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ASA Staffing Index Hits Record High

Staffing employment for the week of Nov. 10–16 climbed to 105.84, according to the ASA Staffing Index—the highest value since the index’s inception in June 2006. Temporary and contract staffing employment increased 0.67% from the prior week and was 3.17% higher than the same week last year.

“The ASA Staffing Index has reached a new all-time record high,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “With an improving economy, staffing and recruiting firms are well positioned to help more job seekers find temporary and permanent employment.”

That same week also will be used in the November monthly employment situation report that will be issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Dec. 5.

Economy in U.S. Expands 3.9%, More Than Previously Forecast

Bloomberg (11/25/14) Victoria Stilwell

U.S. gross domestic product increased at a 3.9% annualized rate during the third quarter, up from initial estimates of 3.5%, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. It was the biggest back-to-back increase since late 2003, following a 4.6% jump in the second quarter. The 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted a median gain of 3.3%. Their estimates ranged from 2.8% to 3.8%. Consumer spending was strong.

Consumer Confidence Index in U.S. Decreased to 88.7 in November

Bloomberg (11/25/14) Danielle Trubow

The Confidence Board’s consumer confidence index for November dropped to 88.7 from 94.1 in October. The 75 economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast a median increase to 96. Their estimates ranged from 93.5 to 99.

Falling Wages at Factories Squeeze the Middle Class

New York Times (11/21/14) Nelson D. Schwartz; Patricia Cohen

According to a new study by the National Employment Law Project, factory workers today are earning much less than workers in nearly identical positions years ago. In the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, the typical production job in the manufacturing sector paid more than the private sector average, but the typical private sector job has paid more than line work in factories since 2007, with the gap continuing to widen. The average hourly wage for private sector positions was $20.13 in 2013, compared with $19.29 for production jobs.

According to the NELP, a New York-based research and advocacy group that receives some support from organized labor, real wages for manufacturing workers declined 4.4% from 2003 to 2013 in response to temporary hiring practices and a drop in salaries in the auto parts sector—a decrease that was nearly three times that for workers overall. The study relies on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, and the trends cited in the report have been confirmed by independent experts.

Free ASA State of the Industry Webinar Next Week

Access the timely data, credible research, and strategic analysis your company needs to effectively stay ahead of industry trends and sharpen its competitive edge.

Join the American Staffing Association and corporate partner Inavero for the next ASA State of the Industry webinar. It’s part of a new quarterly series especially for staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions companies. Session three of this quarterly data, research, and legislative update takes place Tuesday, Dec. 2, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time. Space is limited, and the previous webinars in this series reached capacity—so register today.

Eric Gregg, chief executive officer of ASA corporate partner Inavero, will look at recent industry research, business trends, and prevailing legislative issues. Register today for the ASA State of the Industry webinar. It’s free and qualifies for 1.0 active hour of continuing education toward ASA certification renewal.

Staffing Professional Catalog Delivers Industry Resources

ASA is shaping the future of business through innovative executive education, strong employment law resources, strategic business intelligence, and visionary marketing tools. The 2014 ASA Staffing Professional Catalog showcases leading industry certification programs and study materials; strategic industry research and analysis, including up-to-the-minute analysis of Affordable Care Act compliance options; and marketing tactics to give your firm a competitive edge.

ASA members receive a 50% discount on most products, and free access to ASA webinars and on-demand courses. Get your professional advantage—visit today to view the latest product catalog.