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Jobs Total Now Net Positive for Obama

Wall Street Journal (09/28/12) Ben Casselman; Colleen McCain Nelson

For the first time in President Barack Obama’s tenure, the number of jobs in the U.S. economy is higher than it was when he took office. U.S. employers added almost 400,000 more jobs than had been previously estimated in the 12 months ended in March, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. The U.S. still has more than four million fewer jobs than before the recession began in December 2007.

Thursday’s data provided an early look at what is known as DOL’s annual benchmark revision of its payroll data. The changes, which will not become official until early next year, are based on tax records, and they are therefore considered more accurate than the department’s monthly job estimates, which are based on survey data. The revised data show that the economy added about 125,000 jobs since Obama took office, for a new total of nearly 133.7 million jobs. Under the previous numbers, the U.S. showed a loss of 261,000 jobs during Obama’s term of office. The revision boosted the job total by 386,000 between April 2011 and March 2012. The private sector did even better, adding 453,000 more jobs than previously estimated, though government job losses were revised higher by 67,000.

Data Suggest Uncertainty for U.S. Economy

Wall Street Journal (09/28/12) Josh Mitchell; Ben Casselman

U.S. government reports on durable goods and the revised gross domestic product indicate that the economy remains uncertain, with manufacturers mired in a slump and overall growth tepid. GDP for the second quarter was revised downward, while orders for durable goods suffered the biggest monthly drop in more than three years. The new reports come despite other signs the economy is improving slowly. The job market is slowly growing, consumers are becoming more confident, and the housing market is finally showing signs of a rebound. Adding jobs is key because with weakness in exports and business spending, economic growth in the remainder of the year will hinge largely on how much consumers are willing to spend.

More hiring, combined with rising home prices and consumer confidence, could lead to more spending. But so far, such progress has not been strong enough to offset the external forces holding back growth. Businesses may also be holding back amid the uncertainties of the coming presidential election and the looming “fiscal cliff,” a huge package of tax increases and government spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 1.

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

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. Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2–3 p.m. Eastern time, attend the free ASAPro Webinar “Staffing Industry Legislative and Regulatory Issues” 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

Get Ready for Staffing World—ASAPro Webinar Next Week

If you’re planning to attend Staffing World 2012, the ASA annual convention and expo—and you should—you can’t miss the free ASAPro Webinar “Make the Most of Your Staffing World Experience.” Get information on logistics, educational programming, networking opportunities, and more. The Webinar takes place Wednesday, Oct. 3, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time.

Get the latest about convention content, including the fact that ASA has expanded the Staffing World session on health care reform—at one hour and 45 minutes, the Immersion Program “Current Developments in Health Care Reform” will be long enough for in-depth discussion and a question-and-answer session.

Register for this Webinar at