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U.S. GDP Fell 0.7% in First Quarter

Wall Street Journal (05/29/15) Josh Mitchell; Jeffrey Sparshott

The economy retreated in the first quarter as harsh winter weather across much of the country and a strong dollar tempered demand for American products. Gross domestic product declined at a 0.7% seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The agency previously estimated that first-quarter output rose 0.2%. Economists had recently estimated a 1.0% contraction. Although the retreat is expected to be short-lived, it underscores how vulnerable the economy is.

Most economists expect the economy to improve this year, and early indications point to a slight spring rebound. GDP is forecast to grow at about a 2.0% pace in the second quarter, economists say. However, underlying demand is relatively weak. Consumer spending rose at a 1.8% rate in the first quarter, down from 4.4% growth in the fourth quarter.

Layoffs Are Rare, Jobless Claims Data Suggest

MarketWatch (05/28/15) Jeffry Bartash

Although more people applied for unemployment benefits in late May, most employees have job security. Employers are laying off the fewest number of employees since the government began keeping track several decades ago. Indeed, many employers say they cannot find a sufficient number of skilled job applicants and they are reluctant to lay off experienced personnel. Some are increasing salaries to attract skilled employees.

That said, the labor market hasn’t fully recovered from the recession. Approximately 17 million people who want full-time jobs can’t find one; 17 million is an unusually high number nearly seven years after a recession. Furthermore, the percentage of able-bodied people age 16 or older in the workforce is at the lowest level since the late 1970s.

Two Weeks Left to Save on Staffing World® Registration

Staffing World 2015, the largest, most comprehensive convention and expo in the staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions industry, will take place Oct. 27–29 in Nashville, TN—and you can save up to $300 per person when you register by June 12.

Headlining the convention are three world-class keynote speakers:Stephen J. Dubner, award-winning journalist and co-author of books such as Freakonomics and When to Rob a Bank: And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants; Jim Clifton, chairman and chief executive officer of Gallup; and Seth Mattison, founder and chief movement officer of FutureSight Labs.

Go to to see the topics and session titles planned for this year’s convention, plus the agenda, exhibitor information, and more. ASA members get a discount on registration, so join ASA and save even more.

Welcome New ASA Members

The ASA board of directors and staff welcome the following new members, which joined during the week ending May 24.

Adams Staffing
Mason, OH

The CPI Group LLC
Columbus, MS

ExecuTeam Staffing
Houston, TX

Extra Resource Staffing LLC
Rochester Hills, MI

FJC Personnel LLC
Round Rock, TX

Hispanic Business Human Resources
Orlando, FL

Temps Plus Staffing Services
McAllen, TX

Total Staffing Solutions
Cincinnati, OH

Twenty Bridge LLC
New York, NY

Vantage Recruiters
Mobile, AL

Is your firm interested in joining ASA? Contact the membership department at 703-253-2020 or

Department of Labor and Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council Propose Guidance, Rule to Implement Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive OrderM

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