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ASA Represents U.S. at World Employment Conference

American Staffing Association (05/24/12)

Staffing industry executives from around the globe have converged in London this week for the 2012 World Employment Conference, conducted by the International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies, known as Ciett (its acronym in French). During this annual meeting, participants explore global market trends and developments and focus on how to combat challenges facing the international staffing industry. Representing ASA are chairman Aaron Green, CSP, of Professional Staffing Group; immediate past chairman Bill Yoh, TSC, CSP, of Yoh; and ASA president and chief executive officer Richard Wahlquist.

Labor markets around the world are facing unprecedented challenges, according to “Adapting to Change,” a report recently issued by the Boston Consulting Group on behalf of Ciett. The unpredictability of the global economy has left governments, businesses, and individuals struggling to tackle issues arising from high levels of unemployment, talent mismatches, and low levels of labor market participation—particularly among young adults. The report examines the contributions the staffing industry can make to the recovering global economy. During Wednesday’s opening plenary session, global delegates discussed how the report has helped positively shape perception of the industry in just the first few months since its launch.

To learn more about Ciett’s World Employment Conference, visit

Jobless Claims in U.S. Were Little Changed at 370,000 Last Week

Bloomberg (05/24/12) Alex Kowalski

The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits fell by 2,000 last week to 370,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The initial claims matched the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. Claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 372,000 from 370,000. The average of new claims over the past four weeks, meanwhile, dropped by 5,500 to 370,000, the lowest level in six weeks. Continuing claims decreased by 29,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.26 million in the week ended May 12.

U.S. April Durable Goods Orders Edge Up 0.2% as Machinery Drags

Reuters (05/24/12)

Orders for long-lasting goods edged up 0.2% in April, the second rise in three months after demand for cars and car parts picked up. The U.S. Commerce Department reported today that durable-goods orders reached a seasonally adjusted $215.5 billion after dropping 3.7% in March. Economists had forecast orders for durable goods to increase 0.5% in April. Orders were dragged down by a 2.8% decline in machinery and 34% fall in military aircraft. New orders of computers and electronic products fell 0.6%.

For Small Business Week, IRS Spotlights Expanded Tax Credit for Hiring Veterans (05/24/12) C. Zawadi Morris

As part of Small Business Week, May 20-26, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service hopes small-business owners will take advantage of an expanded Work Opportunity Tax Credit for hiring eligible unemployed veterans, with companies that hire veterans with service-related disabilities possibly qualifying for the maximum credit. The amount of the credit is based on how long the veteran was unemployed, how many hours the veteran worked, and the wages the veteran earned during the first year, with a maximum credit of $9,600 per veteran for for-profit employers and $6,240 for tax-exempt organizations. Employers typically have 28 days from when eligible workers start their jobs to file Form 8850 with the state work force agency, but a special rule gives them until June 19 to do so for veterans hired between Nov. 22, 2011, and May 22, 2012.

Share Your Expertise as a Knowledge Network Moderator

Volunteer to teach—and learn from—your peers as a table moderator for the Knowledge Network at Staffing World® 2012, Oct. 9-11 in Las Vegas. Staffing World attendees consistently rate the roundtable session one of the most popular educational opportunities at the ASA annual convention.

This participant-driven interactive session, which will take place Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2:15–3:30 p.m., involves targeted small group discussions. Knowledge Network moderators introduce the topic, offer appropriate opening comments, encourage group participation, and guide discussions. Moderators must be registered to attend Staffing World 2012.

Volunteer to become a Knowledge Network moderator. For more information about the Knowledge Network, visit or contact ASA at 703-253-2020 or

Free ASAPro Webinar Next Thursday—Hiring Military Veterans

May is National Military Appreciation Month and ASA wants to remind you that hiring veterans and transitioning military service members makes good business sense. ASA encourages all its members to help U.S. military veterans find employment, but that can be easier said than done.

