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Jobless Claims in U.S. Surge in Week After Thanksgiving Holiday

Bloomberg (12/12/13) Victoria Stilwell

Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rose by 68,000 to a two-month high of 368,000 in the week ended Dec. 7, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted a rise to 320,000 claims. The four-week moving average of claims increased to 328,750 from 322,750 the week prior.

Jobless Aid Splits Parties, Experts

Wall Street Journal (12/11/13) Josh Mitchell

The budget agreement hammered out by federal lawmakers excludes an extension of jobless benefits, which has upset many Democrats. According to White House estimates, when the program ends on Dec. 28, around 1.3 million jobless workers will lose their unemployment payments. Republicans insist that after more than five years, it is time to end the extended benefits, which they believe offer a disincentive for people to find jobs.

The debate now centers on whether the economy has improved to the point where an extension is not necessary, with Democrats arguing that the labor market remains weak and long-term unemployment remains at historically high levels. Economists say the aid has added as much as one percentage point to the unemployment rate, and they note that the expiration of the extended benefits would only modestly impact the U.S. recovery.

SeaTac, WA, Businesses Stung by $15-an-Hour Pay

Wall Street Journal (12/11/13) Sarah E. Needleman; Daniel Lippman

The minimum wage in SeaTac, WA, will increase 63% to $15 per hour in January, making it the highest municipal minimum wage in the country. The wage only applies to hospitality and transportation workers, excluding employees of airlines, but local businesses worry that they cannot offer high enough wages to prevent their employees from leaving for hospitality or transportation jobs. Washington’s state minimum wage is $9.19 per hour, the highest state minimum wage in the country.

Businesses—particularly small businesses—in SeaTac are concerned about the massive increase in labor costs. Some economists say increasing the minimum wage causes small businesses to reduce their employees’ hours and scale back hiring; others counter that it increases employee retention and consumer spending. President Obama has announced his support for raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Fast food workers recently have been protesting in support of a $15-per-hour wage.

Find What You Need for Your Business—Shop the ASA Marketplace

The ASA Marketplace has been getting rave reviews from staffing professionals looking to purchase products and services for their companies.

Unlike any online resource of its kind, the content-rich, user-friendly ASA Marketplace features one-click access to supplier company news releases, allows searches by industry sector, delivers geographical search capabilities for firms with multiple locations, and much more.

The ASA Marketplace is your No. 1 source for suppliers to the staffing industry. Suppliers interested in getting listed or advertising should contact Antoinette Dixon at 703-253-1142.

Welcome New ASA Members

The ASA board of directors and staff welcome the following new members, which joined during the week of [LAST MONDAY].


City, ST

Is your firm interested in joining ASA? Contact the membership department at 703-253-2020 or

Join Today and Be Ready for the ACA

To comply with the Affordable Care Act, your firm may need to start tracking full-time employees on Jan. 1, 2014. Are you ready for what might come next? Join ASA today for immediate access to the information, resources, and expertise your company needs to stay ahead of the ACA.

Plus, if you join by next Friday, Dec. 20, you’ll receive a FREE copy of the latest Staffing Success magazine, which features a comprehensive package of ACA-focused articles—all aimed at helping firms stay ahead of impending ACA mandates.

And as an ASA member, you’ll have receive all the member benefits that staffing and recruiting professionals rely on from the association that is the voice of the staffing industry. Call the ASA membership team at 703-253-2020 or join online at