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Rate Debate Heats Up Among Fed Officials

Wall Street Journal (07/13/14) Jon Hilsenrath; Michael S. Derby

Some of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s regional bank presidents are making the case to raise interest rates from near zero sooner than they had originally intended due to recent improvements in the labor market. At the Fed’s June policy meeting most Fed officials expected rates would be raised in 2015, but that was prior to the U.S. Department of Labor’s report that unemployment has fallen to 6.1%, which was a surprise to Fed officials.

“We have made more progress toward our unemployment goals than we would have thought” earlier this year, says John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. This development “suggests that monetary policy can safely start the process of normalization a touch earlier” than previously thought. His remarks are notable because he tends to be an advocate for keeping interest rates low to help boost hiring.

Economy Needs Consumers to Chip In

MarketWatch (07/14/14) Jeffry Bartash

Although the recession ended in mid-2009, consumers have been reluctant to spend, spending about two-thirds of what they used to, which has kept U.S. growth well below its historical norm. Small wage increases and a tepid labor market have contributed to the reluctance to spend.

As of May consumer spending was climbing at a 2.9% annual pace, the slowest rate in five years. “For the economy to really kick into the next gear, we need the consumer to do more of the heavy lifting,” says Ryan Sweet, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics.

How Do Your Payroll and Benefits Programs Compare With Industry Peers?

The ASA Staffing Industry Compensation Survey, which provides the only comprehensive view of salaries and compensation in the staffing industry, is back by popular demand.

Subscribe and participate in the survey for online access to exclusive custom reports that will help you determine whether your payroll is in line with industry norms. Get data based on peer input to support fiscally sound decisions for 29 positions specific to the staffing industry.

Data collection begins today. Custom online reports will be available to subscribers beginning Sept. 29, and a summary of 2013 survey results will be provided to all 2014 subscribers. For more information and to subscribe, visit

Free ASAPro Webinar Tomorrow—Record Retention

Don’t miss tomorrow’s ASAPro webinar “What Staffing Firms Must Know About Document Retention,” 3–4 p.m. Eastern time. Attorneys Steven J. Whitehead and Amy Logins will help you understand which employment records and other important documents you should keep, and for how long.

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

Register for Staffing World® 2014 Today and Save

Staffing World 2014, the largest, most comprehensive convention and expo in the staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry, takes place Oct. 13–15 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in metro Washington, DC. Register by Sept. 5 for a special discounted rate to be sure you can enjoy all the high-caliber content, high-quality networking opportunities, and the largest industry expo anywhere. Plus, get the latest information available about the Affordable Care Act and what your firm should be doing right now to be ready to comply with the law in January.

Get more information and register online at