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Consumer Sentiment in U.S. Increases to a Seven-Year High

Bloomberg (10/17/14) Danielle Trubow

The Thomson Reuters and University of Michigan October preliminary consumer confidence index for the U.S. rose to 86.4 from a final reading of 84.6 the month before. The reading is the highest since July 2007. The 67 economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast a reading of 84.0. Job gains for the year are expected to be the strongest since 1999.

Federal Reserve Holds Steady Amid Market Volatility

Wall Street Journal (10/20/14) Jon Hilsenrath; Pedro Nicolaci da Costa

The U.S. Federal Reserve plans to stay the course as it prepares for the next policy meeting, despite current market volatility and uncertainties about the global economic outlook. The central bank’s bond-buying program is likely to end on schedule as officials hold their Oct. 28-29 meeting, and officials likely will debate whether they need to fine-tune the central bank’s assessment of the labor market and its guidance on interest rates.

San Francisco Fed President John Williams indicated that he expects the economy to grow at a 3% annual rate in the second half of the year and into 2015, with the jobless rate continuing to fall and inflation gradually rising to the Fed’s 2% goal.

Low for Long: A Q&A With Boston Fed’s Rosengren

Wall Street Journal (10/19/14) Pedro Nicolaci Da Costa

At its upcoming meeting, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston president Eric Rosengren says, the U.S. Federal Reserve will end its bond-buying program, noting that it could hold off on raising interest rates if overseas weakness takes a bigger-than-expected toll on the U.S. economy. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Rosengren said that “being focused on getting labor markets back to where we think full employment is is, I think, the most tangible way that monetary policy can impact income equality.”

Although he did not give a time line, he said the central bank should begin raising short-term interest rates when the economy is one year away from full employment and at the 2% inflation target. “We tend to talk in terms of the U-3 measure of unemployment, but the reality is the part-time for economic reasons is still quite high relative to what we’ve historically seen at this kind of unemployment rate. To me that indicates that there’s a good chance that even if we got to 5-1/4%, we still may have more labor market slack than we’ve had historically,” Rosengren said. “We do want to get inflation back up to 2%, and if we need tighter labor markets than we’ve historically needed in order to do that, then we should allow the unemployment rate to drift further down.”

ASA Concludes Successful Convention; Names 2015 Leaders

At the annual membership meeting held last week during Staffing World®, the ASA annual convention and expo, association members elected eight directors:
Threase Baker, TSC, CSP, Abbtech Professional Resources Inc.
Jeffrey S. Burnett, CSP, Labor Finders International Inc.
Claudette Cunitz, TSC, CSP, G-TECH Services Inc.
John Elwood, Elwood Staffing
James A. Essey, CSP, the TemPositions Group of Cos.
Mike McSally, Allegis Group
Leo Sheridan, the Advanced Group
Dan Thomson, CHG Healthcare

The board elected officers:
John A. Elwood, Elwood Staffing Services Inc., chairman
Claudette Cunitz, TSC, CSP, G-TECH Services Inc., first vice chairman
Lesa Francis, Staffmark, second vice chairman
Susan Dietrich, SPHR, TOPS Staffing LLC, treasurer
Kelly McCreight, the Hamiliton-Ryker Cos., secretary

ASA thanks outgoing board members Aaron Green, CSP, Professional Staffing Group; Diana R. Karabelas, Adecco Group North America; and Michael Weinholtz, CHG Healthcare Services Inc. for their many contributions and outstanding service to the association.

Other directors currently serving on the board are Jeff Bowling, the Delta Cos.; Dan Campbell, CSP, Hire Dynamics (immediate past chairman); W. Benjamin “Ben” Elliott, Randstad; Robert A. Funk, Express Employment Professionals; Karenjo Goodwin, Exact Staff Inc.; Kristen Harris, CSP, Portfolio Creative; Greg Holland, Adecco Group NA; Robert Livonius, AMN Strategic Workforce Solutions; Peter Quigley, Kelly Services Inc.; Dane Reese, CSP, PeopleAxiom; Dan Struve, CSP, Helpmates Staffing Services; and Mark Toth, CSP, ManpowerGroup. Representatives from 12 independent firms and 12 national companies serve on the board of directors. For brief bios, visit