A study by the Apollo Research Institute aims to assist businesses with helping veterans transition from the military to the civilian work force. During the ASAPro Webinar “Hiring Heroes: Transitioning From the Military to the Civilian Work Force–Research Findings of the Apollo Research Institute,” Thursday, May 31, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time, a panel of experts convened by the institute will review findings from the study and discuss topics related to hiring military veterans.

ASAPro Webinars are free for ASA members ($295 for nonmembers) and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Register online at

SSA Reminds Employers About E-Verify

CCH Payroll (05/23/12)

Employers at over one million work sites have enrolled in E-Verify, the federal government’s electronic employment eligibility program, reports the U.S. Social Security Administration. Meanwhile, the U.S. Government Accountability Office says mismatches have been lowered by the use of E-Verify from 8% in 2007 to 2.6% in 2009 and 1.7% in 2010. In recent years, E-Verify has been improved to include photo matching, which helps identify and curtail identify fraud; naturalization and passport data, which help reduce mismatches; and Self Check, which enables individuals to verify and correct their own records before seeking employment. The government also is seeking to collaborate with state motor vehicle departments to verify driver’s license information, with Mississippi participating thus far.

Cal/OSHA Cites Southern California Recycling Company for Multiple Safety Violations

California Department of Industrial Relations (05/23/12)

The California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health has issued 36 citations totaling $38,895 in penalties to American Reclamation Inc., a solid waste company in Los Angeles, its recycling subsidiary, South Coast Fibers Inc., and their staffing firm, Steno Employment Services Inc. Cal/OSHA cited five serious violations including a failure to follow a written program to prevent workers’ entry into machinery before the energy is shut off, an unsafe work platform raised on a fork lift, and various unguarded pieces of machinery that could lead to amputations and other serious injuries. An investigation also revealed multiple violations for the three employers, which included no heat illness prevention training, no drinking water for drivers and helpers in the field, and an inadequate injury and illness prevention program.

Age Comments Plus Termination Equal Trouble

Business Management Daily (05/21/12)

Seemingly innocent age-related comments can come back to haunt a company, especially if the comments come from someone who has a direct say in hiring and firing decisions. In one recent case, Harry Seretti worked for a Ford dealership during the worst part of the economic downturn. Seretti was 58 years old when he was informed that his services were no longer needed. The dealership immediately hired Seretti’s replacement, a 45-year-old former employee.

Seretti filed a suit alleging age discrimination, claiming that when he asked his supervisor why he was being let go, the supervisor said that Seretti’s age had “caught up with” him. Seretti also pointed to other recent comments, including one in which the supervisor said the automobile business had a way of aging someone “real quick.” The dealership argued that poor performance was the real reason it let Seretti go, but offered no evidence to back that up. That was enough for the court to order a trial, Seretti v. Morrow Ford Lincoln Mercury. The case serves as a reminder for employers to always make sure documentation can prove a termination was based on performance.

New Report: 70% of Businesses Plan to Hire 2012 College Graduates in Coming Year

San Francisco Chronicle (05/23/12)

A new national survey of businesses by the Academy of Art University and CALinnovates reveals that 70% of businesses plan to hire 2012 graduates in the coming year, with only 11% of those companies saying they plan to hire fewer graduates than they did in 2011. Some 21% of respondents say their companies will hire more than 10 new graduates, and another 11% will hire five to 10 new graduates.

Fifty-five percent of respondents say they are optimistic about the future of conditions in their industries. Another 37% say they expect economic conditions to be the same, and only 9% expect conditions to be worse.

What Cloud Computing Skills Are Employers Recruiting For?

Wanted Analytics (05/23/12) Abby Lombardi

More than 12,000 cloud computing jobs were advertised online in April, a 50% increase over April 2011. Software engineers, Java developers, systems engineers, network engineers, and Websphere cloud computing engineers were among the most commonly advertised job titles requiring cloud computing skills. The metro area with the highest volume of cloud computing job ads was San Jose, CA. Recruiters in Seattle had the most difficulty filling positions.