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A Health Scare for Small Businesses

Wall Street Journal (01/17/13) Emily Maltby

Some small businesses on the threshold of having 50 full-time employees instead are deciding to hire only part-time employees or independent contractors this year, and that trend is expected to accelerate, employment analysts say. The businesses are concerned about the financial ramifications of crossing the 50-employee threshold, which would mean being required to offer health coverage that meets government standards or pay a penalty. Although the requirement won’t go into effect until 2014, how companies structure their companies in 2013 will affect their status next year.

“Some businesses may be tempted to classify someone as an independent contractor to avoid the headcount that could subject them to the [employer mandate],” says Edward Lenz, senior counsel at the American Staffing Association. “If anything, the risks of misclassifications are exacerbated by the [health care law].”

General Employment Provides Update on Fiscal 2012 Results

General Employment Enterprises News Release (01/15/2013)

General Employment Enterprises Inc., a provider of contract and placement staffing services specializing in the placement of information technology, engineering, agricultural, and accounting professionals, reported preliminary net revenue of $52.4 million and a net loss of $1 million for fiscal 2012. During the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2012, the company reported net revenue of $13 million and a net loss of $600,000. Michael Schroering, chairman and chief executive, expects the company to report 25% revenue growth and a modest operating profit for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2012.

CMT Agency Purchases BMT Staffing Solutions

Citybizlist Atlanta (01/15/13)

Convention Models & Talent Inc. has purchased some assets from event talent provider BMT Staffing Solutions. CMT’s purchase of the assets will help expand its global footprint.

Landrum Merges With Two Carolina Companies

Pensacola News Journal (Florida) (01/15/13) Carlton Proctor

Florida-based Landrum Professional Employer Services has merged with South Carolina-based Synergetic Inc. and North Carolina-based Employer Administrative Services, creating one of the largest professional employer organizations in the country. Emmett Scully will become president of the Carolina Region for Landrum.

Fed: U.S. Economy Continues to Mend

American Staffing Association (01/17/13) Alexandra Karaer

The nation’s economy continued to improve at the end of last year, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s latest report on regional economies (known as the “beige book”). Reports from the 12 Federal Reserve districts characterized economic growth as either “modest” or “moderate,” indicating that the economic activity expanded from mid-November through December of 2012. Trends in wages, prices, and employment conditions were relatively unchanged.

Jobless Claims in U.S. Fell to Lowest Level in Five Years

Bloomberg (01/17/13) Alex Kowalski

The number of applicants for new jobless benefits fell last week to the lowest level since January 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today, pointing to further improvement in the labor market. Initial applications for unemployment benefits sank by 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted 335,000 in the week ended Jan. 12. Economists forecast 369,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. A spokesman for the agency said the drop may reflect the difficulty the government has in adjusting the data after the holidays when seasonal workers are let go. The one-month average of claims fell by a smaller 6,750 to stand at 359,250, which is still near a four-year low.

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