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Economists Trim 2013 GDP Growth Forecasts

Wall Street Journal (08/16/13) Kathleen Madigan

A Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia third-quarter survey of 41 economists forecasts growth of 1.5% for the year, down sharply from 2% in May. The downward revision reflects both a refiguring of historical gross domestic product reported in July by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the economists’ expectations that the second half of the year will be less robust than they previously thought. The economists forecast GDP will grow 2.2% in the third quarter and 2.3% in the fourth quarter, down from 2.3% and 2.7%, respectively. Next year, the economists forecast GDP to grow 2.6%, down from 2.8% forecast in May.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is expected to decline to 7.3% in the fourth quarter, virtually unchanged from 7.4% forecast in May. However, hiring is expected to improve for the rest of the year. Nonfarm payrolls are projected to average a monthly increase of 174,000 in the second half, up from 158,000 previously projected. Next year, the unemployment rate is forecast to be 7.1%, and job growth is expected to average 180,100 a month, little different from 180,400 previously projected.

Temporary Jobs Become Way to Go for Many Employers

USA Today (08/16/13) Laura Newberry

Most of the temporary jobs available nationwide are in the manufacturing industry, where employers say temporary employees allow them to better manage fluctuations in supply and demand. Judy Nagengast, chief executive of the Anderson, IN-based staffing firm Continental Inc., says temporary employment also allows employers to test workers before offering them permanent jobs.

Brian Burton, vice president of the Indiana Manufacturers Association, notes that a provision of the Affordable Care Act requiring companies with more than 50 full-time employees to offer health insurance by 2015 has “certainly had a stifling effect on permanent job creation.” Moreover, Michael Hicks, director of Ball State University’s Bureau of Research, says employers are hiring temporary workers because they can, because unemployed individuals desperate for work often will take any job available. Some experts are concerned that such a strategy will reduce quality and boost costs for manufacturers over the long term, destabilizing the industry.

Free ASAPro Webinar This Week—Understanding Employee Handbooks

Should your firm develop employee handbooks and written policies for your corporate employees as well as for your temporary and contract employees? Find out during the ASAPro webinar “The Employee Handbook—Do I Really Need One for Corporate Staff and Contract Workers?” Thursday, Aug. 22, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time. Attorney Diane Geller will explore the pros and cons and explain the fundamentals of drafting a comprehensive employee handbook.

ASAPro webinars are free for ASA members and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. To learn more and to register, visit

ASA Staffing Employment and Sales Survey Deadline Friday

Share your firm’s data with ASA so you can get the staffing industry information you’re looking for. Participate in the association’s quarterly Staffing Employment and Sales Survey by Aug. 23. Staffing firms that complete the survey receive an exclusive report on the results, which includes temporary and contract staffing sales and gross margin data by sector, and participation is free.

The data collected by this survey are essential to the association’s legal and legislative advocacy efforts on behalf of the staffing industry. Register to take the survey or view a PDF version of the questionnaire at This survey is conducted by ASA research partner Inavero.

Design Your Staffing World® Experience Now

Staffing World 2013, Oct. 8–10 in Orlando, FL, is right around the corner—have you registered yet? Check out the schedule in the advance program now to plan out which Section Forums, Knowledge Network roundtables, immersion programs, networking events, and social engagements you’ll attend.

If you haven’t registered at yet, what are you waiting for? Save up to $150 per person when you register by Sept. 6, or save 10% when you bring your team.

Recent U.S. Department of Labor Settlement Highlights Need for Employer Caution When Characterizing Wages as ‘Per Diem’ PaymentsM

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