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Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Fall to Two-Month Low

Bloomberg (11/27/13) Lorraine Woellert; Michelle Jamrisko

Fewer Americans than projected filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that the labor market is showing resilience. The number of new applications for unemployment benefits fell by 10,000 to 316,000 in the week ended Nov. 23, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.

The median forecast of 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase to 330,000. The data are difficult to adjust for seasonal variations around holidays. The four-week moving average fell to 331,750 from 339,250.

Durable-Goods Orders Drop 2% in October

MarketWatch (11/27/13) Jeffrey Bartash

Orders for big-ticket U.S. goods fell 2.0% in October, largely because of fewer contracts for jumbo jets, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported today. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected orders to drop 2.2%. Orders were soft for most major industries excluding autos, pointing to slower U.S. growth in the waning months of 2013.

So-called core capital goods orders fell 1.2% last month after a 1.4% drop in September. That category excludes aircraft and Pentagon spending and is a good proxy for how much U.S. businesses are investing.

Survey of Professional Forecasters: Steady Outlook for Growth With Healthier Labor Market

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (11/25/13)

According to 42 forecasters surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the outlook for growth for the U.S. economy has changed little since the last survey, three months ago. Real gross domestic product is expected to grow at an annual rate of 1.8% this quarter and 2.5% next quarter, to hit 2.9% in the second quarter of 2014. Forecasters see real GDP growing 1.7% in 2013, 2.6% in 2014, 2.8% in 2015, and 2.7% in 2016, on an annual-average over annual-average basis.

Unemployment is projected to be an annual average of 7.5% in 2013, 7.0 % in 2014, 6.4% in 2015, and 6.0% in 2016. Nonfarm payroll employment are expected to add 187,300 jobs per month this quarter and 187,000 jobs per month next quarter. Monthly job gains are expected to be 181,900 in 2013 and 189,900 in 2014. Current quarter headline consumer price index inflation (CPI), which is the percent change in the index from a year ago, is expected to average 1.6%.

Protesters Target St. Cloud Temporary Staffing Firm Office (11/26/13) Mark Sommerhauser

Protesters gathered outside the office of The Work Connection, a temporary staffing firm in St. Paul, MN, to protest TWC’s practice of paying employees with pay cards, certain firings they believe were unfair, and the firm’s disrespectful treatment of workers, particularly Somali workers. Protesters called for GNP Co., which contracts TWC workers, to hire its workers directly.

Some protesters also called for a higher minimum wage, while others voiced the opinion that employers who use temporary staffing firms are creating an extra obstacle for low-wage workers seeking steady work. TWC is believed to be the most difficult St. Paul-area staffing firm to work for.

Staffing Today Returns Dec. 2

In observance of Thanksgiving, Staffing Today will not be delivered Thursday, Nov. 28, or Friday, Nov. 29.

Free ASAPro Webinar Next Week—Use Data to Improve Your Bottom Line

Are you getting the data you need to make the best decisions for your business? During the ASAPro webinar “Using Staffing Metrics to Create a Culture of Performance,” explore the seven critical performance ratios and learn how to use them. The webinar takes place Thursday, Dec. 5, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time.

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

Welcome New ASA Members

The ASA board of directors and staff welcome the following new members, which joined during the week of Nov. 18.

Advantage Personnel Inc.

Baton Rouge, LA

Corepay Inc.

Clifton Park, NY

Law Dawgs

Seattle, WA

R&D Personnel

McAllen, TX