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Sun Healthcare Group Inc. Reports 2012 Second-Quarter Operating Results

Sun Healthcare Group Inc. News Release (07/31/12)

Sun Healthcare Group Inc. on July 31 announced its operating results for the second quarter ended June 30. Consolidated revenues were $457.1 million for the quarter, down 2.9% as compared with the same period in 2011. Normalized earnings per share was $0.15 for the quarter.

CareerStaff, Sun’s medical staffing services business, reported revenues of $23.5 million, up 3.6% year over year. On a sequential quarter basis, CareerStaff experienced 2.7% revenue growth while billable hours increased on both a sequential quarter and year-over-year basis for the second quarter in a row.

Thousands Await Testing for Hepatitis by `Infector’

New York Times (08/01/12) Katharine Q. Seelye

Thousands of people are waiting to see if they were infected with hepatitis C via syringes used by a traveling medical technician who worked at several hospitals, including one in New Hampshire. Testing is being delayed as officials try to create an orderly process that will permit patients from New Hampshire’s Exeter Hospital to be tested quickly without having to wait too long in line. Patient advocates are calling for tighter rules governing such technicians. Former New Hampshire state representative Elenore Casey Crane is calling for a national registry that hospitals and staffing firms would use to report professional misconduct by medical technicians.

Jobless Claims in U.S. Climbed Less Than Forecast Last Week

Bloomberg (08/02/12) Shobhana Chandra

The number of people who filed applications for unemployment benefits rose by 8,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 365,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for an increase to 370,000. Starting next week, the data should be clear of any influence from the annual auto plant retooling closures that make it difficult to adjust the data for seasonal variations, a Labor Department spokesman said. The four-week claims average dropped 2,750 to 365,500, the lowest level since late March.

U.S. Job Creation Slips in July

Gallup News Service (08/01/12) Lydia Saad

Gallup’s U.S. Job Creation Index declined to +17 in July, after registering at or near +20 from April through June. On average in July, 34% of all full- and part-time workers said their employers are hiring and expanding the size of their work forces, and 17% said their employers are letting workers go and reducing the size of their work forces, resulting in the +17 net hiring figure. The hiring component of the index fell slightly to 34% in July, from 36% in June, while the firing component moved to 17%, from 16%.

Net hiring in July remains strongest in the Midwest, now at +21, and weakest in the West, now +13, in line with the pattern seen for most of the past year. July hiring held fairly steady in the East and West, but softened in the South and, to a lesser degree, in the Midwest.

Factories Lose Steam as Global Fears Rise

Wall Street Journal (08/02/12) Neil Shah

The Institute for Supply Management’s index of manufacturing activity barely inched up to 49.8 from June’s reading of 49.7—which was the first contraction in the factory sector since July 2009, the beginning of the economic recovery. Readings under 50 indicate activity is shrinking instead of growing. Details of the ISM report suggested more sluggishness ahead. Order backlogs fell and businesses’ inventories surged, while a measure of new orders—an important gauge of future activity—rose only to 48 from 47.8, suggesting firms are dispatching old orders but not getting many new ones.

Exports dropped for a second consecutive month, while a gauge of factory employment—until now a bright spot—fell sharply to 52 from 56.6. That indicates that while firms are still hiring, they are worried about whether they will actually need workers. The global economic slowdown “is starting to impact us,” says Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the ISM’s manufacturing-survey panel. “I don’t see anything that suggests any major change [in manufacturing] over the next couple months.”

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