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BBSI Reports Third Quarter 2012 Financial Results

Barrett Business Services News Release (10/23/12)

Barrett Business Services Inc. has reported financial results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30. Net revenues for the quarter increased 30% to $111.1 million, while gross revenues increased 37% to $558.0 million. Net income increased to $5.8 million, compared with net income of $5.4 million for the same period in 2011. For the fourth quarter of 2012, the company expects gross revenues to range between $585 million and $590 million, compared with $423.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Mastech Holdings Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2012 Results

Mastech Holdings News Release (10/24/12)

Mastech Holdings Inc. announced today its financial results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2012. Revenues for the quarter totaled $25.6 million, which represented a 9% increase over the corresponding quarter last year and a slight improvement over second quarter 2012 revenues. Gross profit in the third quarter was $4.9 million, compared with $4.6 million in the third quarter of 2011. Consolidated net income for the third quarter totaled $601,000, compared with $441,000 during the same period last year.

Demand for staffing services remained solid, with the firm’s information technology billable consultant base growing by 8% during the quarter and achieving sequential revenue growth for the ninth consecutive quarter. Overall gross margins in the third quarter were 19.1%, which was flat when compared to the previous quarter and lower than the 19.8% gross margins reported a year earlier.

The Mighty Middle

Economist (10/20/12)

Mid-sized firms in the U.S. have performed impressively even in the difficult past few years, creating lots of new jobs. The U.S. has approximately 197,000 medium-sized firms, defined as those with annual revenues between $10 million and $1 billion, according to data from the National Center for the Middle Market at Ohio State University. Together, they employ over 40 million people in the country and account for around one-third of private-sector gross domestic product.

About 82% of medium-sized firms survived the recession of 2007-10, compared with 57% of small firms. And while 97% of the 2,100 large firms with revenue over $1 billion was 97%, those giants shed 3.7 million jobs during that period. Mid-sized companies, by contrast, added 2.2 million jobs. This trend is continuing during the recovery; in 2010-11, medium-sized firms increased employment by 3.8%, compared with growth of 2.5% by small firms and 0.8% by big business.

Mid-sized firms in the U.S. tend to be privately owned: 31% by a family, and a further 40% by some combination of private equity and family. The freedom from short-term stock market pressures is one reason why middling firms have been more willing to invest for the long term despite the tough economy, says Anil Makhija, who runs the National Centre for the Middle Market.

10 Patients Sue UPMC, Maryland Staffing Agency Over Hepatitis C

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (10/24/12) Adam Brandolph

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Maryland-based Maxim Staffing Solutions by 10 patients who may have contracted hepatitis C from a traveling medical worker. The lawsuit accuses the health care system and the staffing firm of neglecting to inform authorities despite knowing that David Kwiatkowski, a former radiology technician, had stolen narcotics, and insists that their inaction put thousands of patients in hospitals across the country at risk. Kwiatkowski was fired by UPMC after he was caught by another employee putting a syringe in his pants.

Mass Layoffs—September 2012

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (10/23/12)

Employers took 1,316 mass layoff actions in September involving 122,462 workers as measured by new filings for unemployment insurance benefits during the month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Data are seasonally adjusted. Mass layoff events in September increased by 49 from August but were down from September 2011. The number of associated initial claims decreased by 4,992. In September, 366 mass layoff events were reported in the manufacturing sector resulting in 39,748 initial claims.

The number of mass layoff events in September was 811, not seasonally adjusted, resulting in 70,570 initial claims for unemployment insurance. Over the year, the number of average weekly mass layoff events for September decreased by 35 to 203, and associated average weekly initial claims decreased by 5,803 to 17,643. Thirteen of the 19 major industry sectors in the private economy reported over-the-year decreases in average weekly initial claims. The temporary help services industry experienced the most initial claims due to mass layoff events in September, with 6,131 initial claims, according to numbers that were not seasonally adjusted.

Cheap Natural Gas Expected to Boost U.S. Economy, Create Jobs

Wall Street Journal (10/24/12) Ben Casselman; Russell Gold

A natural-gas drilling boom in the Marcellus Shale is pushing down manufacturing prices and creating jobs, giving companies a reason to stay in the U.S. Plunging gas prices have turned the U.S. into one of the most profitable places in the world to make chemicals and fertilizer, industries that use gas as both a feedstock and an energy source. They have also slashed costs for makers of energy-intensive products such as aluminum, steel, and glass.

“The U.S. is now going to be the low-cost industrialized country for energy,” the energy economist Philip Verleger says. “This creates a base for stronger economic growth in the U.S. than the rest of the industrialized world.” The same hydraulic-fracturing revolution that is freeing gas from shale formations is being used to extract oil. U.S. oil production is up 20% since 2008, and the U.S. government expects it to rise another 12.6% in the next five years.

Economists at Citigroup Inc. have estimated that increased domestic oil and gas production, and the activity that flows from it, will create up to 3.6 million new jobs by 2020 and boost annual economic output by between 2% and 3.3%.

Participate in the Staffing World® Survey for a Chance to Win

If you attended the ASA annual convention and expo, you should have received a Staffing World survey via email. Please take a moment to share your Staffing World experience and observations. Your feedback will help ASA continuously improve its offerings and events. If you did not receive a survey email, contact Alexandra Karaer at

Everyone who completes the survey will be entered to win a cash prize. The survey deadline is this Friday, Oct. 26.

Recruiting for the Manufacturing Industry—ASAPro Webinar Next Week

The manufacturing industry is facing a critical talent shortage—what can staffing firms do to shift this trend? Gardner Carrick, vice president of strategic initiatives at the Manufacturing Institute, will tell you during the ASAPro Webinar “Recruiting for the Manufacturing Industry,” Tuesday, Oct. 30, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time. Learn what factors are contributing to the talent shortage, how the lack of qualified applicants affects the U.S. economy, and how the staffing industry can support efforts to bolster the talent pool.

ASAPro Webinars are free for ASA members and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Register online at