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Temporary Work Demand Rises as Companies Avoid Commitments: Jobs

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (07/18/12) Anna Louise Jackson; Steve Matthews; Anthony Feld

Demand for temporary employees is on the rise as companies seek more flexible staffing arrangements. This has helped create a change within the labor force, as a “not-easily-forgotten recession” has made many executives cautious about hiring. A “flex supercycle” is driving business for Kforce Inc., because a “historically disproportionate” share of new jobs is coming from the temporary staffing industry, says Michael Blackman, chief corporate development officer for the firm.

He says that in the past, hiring of temporary employees foreshadowed improvement in the broader job market, but this time may be different as companies utilize temporary employees for a longer time. The increase in demand may boost staffing firms’ financial results.

The health care law and its associated costs are also creating anxiety among companies, prompting many customers of Kelly Services to use temporary employees instead of boosting their permanent headcount, says president and chief executive officer Carl Camden.

Jeffrey Joerres, chief executive officer of ManpowerGroup, says executives are delaying hiring so they don’t get “caught with too many people.” Clients say that is “painful, it’s expensive, it hurts morale.”

Bernanke Predicts Slow Progress on Unemployment

Bloomberg (07/17/12) Joshua Zumbrun; Craig Torres

In July 17 testimony to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, said it will take time to lower the unemployment rate due to the European financial crisis, the possibility of U.S. fiscal tightening, and the fact that high jobless rates and tighter credit standards have slowed household spending. “Given that growth is projected to be not much above the rate needed to absorb new entrants to the labor force, the reduction in the unemployment rate seems likely to be frustratingly slow,” he said. Bernanke did not pledge any new policies, but he said the Fed will take steps to jump start the recovery if needed. Any support to the economy, he said, must consider “both the need for long-run sustainability and the fragility of the recovery.”

OSHA Issues Alert to Employers, Notes Possible Heat-Related Death of Trenton Man (07/18/12) Joshua Rosenau

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has advised Mercer County, NJ, employers to give their employees adequate relief from high temperatures, in the wake of the death of a local employee more than a month ago. In May, Mark Jefferson, a Labor Ready employee, took ill while working at a Waste Management plant during a period of extreme heat. The investigation into Jefferson’s death is ongoing, but the circumstances surrounding it carried many of the indications associated with heat sickness.

Free ASAPro Webinars Next Week—Time Management; Partnering With Hospital Clients

Don’t miss these ASAPro Webinars next week that can help you work more efficiently and improve your health care staffing operations.

Tuesday, July 24:Time Wasters and Solutions.” Barb Bruno, CPC, CTS, of HR Search Inc. and Good As Gold Training Inc. will help you eliminate time wasters so you can accomplish more each day.

Thursday, July 26:Value-Added Service: Partnering With Hospital Clients to Improve Patient Value-Based Care.” Learn about the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems and how you can use it to increase your negotiating power.

All Webinars take place from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time. They’re free for ASA members and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Register online at