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Philadelphia Fed: Manufacturing Firms See Notable Decline in December

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (12/18/14)

The pace of regional manufacturing activity remained positive but decreased in December, according to firms responding to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. The survey’s broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, decreased 16 points, from a reading of 40.8 in November to 24.5 in December. The demand for manufactured goods, as measured by the current new orders index, decreased 20 points, from a reading of 35.7 last month to 15.7 this month. Despite these declines from November, all the broad current activity indexes show a positive trend over the course of the current year.

However, firms’ responses suggest deterioration in the labor market compared with November. The current employment index fell 15 points, as the percentage of firms reporting an increase in employees fell from 29% in November to 17% in December.

Consumers Gain Confidence as U.S. Job Market Firms

Bloomberg (12/18/14) Victoria Stilwell

U.S. households are coming into extra money this holiday season due to growing employment, wage increases, and falling gas prices. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index reached 41.7 during the period that ended Dec. 14, the highest since mid-November 2007. There also have been fewer layoffs and a brightening economic outlook.

“We’re on a pretty good path,” says Sarah House, an economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC. “Consumers are definitely feeling the effects of the stronger job growth that we’ve seen over the past year, and the drop in gas prices is obviously a big tailwind.”

Present a Staffing World® Workshop Next Year—Proposal Deadline in Two Weeks

Can you offer solutions for the challenges that staffing firms face today? ASA is looking for staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry professionals to share their experience and expertise. The association also is looking for professionals in business, workforce, workplace management, and other disciplines pertinent to the staffing industry to speak at ASA events and present ASA webinars.

The deadline to submit workshop proposals for Staffing World 2015, the ASA annual convention and expo, is Jan. 5.

ASA also is accepting proposals for Staffing World 2015 Section Forums (due Jan. 30). Proposals for ASA webinars are accepted throughout the year, though earlier submissions get priority. For more information and to download submission guidelines, visit

Welcome New ASA Members

The ASA board of directors and staff welcome the following new members, which joined during the week of Dec. 8.

Flex-Temp Employment Services Inc.
Sandusky, OH

Hire Networks Inc.
Raleigh, NC

JLM Staffing Solutions
Long Beach, CA

McNaughton Staffing
Charleston, SC

Columbia, MD

People Lease Inc.
Paducah, KY

Star Mine Services
Madisonville, KY

TA Staffing
Nashville, TN