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Long-Term Jobless Begin to Find Work

Wall Street Journal (01/11/13) Ben Casselman

Persistent U.S. long-term unemployment is showing signs of abating as job seekers out of work for six months or longer begin to find work. In December, the long-term unemployed comprised 39.1% of all job seekers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the first time that number has fallen below 40% in more than three years. Furthermore, unemployment recently has declined more quickly among long-term job seekers than among the wider population. Still, the news is not all good. Although the number of job seekers unemployed for between six months and two years has declined by 12% in the past year, those people unemployed for three years or longer continue to face difficulty finding a job.

Arrow Strategies Launches Health Care Division

PR Newswire (01/10/13)

Arrow Strategies has announced the launch of its Healthcare Staffing Division, which specializes in contract and permanent staffing of health care professionals. Areas of focus include the deployment of clinicians such as registered nurses into case management, chronic disease management, and patient transition to home roles.

Nasty U.S. Flu Season Poised to Exact Big Costs, Headaches for Employers

Phoenix Business Journal (01/10/13) Mike Sunnucks

This year’s flu season could be the worst in a decade and is poised to cost U.S. employers more than $10 billion. Challenger Gray & Christmas Inc. worries employees who are still concerned about job security and taking sick days in the postrecession economy will come to work sick and spread the flu to co-workers, prompting suggestions that employers limit meetings, allow for telecommuting, and reassure workers they will not lose their jobs or shifts if they call in sick.

“The economy is still on shaky ground and many workers continue to be worried about losing their jobs, despite the fact that annual layoffs are at the lowest level since the late 1990s. In this environment, workers are reluctant to call in sick or even use vacation days,” says John Challenger, chief executive officer of the employment company. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that on average the winter flu season costs U.S. employers $10.4 billion in direct costs such as co-pays and insurance for doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription drug plans.

Pentagon Authorizes Steps Such as Freezing Civilian Hires

BusinessWeek (01/11/13) Tony Capaccio; David Lerman

Because of budget uncertainty, the Pentagon is allowing its senior managers to freeze civilian hiring and lay off temporary employees. If Congress and President Obama fail to reach a deficit-reduction plan by March, about $45 billion will be slashed from the U.S. Department of Defense budget by Sept. 30. Furthermore, the Defense Department has had this year’s spending frozen at last year’s levels.

Companies Keep People to Be Fired With State Work Share

Bloomberg (01/10/13) Lorraine Woellert

Some states are paying workers to remain in their jobs using work share programs, also known as layoff aversion or short-term compensation, in which employees are given shortened work weeks instead of dismissal notices, with partial unemployment benefits making up their lost wages. Companies benefit from the programs because they can retain skilled and trained workers, and workers benefit from maintaining their skills and remaining employed while searching for new jobs. With federal funding for work share programs approved by Congress in 2012, 25 states and the District of Columbia now have such programs in place. The U.S. Department of Labor says nearly 460,000 jobs have been saved since 2008 because of these programs.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (01/10/13)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says job openings held steady at 3.7 million in November from the prior month, and the hires and separations rates of 3.2% and 3.1%, respectively, also were unchanged from October. Job openings rose in retail trade in November but changed little in all other industries, and while nonfarm and private job openings increased, government job openings held steady. During the year-over-year period ending in November, the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector saw a decline in the hires rate, but it held steady overall for nonfarm, private, and government sectors. Additionally, the quits rate held steady at 1.6% over the same period, and the layoffs and discharges rate was unchanged at 1.2%. There was a net employment gain of 1.9 million, factoring in 51.7 million hires and 49.9 million separations.

Oklahoma Company Express Offers Franchisees Capital to Get Business Started

NewsOK (01/11/13) Bailey Brianna

Express Employment Professionals is giving its first 30 new franchisees this year $30,000 each in working capital to help then overcome the lack of funding available for startup companies. Despite an improving lending climate last year, lending is still down. According to the International Franchise Association’s Educational Foundation, franchisees sought $11.72 billion in lending capital last year, but banks supplied only $9.5 billion. The Express initiative is designed to allow new franchisees to get their businesses running faster despite the lending crisis.

Contract Questions? Get Help at the ASA Staffing Law Conference

How iron-clad is your direct-hire agreement? Will you be able to enforce your contract and collect your fee? Learn about the most common problems with fee agreements and how you can increase your chances of collecting fees at the 2013 ASA Staffing Law Conference, May 7–8, in Washington, DC.

“Collecting the Fee: Staffing Firms and Direct-Hire Contracts” is just one of several can’t-miss sessions at the ASA Staffing Law Conference, the only program devoted to legal and regulatory issues facing staffing firms. Visit for the agenda, registration information, and more.