Online Community

ASA Central

A dynamic online community for ASA members to exchange ideas and best practices, and connect with industry peers in their sector. Visit the site ›
Find Goods & Services

ASA Marketplace

This powerful online resource enables staffing companies to find and access industry supplier information, products and services. Visit the site ›
Daily Publication

Staffing Today Newsletter

Your #1 daily source for news about the workforce industry. With versions available to members and nonmembers. Visit the site ›
Health Care Reform

Affordable Care Act Resources for Staffing

Up-to-date news, resources, interactive tools, and more—all focused on helping ASA members comply with the ACA. Visit the site ›
Advertisers & Exhibitors

Staffing Industry Suppliers

ASA has numerous and diverse marketing opportunities available to help you reach the rapidly growing staffing industry. Visit the site ›
Exclusive Products

ASA Store

From certification packages and study guides to marketing tools and data reports, ASA resources add value to your business. Visit the site ›

Staffing in May Up 6.6% From a Year Ago

Staffing employment in May is up 6.6% from May 2011, according to the ASA Staffing Index.

The index value for May is 93, up two points from the 91 reported for April. Since the beginning of 2012, temporary and contract employment has grown 24.2%, according to the index.

To view weekly index data, visit

Once Made in China: Jobs Trickle Back to U.S. Plants

Wall Street Journal (05/22/12) James Hagerty

A growing trend over the past two years is the “reshoring” of some manufacturing work in the U.S. that was “offshored” to low-cost producers like China in the past two decades. After a 35% decline in the number of U.S. manufacturing jobs between 1998 and 2010, the number has since increased by 489,000, or 4.3%, to 11.9 million. While much of that increase is due to the economic recovery rather than reshoring, the economics research firm IHS Global Insight forecasts that the number of manufacturing jobs will climb 3.2% this year compared with a 1.6% increase in all jobs.

A survey of 105 companies by David Simchi-Levi, an engineering professor and supply-chain expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, found that 39% were considering moving some manufacturing back to the U.S. Surging Asian wages over recent years have made U.S. manufacturing more attractive for some companies, as have higher oil prices that have increased the cost of shipping goods across oceans.

However, the U.S. suffers from a shortage of trained workers in some areas vital for manufacturing, such as engineering and operation of computerized machinery. U.S. corporate taxes are higher than those in most other industrial nations. “It’s not that there’s going to be a flood [of manufacturing] back to the U.S.,” says Daniel Meckstroth, chief economist at the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation. Rather, the U.S. is seeing more of a balance, in which companies more carefully assess the pros and cons of producing domestically or overseas, with Asia no longer the default choice.

How Fast Will States Recover Peak Employment?

New York Times (05/21/12) Shaila Dewan

Alaska, Texas, Louisiana, and North Dakota have returned to their peak prerecession employment levels, according to a new analysis by the forecasting firm IHS Global Insight. The report predicts that 16 states will regain peak employment by the end of next year, and that all but eight will do so by the end of 2015. Nevada, Michigan, and Rhode Island are expected to be the laggards, not achieving peak employment until after 2017. “The states in the middle of the country have benefited from not being exposed to the housing boom and bust and also have gotten a kick from strong oil and gas demand,” says Jim Diffley, the chief regional economist at IHS.

U.S. Startup Activity Finds No Traction; Sales, Staffing Low

Investor’s Business Daily (05/22/12) Jason Ma

Entrepreneurial activity in the U.S. is showing signs of deterioration, from startups to the self-employed, with entrepreneurs as a group appearing less likely to boost hiring. The number of startups with a payroll is the smallest in decades, and businesses staffed only by the owner are investing even less than in prior years.

Establishments less than a year old totaled 556,553 in 2010, according to the latest U.S. Commerce Department data, down 26% from the peak of 747,278 in 2006, and the lowest level since 1983, despite a 46% increase in the total number of establishments since then. Previous postrecession recoveries showed sharp increases. Startups are also smaller now than in prior years. By various measures, startups’ staffing has been trending lower for more than 10 years. Average employees at new establishments dropped from 10.8 workers in 2002 to 7.7 in 2010, according to Commerce Department data.

The booming mobile apps market has given rise to one-person companies consisting of a lone programmer, notes William Dunkelberg, chief economist at the National Federation of Independent Business. Technology has also reduced the need for staff for record-keeping, administration, and accounting, he adds.

GAO, Senate Committee Look at Joblessness and Older Workers

SHRM Online (05/18/12) Kathy Gurchiek

The problem of long-term unemployment among older workers in the U.S. was the focus of a U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on May 15. The hearing coincided with the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s release of a report that found the number of workers age 55 and older who have been unemployed more than six months has doubled since the recession began in late 2007.

Committee chairman Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) noted that while less than one in four unemployed older workers were out of work in 2007, more than half of unemployed workers who were out of work four years later were over the age of 55 “and confronting long-term unemployment.” Kohl pointed to the Platform to Employment program as one that “shows real potential” for helping to solve the problem of unemployment among older workers. The program partners with local businesses by placing older workers into internships. Additionally, Kohl announced his support for the proposed Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act that was introduced earlier in March.

