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Business Economists See Somewhat Faster Hiring

MarketWatch (05/21/12) Jeffrey Bartash

Business economists project the U.S. will grow at a moderate 2.4% rate in 2012 and companies will hire workers at a somewhat faster pace than previously forecast. In its second-quarter survey, the National Association for Business Economics has raised its estimate of monthly job growth for 2012 to 188,000 from 170,000 in its first-quarter forecast. The group’s prediction for gross domestic product was unchanged at 2.4%, but business economists predict U.S. growth will rise to 2.8% in 2013.

Midwest Closes a Cost Gap

Wall Street Journal (05/21/12) Conor Dougherty

An index compiled by Moody’s Analytics shows that business costs have fallen in most regions in recent years. The South has traditionally been the least expensive region for businesses, at 95% of the U.S. average in 2010, but only the Midwest has narrowed the cost gap, with costs accounting for 96% of the average in 2010. The South has been successful in drawing manufacturers and other companies from the northern states and attracting factories established by foreign companies due to business-friendly laws and the absence of widespread unionization, but the Midwest is better able to compete as a result of tax incentives that aim to attract and retain firms. These include long-term property tax abatements, corporate income-tax credits, and sales-tax exemptions for machinery and equipment.

Fed Proves More Bullish Than Wall Street Forecasting U.S. Growth

Bloomberg (05/20/12) Caroline Salas Gage

The median of 55 estimates compiled this month by Blue Chip Economic Indicators for 2012 is economic growth of 2.3%. All but 16 of the predictions were below the bottom of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s projection of 2.4% to 2.9% growth. The disconnect between the central bank’s optimistic forecast for expansion and its more bearish expectations for the labor market and inflation have made it difficult to predict the course of monetary policy, according to some economists, who admit they may have underestimated central bankers’ emphasis on their goal of full employment. The Fed last month reiterated its plan to keep borrowing costs “exceptionally low” through at least late 2014, in part to bring down “elevated” joblessness.

Employment Control Inc. Acquires Owensboro, KY, Staffing Firm

Surfky News Group (05/18/12)

Employment Control Inc. announced on May 18 that it has acquired Temporary Professionals Inc. in Owensboro, KY, which provides staffing services to Kentucky employers in the manufacturing, distribution/logistics, and financial services sectors. Employment Control, headquartered in Shelby, NC, operates under the Employment Staffing Inc. brand through 13 branches and four on-site locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Maryland.

Free ASAPro Webinar Tomorrow—New EEOC Enforcement Guidance

When can employers ask about applicants’ criminal history? How should employers treat applicants’ arrest and pending records? Do employers have to allow applicants an opportunity to provide additional information? Find out tomorrow during the ASAPro Webinar “New EEOC Enforcement Guidance—Employers’ Use of Arrest and Conviction Records” sponsored by People 2.0.

Attorneys Gerald L. Maatman and Pamela Q. Devata of Seyfarth Shaw LLP will provide a comprehensive analysis of new guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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

DOJ Addresses National Origin Discrimination by Staffing Firm Clients

U.S. Department of Justice Letter (05/12/12)

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices has replied to a company’s inquiry about how staffing firms should respond to employers that make discriminatory staffing requests based on citizenship status.

If an employer requesting temporary labor makes a discriminatory request and the staffing firm complies with the request, each entity may be liable for discrimination under the Immigration and Nationality Act, according to Seema Nanda, acting deputy special counsel at OSC. Depending on the facts, liability may accrue to the staffing company either as an employer of the individual who is not placed based on the client’s discriminatory request, or as a recruiter or referrer for a fee. A staffing company may also face liability for discriminating in the placement process if it is considered a joint employer. Accordingly, DOJ discourages a staffing firm from complying with a client’s request that the staffing company provide “U.S. citizens only” or a similar discriminatory request unless required by law, regulation, executive order, or government contract.

Reorg? Treat Staffing Decisions Like Hiring

Business Management Daily (05/20/12)

When companies merge or reorganize, they should choose which employees will be terminated just like they choose which candidates they hire or promote. Employees should be required to apply for remaining positions, and they should be evaluated in terms of skills, experience, and performance, among other factors. A recent court case, Gambill, et al., v. Duke Energy, shows that employers that take such steps during a merger or reorganization are better protected in the event that a terminated employee sues.

Job Gains by Demographics

Human Resource Executive (05/21/12) Michael O’Brien

Recent jobs-report figures from the U.S. Department of Labor show that workers aged 55 years and older may be making a better argument for their employment than their slightly younger competitors. According to DOL’s March 2012 figures, those older workers gained 2.8 million jobs since March 2010, compared to a net job loss of 258,000 for workers between the ages of 45 and 54 during that same time period.

John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, says such figures should not come as a surprise. “The 55-plus population is expanding rapidly and, whether by choice or by necessity, many of these older workers plan on working beyond the traditional retirement age of 65,” he notes. Though some of these older workers are continuing in the occupations and industries where they spent most of their careers, many others are starting entirely new career paths. “Because they may be more willing to work fewer hours or accept lower pay in exchange for better health benefits,” Challenger says, “employers are welcoming these older job seekers.”

Despite the advantages that many older workers offer to employers, Challenger says the labor market is more positive for recent college graduates than in the past few years. “Each year, we continue to see improvement in the college-graduate job market,” he says. “Last year was slightly better than 2010, and this year should be slightly better than 2011.”

More Men Enter Fields Dominated by Women

New York Times (05/21/12) Shaila Dewan; Robert Gebeloff

Workplace gender patterns have shifted during the past 10 years, with more men working in jobs dominated by women, such as dental assistants, registered nurses, public school teachers, and bank tellers. Nearly 33% of job growth for men from 2000 to 2010 was in occupations that are more than 70% female, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data by the New York Times, with observers noting that these female-dominated professions have been more stable, harder to outsource, and more likely to experience growth in the near term.

Men moving into “pink-collar” jobs from 1970 to 1990 were more likely to be foreign-born, non-English speakers with little education, but Wider Opportunities senior scholar Mary Gatta and Rutgers sociologist Patricia Roos say now they tend to be young white men with college degrees. In addition to stable employment, many men say they are entering these professions because there is little stigma these days and they offer more satisfaction.

Looking for a New Job? Entrepreneurial Companies Show the Way

Forbes (05/20/12) Joel Shulman

Recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show that entrepreneurial companies have been hiring at a red-hot pace, increasing more than 13% over last year’s levels. The rate of growth far outstrips the relatively modest 3% average increase for nonentrepreneurial firms and exceeds the prior year’s entrepreneurial growth rate of 10%. The upbeat news does not appear to be limited to only economic upswings. Striking differences between entrepreneurial and nonentrepreneurial firms exist during economic downturns as well. During the worst part of the 2007-09 recession, for example, entrepreneurial companies actually had modest increases in employment, compared to a significant drop-off for the rest of the market.

Top 10 Trends in the Executive Employment Market

PRWeb (05/18/12)

ExecuNet has released its annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report, which reveals that executive recruiters are more positive than they have been in the past five years. Despite continuing slow growth for the overall economy, 25% of companies are expected to add new executive positions in 2012. Executive recruiters are more positive than they have been in five years and are expecting an average 21% gain in executive search assignments in 2012 compared with last year.

The top industry growth sectors for executive hiring show continued strength in health care, technology, and life sciences, but major gains are also expected for the manufacturing, business services, and consumer products sectors in 2012. The top regional growth areas are now the Northeast and the Southwest. ExecuNet’s market research finds that more than one-quarter of employers are adding new management positions and more than half of employers are selectively “trading up” with new hires for existing executive roles to fill gaps or improve teams.