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BLS: Staffing Leads Job Growth in June

The staffing industry led employment growth in June by adding more than 25,000 jobs, according to seasonally adjusted employment data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is a 1.0% increase over May and 10.7% more jobs than a year ago. Moreover, BLS substantially boosted its temporary help estimate for May, from an initial 8.5% to a revised 9.3% increase year-to-year. The staffing industry has added 776,000 jobs to the economy since September 2009.

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, show that the staffing industry added nearly 40,000 jobs (up 1.6%) from May to June. On a year-to-year basis, there were 10.7% more staffing employees in June compared with the same month in 2011.

Overall U.S. nonfarm employment grew by 80,000 jobs in June, BLS says. During the first three months of 2012, the average rate of monthly job creation was 226,000; by contrast, the monthly average for April through June was 75,000. The overall unemployment rate remained unchanged from May to June at 8.2%.

“Businesses continue to be very cautious about hiring in the current uncertain economic environment,” says Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “The good news for job seekers is that staffing firms offer immediate employment as well as opportunities for permanent placement.”

Professional and business services (the broad industry category under which temporary help is classified) added 47,000 jobs during the month, manufacturing added 11,000 jobs, health care rose by 13,000 jobs, and the wholesale trade sector added 9,000 new employees to their payrolls. Employment in other major industries showed little or no change.

Jobs Data Indicate Slow Growth

Wall Street Journal (07/06/12) Jeffrey Sparshott

The U.S. added 80,000 jobs in June, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today, confirming that the labor market cooled off considerably in the second quarter. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a gain of 100,000 in payrolls. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2%. Employment gains for May and April were basically unchanged. The number of new jobs created in May was revised up to 77,000 from an original estimate of 69,000, while April’s figure was revised down to 68,000 from 77,000.

CEO Confidence Declines

Conference Board News Release (07/05/12)

The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence, which had improved in the first quarter of this year, decreased in the second quarter. The measure now reads 47, down from 63 last quarter (a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses).

Chief executive officers’ assessment of current economic conditions has turned considerably negative. Only 17% claim conditions have improved compared with six months ago, down significantly from 67% last quarter. A more negative attitude was also expressed regarding their appraisal of their own industries. Now, just 22% of business leaders say conditions have improved, compared with 42% in the first quarter of this year.

Regarding profit expectations over the next 12 months, 64% of CEOs expect increases. Among CEOs who expect profits to rise, 46% say market and demand growth will be the primary driving force, while 29% cite cost reductions, and an additional 15% say new technology will serve as the main source of improvement. The remaining 10% cite price increases as the primary driver.

Service Sector Increases at Slowest Pace in Two Years

Associated Press (07/05/12)

The service sector in June grew at the slowest pace in nearly two and a half years, more evidence that the economy has weakened. However, those same companies increased hiring last month. The Institute for Supply Management reported on July 5 that its index of nonmanufacturing activity fell to 52.1 last month, from a May reading of 53.7, the lowest reading since January 2010. The survey’s employment index rose to 52.3, up from 50.8 in May.

Free ASAPro Webinar Next Week on Health Care Reform Implications

Next Thursday, July 12, 2–3 p.m. Eastern time, you won’t want to miss the ASAPro Webinar “Supreme Court Health Care Ruling—Next Steps for Staffing Firms.” Attorneys Edward A. Lenz of ASA and Alden Bianchi of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo PC will discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act and explain the steps staffing firms should take to prepare for the law’s implementation.

ASAPro Webinars are free for ASA members and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Register online at

ASA Phone Service Back Online

Effective at about noon Eastern time today, the phones were back in service at ASA headquarters. The main number is 703-253-2020.

Phone service had been down since last week’s severe storms that hit the metro Washington area.