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Affordable Care Act Cost Calculator Now Available—Estimate Your Costs for 2014

The ASA cost calculator for estimating staffing firm costs under the Affordable Care Act is now available on the ASA website, Using the calculator is an essential first step in helping staffing firms understand the cost implications of the ACA on their business.

The calculator has been in development for months. It is based on the very latest government rules and guidance. It was expressly designed for staffing firms by industry experts and tested by staffing firm owners in various sectors of the industry. The calculator was introduced at a March 12 ASAPro webinar, which provided an overview of its functionality. Further programming refinements were made based on questions received during the webinar. The result is the most sophisticated and comprehensive tool available anywhere for analyzing staffing firms’ costs under the ACA.

The calculator allows ASA members to make a number of key calculations. For example, it calculates the cost per hour under both the “play” and “pay” options, the hourly cost for full-time employees only, or the hourly cost spread over all employees’ hours. It also computes the estimated cost as a percentage of payroll and shows the effect on bill rates based on various cost recapture scenarios.

For a comprehensive overview of all of the Affordable Care Act provisions of interest to staffing firms, answers to questions from the March 12 webinar, and other resources, go to Because of the extraordinary resources committed to developing this unique product, it will be available only to staffing firms that are members of the American Staffing Association.

Jobless Aid Shrinks Unevenly

Wall Street Journal (03/20/13) Ben Casselman

Unemployment benefits are being cut back, and this is hitting people hard, particularly in states with unemployment rates above the national average. Benefits are being cut in part due to the improving job market and also because of budget challenges at the state and federal level. In Michigan, for example, where unemployment is 8.9%, jobless benefits will soon be cut to less than a year of benefits for the first time since 2007. At one point Michigan was offering 99 weeks of jobless benefits. It will now become the 19th state to offer less than a year of benefits.

Nationally, states are offering 55 weeks of benefits on average, but there is a wide disparity among the states’ unemployment rates and the duration of their jobless benefits. Alaska, for example, offers 86 weeks of benefits—currently the longest duration—even though its unemployment rate is 6.7%, while Georgia and South Carolina offer less than a year of benefits despite unemployment rates of 8.7%. North Carolina, meanwhile, will cut its benefits to just 20 weeks beginning in July.

Free ASAPro Webinar Tomorrow—Embracing Change

Staffing professionals don’t have to love change, but Linda Sasser of Impacting Leaders says they should respect it, appreciate it, and use it as an opportunity to grow. During the ASAPro webinar “Championing Change: How to Embrace and Thrive Amid Change,” she’ll teach you how to handle unexpected changes and create a culture that embraces change. It takes place tomorrow from 3 to 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