Construction Employment Declined in 28 States and D.C. From March to April

Associated General Contractors of America (05/18/12)

An analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America shows that construction unemployment varied in April, with 28 states and the District of Columbia seeing declines, three states maintaining employment levels, and 19 states adding jobs. For year on year numbers, North Dakota saw the largest percentage gains in construction employment, and Texas added the largest number of jobs, while Alaska lost the highest percentage, and Florida lost the largest number of positions. For monthly numbers between March and April, Iowa added the largest percentage and Texas the highest numbers, while Alaska lost the largest percentage, and Florida the highest numbers. Officials note that the mixed results reflect public sector declines in investment and growing uncertainty as firms focusing on public projects are hesitant to hire staff.

Free ASAPro Webinar Today—New EEOC Enforcement Guidance

When can employers ask about applicants’ criminal history? Find out this afternoon during the ASAPro Webinar “New EEOC Enforcement Guidance—Employers’ Use of Arrest and Conviction Records” sponsored by People 2.0.

Attorneys Gerald L. Maatman Jr. 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

Earn Recognition From ASA

Submitting an entry to an ASA award program provides an excellent way for members to be recognized by the industry for their outstanding initiatives. Start preparing your entries now for the National Staffing Employee of the Year, ASA Care Award, and Staffing VOICE Award programs. The deadline for all ASA award entries is Aug. 1.

The National Staffing Employee of the Year is an honoree whose story best captures the staffing industry’s key messages—jobs, flexibility, bridge, choice, and training. Give your stellar temporary or contract employee the chance to be the 2013 National Staffing Employee of the Year by nominating him or her for the prestigious distinction.

You can learn about the 2012 honoree, Chris Hoover, by reading the January–February issue of Staffing Success. National Staffing Employee of the Year is sponsored by First Staff Benefits, an ASA corporate partner.

Share your company’s outstanding corporate social responsibility initiatives by submitting an entry for this year’s ASA Care Award. The Care Awards recognize CSR best practices among ASA member companies and affiliated chapters. A panel of corporate social responsibility experts will review entries and select the winners.

The 2012 Staffing VOICE Award competition, sponsored by ASA corporate partner CareerBuilder, recognizes standout communications efforts in 16 categories that demonstrate vision, originality, innovation, creativity, and effectiveness (VOICE). Visit to download an entry form and to learn more about last year’s winners.

Cutting Corners

BusinessWest Online (05/22/12) Charlotte Cathro

As businesses seek to cut payroll expenses, many have hired part-time and temporary workers, and it is important for firms to properly classify these workers to avoid hefty penalties. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service uses a three-part test to determine whether workers are independent contractors or employees based on the worker’s behavioral and financial control and the relationship between the worker and the business. Some states have developed their own tests, which may be stricter than the IRS test. Experts say employers should consult an accountant or labor attorney immediately to determine whether workers are appropriately classified and to assess their exposure.

FY 2013 H-1B Cap Likely to Be Reached in June

Ogletree Deakins (05/15/12)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services received a total of approximately 51,500 H-1B filings for employment in fiscal year 2013, which begins Oct. 1, as of May 11, with 36,700 petitions having been receipted against the “regular cap” of 65,000 and 14,800 H-1B petitions having been receipted against the “Master’s cap” of 20,000 for foreign nationals with advanced degrees from U.S. universities and colleges.

By this time in 2011, USCIS had received approximately 19,100 H-1B cap-subject petitions, while in 2010 it had received about 27,100 cases over a comparable period. Based on the substantial increase in the H-1B filings for FY 2013, this year’s H-1B cap will be reached much earlier than in the past two years, possibly even by June 2012. Employers should continue to identify persons for whom H-1B sponsorship will be needed, and contact attorneys as soon as possible to enable sufficient time for petition preparation.

Multiemployer ‘No Poaching Agreements’ Spawn Civil Antitrust Claims

Fenwick Employment Brief (05/11/12)

Following a settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and seven prominent technology companies regarding the companies’ conduct in agreeing not to cold call employees of the other companies, a class of software engineers filed a civil lawsuit against the same companies for alleged antitrust violations. The employers claimed that the plaintiffs could not establish facts evidencing a conspiracy to suppress wages and moved to dismiss the claims. The court, however, determined that the plaintiffs alleged sufficient facts to support their claims, so the antitrust claims survived dismissal and the case continues.

Is There an Employment Gap Between Employers and Students?

Millennial Branding News Release (05/21/12)

A study of 225 employers by Millennial Branding shows that 91% of employers think students need one to two internships under their belt, but 50% of them have not hired interns during the last six months. Millennial Branding founder Dan Schawbel says students should secure as many internships as they can before graduation and notes that employers can reduce recruiting and training costs by hiring interns into full-time positions. Additionally, the study found that 83% of companies hire through social networking, 48% through job boards, and 44% using referrals, and 35% of those engaged in social media recruiting perform online background checks, with 42% using LinkedIn, 40% Facebook, 15% Google+, and 2% Twitter.

Hiring Up, Salaries Flat for B-School Grads

Wall Street Journal Online (05/21/12) Melissa Korn

U.S. employers expect to offer new hires with master of business administration degrees a median starting salary of $90,000, according to a new report from the Graduate Management Admission Council, a figure that has held fairly constant for five years. Half of employers surveyed said they expect to keep starting salaries level with 2011, without adjusting for inflation. Technology is one of the hottest sectors for hiring this year. The survey found the number of tech firms expecting to hire MBAs increased by 22 percentage points over last year. Energy and utility companies are up by 14 points, consulting by nine points, and financial services by two points.