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General Employment Enterprises Inc. Announces Results for Fiscal 2014 Fourth Quarter and Year End

PR Newswire (12/08/14)

General Employment Enterprises Inc. reported revenues of $9.4 million for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2014, down 16.8% from $11.3 million in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2013. Contract staffing services generated $7.6 million in revenue, down 22.5% from $9.8 million over the same period. Net income totaled $463,000, compared with a net loss of $916,000 in the year-ago quarter.

For all of fiscal 2014, the company reported $39.8 million in revenues, down 14% from $46.5 million in fiscal 2013. Contract staffing services generated $32.7 million in revenues, down 16.6% from $39.2 million in fiscal 2013. The company reported a net loss of $1.4 million, compared with a net loss of $1.9 million in the prior year.

Workers to Bear Burden of ACA Cost Increases

Wall Street Journal (12/08/14) Vipal Monga

Chief financial officers at U.S. companies expect the federal Affordable Care Act to boost health care costs in 2015, and most plan to pass that along to their employees. Bank of America Merrill Lynch polled more than 600 CFOs and other finance executives at companies with annual revenues between $25 million and $2 billion. Of those, 69% said they expected their labor costs to increase an average 7.1% to cover the costs of the ACA. Over 75.0% of the CFOs said they would pass those costs along to their employees. To compensate, nearly 66% said they would reduce spending in other parts of the business.

NFIB: Small-Business Optimism Perks Up

NFIB News Release (12/09/14)

The National Federation of Independent Business Optimism Index increased 2.0 points to 98.1 in November, one tick below its historical average before the Great Recession. Business conditions expectations for six months out rose 16 percentage points, and real sales volume expectations increased 5 percentage points. The percentage of owners reporting job creation in November dropped one point from October to a net 2%.

Economic Growth Expected to Accelerate in 2015

National Association for Business Economics (12/08/14)

Economic growth is expected to accelerate in 2015, according to economists participating in the National Association for Business Economics’ December 2014 Outlook Survey. The median forecasts for real gross domestic product growth (on an average annual basis) for both 2014 and 2015 are slightly higher in December than they were in September. Real GDP is now expected to grow 2.2% in 2014, up from the 2.1% forecast in September’s survey, with growth climbing to a 3.1% pace in 2015, compared with 3.0% in the previous survey.

Real GDP advanced 2.2% in 2013 on an average annual basis. The median forecast for real GDP growth from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the fourth quarter of 2014 has also been revised upward to 2.2% from 2.0% in September.

Fed Aims to Signal Shift on Low Rates

Wall Street Journal (12/08/14) Jon Hilsenrath; Michael S. Derby

U.S. Federal Reserve officials will consider a shift in language during their next policy meeting Dec. 16-17, and the shift could drop the phrase “considerable time” from guidance regarding near zero interest rates. Officials seem to be in favor of raising interest rates in mid-2015, and many recent speeches from Fed officials have avoided using the phrase in favor of expressing patience regarding rate increases. However, there are some Fed members who are not ready to drop the phrase until the economy becomes strong enough to bear rate increases. The Fed already ended its bond-buying program, and some officials are hopeful the economy will be strong enough by mid-2015 to begin raising interest rates, which have not been increased in nearly a decade.

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