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U.S. Employers Advertised Fewer Available Job Openings in July, Latest Sign of Weakness in Hiring

Associated Press (09/11/12)

U.S. companies advertised fewer jobs in July than they did a month earlier, suggesting that hiring may stay weak for some months. Job openings declined to a seasonally adjusted 3.67 million, down from 3.72 million in June, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey. Although the number of available jobs has risen 68% over the past three years, companies have been slow to fill them. Total hiring has risen just 11% during the same period.

Economists say there are many reasons why companies aren’t hiring more quickly. Some employers may not be offering enough pay to attract workers. Other reasons include a lack of skilled workers, concerns about the European fiscal crisis, slowing growth in China, and the expiration of U.S. tax breaks. ManpowerGroup chief executive Jeff Joerres says those trends are prompting even healthy companies to hold back on hiring. “It’s all I hear about,” he says. Some of his company’s clients say, “Our business is good, but we’re worried,” he notes.

Dreading Obamacare, CFOs Plan for Perils (09/10/12) David McCann

President Obama’s Affordable Care Act has drawn the ire of some financial officers who claim the changes required by the law will levy a heavy financial and logistical burden on companies. The act, which requires employers to offer health care benefits to all employees who work over 30 hours per week and fines those companies that do not, will have most changes come into effect in 2014. Richard Ramos, chief financial officer at Maritz, a provider of employee motivation, incentive-travel, and customer-loyalty programs, says the increased cost of providing health care could easily outweigh the imposed fines for noncompliance, especially with 2012 health care costs through May increasing 16% from the same period last year, according to a study conducted by the company.

Tom Gillespie, president and financial overseer at Access Receivables Management, a collection agency, says he thinks the act will force smaller companies to provide lower levels of care for employees and reduce the number of permanent employees. In addition to this, he thinks it will result in the reduced hiring of employees over age 50, as insurers typically charge more for insurance when the average employee age at a company passes a certain threshold.

The Great Jobs Mystery: Why Are So Many Men Dropping Out of the Work Force?

The Atlantic (09/07/12) Derek Thompson

Men’s participation rate fell to its lowest point on record in the August jobs report, and the overall participation rate fell to its lowest point since 1981. One reason this is happening is that the U.S. population is getting older, and more workers are entering that age where they are less likely to be employed. Another reason why more people are not participating in the work force is that they don’t think there is any work for them.

There are two more forces pulling down men’s participation: the rise of women and the growth of the safety net. Dual-earner households have allowed men to either choose to not work or to retire early. Perhaps even more importantly, the increase in Social Security payments, plus Medicare and Medicaid, have allowed older men to stop working and rely on government insurance programs to protect them from the risk of elderly poverty and medical catastrophe.

Today—What Health Care Reform and New EEOC Guidelines Mean for Your Firm

Today from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time, ASA will help you understand the implications of the latest legislative and regulatory issues facing the staffing industry, including health care reform and new government guidelines on the use of criminal background checks. “Staffing Industry Legislative and Regulatory Issues” is a free ASAProWebinar led by the ASA legal team.

Succeeding in the staffing business means always being one step ahead of the next industry trend, regulatory shift, or legislative change. This free Webinar will help your company prepare for what’s coming next.

Register online at