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BLS: Staffing Firms Added 19,800 Jobs in June

“In June, employment continued to trend up in temporary help services (+20,000),” according to Erica L. Groshen, commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, commenting on the jobs report released today. Seasonally adjusted staffing employment was up 0.7% from May to June and 5.7% from June 2014. Year-to-year staffing job growth also averaged 5.9% over the past 12 months.

Nonseasonally adjusted BLS data, which estimate the actual number of jobs in the economy, indicated that temporary help employment increased 1.1% from May to June. Year-to-year, there were 5.6% more staffing employees in June than in the same month last year.

“Although the June jobs report was mostly positive, economic and employment indicators remain mixed and businesses continue to cautiously increase the size of their permanent and flexible workforces,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer of the American Staffing Association. “The decrease in the labor force participation rate and the lack of job creation in goods producing sectors suggests much of the economy is still struggling to shift out of first gear.”

Total U.S. nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 jobs in June (seasonally adjusted), BLS reported. Incorporating revisions for April and May, the data showed that monthly job gains averaged 221,000 over the past three months, less than the average of 250,000 for the prior 12 months.

The unemployment rate declined to 5.3% in June—down 0.2 of a percentage point from May.

U.S. Jobless Claims Hit Five-Week High of 281,000

MarketWatch (07/02/15) Jeffry Bartash

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits in June increased to a five-week high of 281,000, an increase of 10,000 in the week ending June 27, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast claims of a seasonally adjusted 275,000. The average of new claims in the last month rose by 1,000 to 274,750.

NFIB: U.S. Small-Business Hiring Takes a Breather in June

Reuters (07/01/15) Megan Cassella

U.S. small-business hiring slumped in June after five consecutive months of increases, according to a survey from the National Federation of Independent Business. Fifty-two percent of small-business owners hired or tried to hire employees. However, 44% of that group reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Twenty-four percent reported job openings they could not fill. Sixteen percent said they want to increase employment, a decline of six points. Meanwhile, 6% said they are planning reductions, up two points.

“Overall, June was a disappointment although not a disaster,” says NFIB chief economist William Dunkelberg.

ISM Manufacturing Index Rises to 53.5 in June, Near Expectations

Wall Street Journal (07/01/15) Kathleen Madigan

U.S. manufacturers are boosting production, according to a survey by the Institute for Supply Management. Employment rose last month. The ISM’s purchasing managers index climbed from 52.8 in May to 53.5 in June. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast an increase to 53.2. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The index is picking up after slowing in March and April. “We had some bumps in the road but we’ve turned the corner,” says Bradley J. Holcomb, who oversees the survey. “We’re in good shape for the rest of the year.”

Lowest-Paid Americans Lead Wage Gains as Job Market Tightens

Bloomberg (07/01/15) Steve Matthews

The biggest wage gains following the 18-month recession that ended in June 2009 went to full-time workers and those with college educations. However, now workers at the lower end of the pay scale may finally be catching up. Average hourly earnings in industries paying less than $12.50 per hour rose 3.2% from April 2014 to April 2015, about one percentage point more than wage growth for the job market as a whole.

Job Cuts Up Slightly in June

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. News Release (07/01/15)

Planned June job cuts of 44,842 employees were 9.3% higher than the 41,032 planned layoffs announced in May, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. The cuts also were 43% higher than a year ago, when job cuts totaled just 31,434. This marks the fifth year-to-year increase in job cuts in the first six months of 2015.

The first-half surge in cuts was due largely to the decline in oil prices, which rippled through the energy and industrial goods sectors. All told, the drop in oil prices was blamed for 69,582 job cuts in the first half of 2015. That is second only to the 86,978 job cuts attributed to “restructuring.”

“Retailers should be enjoying the benefits of falling oil prices, as consumers have the money they are saving at the gas pump to spend elsewhere,” says John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “However, it appears that consumers were hoarding that cash, at least through the first half of the year. The most recent data suggests that consumers are finally starting to loosen up the purse strings.”

Staffing Today Returns July 6

In observance of the Independence Day holiday, ASA headquarters will be closed Friday, July 3. Staffing Today will return July 6.

ASA Webinar This Month—Best Tactics for Attracting Candidates

Have you found that candidates are becoming harder to find, and that traditional recruiting methods aren’t as effective as they used to be? Learn how to get more active candidates to respond to your recruitment efforts during the ASA webinar “Best Practices for Recruiting Optimization.” It takes place Thursday, July 16, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time.

ASA webinars are $295 for nonmembers and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Join ASA and enjoy ASA webinars for FREE.

Welcome New ASA Members

The ASA board of directors and staff welcome the following new members, which joined during the week ending June 28.

A1 Staffing & Recruiting Agency Inc.

Bethany, OK


Charlotte, NC

Hood Legal Search LLC

Tampa, FL

Long Island Temps

Westbury, NY

Orbis Staffing Solutions LLC

San Antonio, TX

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