Benefits Cut in Eight States

Washington Post (05/11/12) Michael A. Fletcher

In the coming days, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Colorado, and Connecticut will see a reduction in the maximum unemployment benefit period, which will leave more than 230,000 Americans without unemployment insurance. The National Employment Law Project says the latest reduction brings the total number of long-term unemployed who have lost federal extended unemployment benefits this year to 400,000 individuals in 27 states. According to NELP executive director Christine Owens, “These cuts are coming faster than the economy is improving, which means more workers will have to survive without any jobless assistance, and families will have less money to put back into the economy.”

Dip in Jobless Claims Eases Worries Over Hiring

Reuters (05/10/12)

The decrease in jobless claims announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor has allayed fears that the labor market was weakening after weak employment growth in April. The DOL news, together with another report showing a surge in U.S. exports to a record high and an increase in imports, indicates the economy remains on a moderate growth path. “With imports for everything surging, it is hard to argue that the economy is softening,” says Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors.

Free ASAPro Webinar Tuesday—Dominate Your Niche

Tuesday, May 15, don’t miss the ASAPro Webinar “Dominate Your Niche—Become a True Market Specialist.” Presented by the ASA search and placement section, this Webinar is for staffing professionals who want to refine niche-focused recruiting skills to demonstrate why clients should partner with their firm. ASA sections are sponsored by RCS Services.

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

Staffing World® 2012 Early Registration Savings End Next Friday

Staffing World 2012, Oct. 9–11 in Las Vegas, is the can’t-miss event of the year.

Next Friday, May 18, is the very last opportunity you have to save up to $400 per person when you register for the ASA annual convention, headlined by highly acclaimed author and business strategist Jim Collins.

With nearly 40 premier executive education sessions, it’s an opportunity to learn from the best and network with your peers—you shouldn’t miss it.

Visit to register and learn more.

Randstad US LP to Pay $60,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Bias Suit

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission News Release (05/10/12)

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports Randstad US LP will pay $60,000 and furnish substantial injunctive relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit. According to EEOC’s suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Randstad refused to hire Jason O’Dell, who applied for employment with Randstad’s Frederick, MD, branch, because of his Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. Because of his qualifications for the lab technician position he sought, Randstad had originally fast-tracked O’Dell’s participation in the hiring process. Soon after he disclosed the disability, however, O’Dell was told that the lab technician position had been put “on hold,” and he was not hired, as Randstad continued to recruit for the position. Such alleged conduct violates the Americans With Disabilities Act. EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Missouri: Judge Blocks Springfield’s New E-Verify Law

Associated Press (05/10/12)

U.S. District Judge Richard Dorr has issued a preliminary injunction blocking the city of Springfield, MO, from enforcing a voter-approved law requiring businesses to check employees’ immigration status using the federal E-Verify system. The ruling came one day after three companies and a Springfield businessman filed suit alleging the ordinance is unconstitutional and a violation of state and federal laws. Dorr says he granted the preliminary injunction because the plaintiffs will probably succeed on the merits of their complaint.

Do Safety Incentives Discourage Workers From Reporting Injuries?

Insurance Journal (05/10/12) Andrew G. Simpson

A 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office report indicates that workers are discouraged from reporting work-related injuries when safety incentive programs are in place, and a more recent study calls on the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to do more to highlight how these incentives and other such programs impact reporting. The GAO says OSHA could be recognizing some employers for exemplary safety systems without considering the effect of incentive programs on reporting because the agency’s guidance and field operations manual do not address incentive programs. An OSHA memo issued in March to regional and whistleblower program officials warns employers that they could violate record-keeping responsibilities “if the incentive is great enough that its loss dissuades reasonable workers from reporting injuries.” The memo has yet to be added to the field operations manual.

Past Education and Experience May Justify Different Pay Rates for New Hires, but Not Later Pay Rates for Employees

Sherman & Howard (05/01/2012) Ted Olsen

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently ruled that different starting pay rates can be justified by differences in education and work experience among employees, but these differences do not justify different pay raises or different intervals between raises. The court assumed that pay increases are based solely on performance, but employment experts point out that the law does not require that employers consider only the employee’s performance immediately before the raise. Experts also point out that equal, across-the-board pay increases will not close any time-of-hire pay gaps.

Hotels Are Hiring as Americans Hit the Road

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (05/10/12) Anna-Louise Jackson; Anthony Feld

A 4.1% gain in first-quarter hotel bookings has led to an increase in hiring by the hotel industry. Approximately 7.6 million people worked in tourism-related jobs in March, according to the U.S. Travel Association. The number of U.S. employees working at hotels, motels, and casino hotels increased 3.2% in March compared with March 2010, outpacing a 2.7% increase for all employees, U.S. Department of Labor data show.

Hiring for Bloggers: The Skills That Are Most Commonly Required in Job Ads

Wanted Analytics (05/10/12) Abby Lombardi

Hiring for people with social media skills—including blogging—is on the rise. The number of job ads for people with blogging skills has risen 19% over the past 90 days compared with the same period a year ago. Public relations specialists, marketing managers, Web developers, editors, and market research analysts are the occupations that most commonly require blogging skills. New York, Washington, and Los Angeles are the cities with the greatest demand for bloggers. These jobs are somewhat harder to fill in New York than elsewhere.