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 ›

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.”