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BLS: Staffing Employment Steady in January, Up 5.1% From a Year Ago

Seasonally adjusted employment data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that staffing employment showed little change from December 2012 to January 2013 (-0.3%). In a year-to-year comparison, temporary help employment for the month was 5.1% higher than in January 2012. Over the previous 12 months, the temporary help industry has added an average of 10,400 jobs per month to the economy.

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that the staffing industry shed 227,700 jobs (down 8.6%) from December 2012 to January 2013, very close to historical seasonal averages. On a year-to-year basis, there were 5.8% more staffing employees in January than in the same month last year.

Overall U.S. nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 jobs in January. During 2012, BLS reports, the economy added an average of 181,000 new jobs per month.

“Although American businesses continue to add jobs, they are just not seeing enough increases in demand to warrant significant new hiring, and the unemployment rate remains mired at the same level it was four years ago,” says Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “However, ASA members are reporting that job markets across several sectors are slowly improving and many are cautiously optimistic that—unless political or international events throw the economy into a tailspin—business conditions will pick up during the months ahead.”

Employment growth was mostly driven by new job creation in retail trade (+33,000), construction (+28,000), health care (+23,000), and wholesale trade (+15,000). Job losses were noted in transportation and warehousing (-14,000).

Employment in other major industries, including financial activities, professional and businesses services, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little change over the month.

The overall U.S. unemployment rate was relatively unchanged, edging up slightly from 7.8% in December to 7.9% last month.

BLS noted that survey data had been revised as a result of the annual benchmarking process and the updating of seasonal adjustment factors.

Chamber Urges Businesses to Appeal Labor Rulings

Wall Street Journal (02/01/13) Melanie Trottman

In a memo to its members, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called on companies to push for a reversal of U.S. National Labor Relations Board rulings against them over the past year, given that a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit invalidated an NLRB decision against soda bottler and distributor Noel Canning because three recess appointments to the board were made outside the Senate recess window spelled out in the U.S. Constitution. The chamber says the court decision has called into question more than 200 rulings by NLRB since the appointments were made by President Obama on Jan. 4, 2012, including a ruling that protects workers from being terminated for complaining about workplace conditions on social media. It says employers with cases pending in other circuits should request the cases be delayed until a nationwide resolution on the recess-appointment decision occurs.

ManpowerGroup to Eliminate Some Jobs in Milwaukee

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (01/31/13) John Schmid

ManpowerGroup said Thursday it plans to cut an unspecified number of jobs in Milwaukee, where its global headquarters is located, as part of an international downsizing move. The move was announced one day after the company reported a decline in sales and earnings for the most recent quarter and full year.

President’s Council on Jobs Is Let Go

Wall Street Journal (02/01/13) Jared A. Favole; Colleen McCain Nelson

President Obama’s jobs council disbanded Thursday as its charter expired. The jobs council included executives from major corporations who advised Obama on ways to improve the economy. The group met four times over two years and held 18 “listening sessions” across the country. Critics say the president should have sought more advice than he did from the council. White House officials say the president implemented the council’s recommendations to take steps to create construction jobs and make it easier for people to launch small businesses, among other suggestions.

Free ASAPro Webinar Next Week—Negotiate Effectively

You can achieve better outcomes for your firm, your client, and your candidate—with more confidence and less stress—when you learn to negotiate more effectively.

In the ASAPro webinar “Unlock the Secrets to Effective Negotiating,” management expert Joy Baldridge, CPC, CSP, will teach you techniques and strategies that will help you strengthen your negotiation skills. It takes place Thursday, Feb. 7, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time.

This webinar is free for ASA members and qualifies for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Register online at