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Fed: Increased Demand for Staffing Despite Labor Market Tightness

Economic activity continued to expand across most regions and sectors from July to mid-August, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s latest report on regional economies (known as the “beige book”). Most districts reported modest to moderate growth in overall labor demand.

Staffing services contacts from most districts reported increases in labor demand and in hiring activity and a tightening labor market, with some districts citing particular shortages of specialized software and information technology workers, skilled trades workers, and truck drivers. Wages were relatively stable in most districts, with slight to moderate increases since the previous report. However, several districts reported increasing wage pressures caused by labor market tightening.

Small-Business Hiring Picks Up

Wall Street Journal (09/03/15) James Freeman

Hiring at small businesses increased in August, according to the National Federation of Independent Business. The report found that NFIB members added a net 0.13 workers per firm in recent months, marking a better level than July’s 0.05 reading. The numbers represent “a large improvement in hiring activity,” according to NFIB’s William Dunkelberg. Despite the volatility on Wall Street this month and the fact that business conditions may not be large enough to pull the economy out of “the same old 2-2.5% rut” for gross domestic product growth in the second half of the year, Dunkelberg says he expects the U.S. Department of Labor’s August employment report to show job gains of 250,000 or more.

U.S. Jobless Claims Climb 12,000 to 282,000

MarketWatch (09/03/15) Jeffry Bartash

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose by 12,000 to 282,000 in the week ended Aug. 29, its highest level in two months, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast new claims of 271,000. The four-week average of new claims rose by 3,250 to a seasonally adjusted 275,500.

Factory Orders Rise in July

Reuters (09/02/15) Lucia Mutikani

Orders for U.S. factory goods increased for a second consecutive month in July on robust demand for automobiles. New orders for manufactured goods rose 0.4% after an upwardly revised 2.2% increase in June, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast factory orders would increase 0.9% in July after rising 1.8% in June. Orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft rose 2.1%.

New ASA Certification Packages and Books Released

ASA has just published updated editions of Co-Employment: Employer Liability Issues in Third-Party Staffing Arrangements and Employment Law for Staffing Professionals, which are available as print textbooks and ebooks. ASA also released updated Certified Staffing Professional® and Technical Services CertifiedSM certification packages, which include the new textbooks, new federal and state workbooks and exam questions, and a new video-based study tool.

Get more information and order online at