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Fed’s Williams Sees 2015 Interest Rate Rise as ‘Appropriate’

Wall Street Journal (09/21/15) Katy Burne

John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said in a speech Saturday he believes it is still appropriate to raise short-term interest rates before year-end, reiterating a timeline that remains the preference of a majority of Fed officials. In a speech in Armonk, NY, at a symposium on China and the financial system, Williams said there are “arguments on the side of the ledger arguing for more patience.” But he said, “Given the progress we’ve made and continue to make on our goals, I view the next appropriate step as gradually raising interest rates, most likely starting sometime later this year.”

Williams’ comments are significant because they typically reflect the center of Fed officials’ thinking on interest-rate policy. Factors building the case for the Fed to shift rates higher include improving U.S. domestic growth and unemployment falling to 5.1%, nearer its longer-term norm. Williams said he thinks the U.S. should reach full employment on a broad set of measures by the end of this year or early next. Headwinds include inflation that is running persistently below the Fed’s 2% long-term objective, and turmoil abroad. Williams said he sees factors like low oil prices and the appreciation of the U.S. dollar, which have been dragging down inflation, as transitory and he sees inflation moving back up to the 2% goal over the next two years.

Retailers Begin Staffing Up for the Holidays

Washington Post (09/19/15) Sarah Halzack

The retail industry is expected to add approximately 755,000 temporary workers during October and November, similar to the number hired last year. Filling certain positions, however, could be more difficult, according to industry analysts. While the improving economy may encourage consumers to shop more during the forthcoming holiday season, the growing popularity of online shopping may force some retailers to adjust their hiring strategies.

Instead of cashiers and greeters, for example, many retailers are in greater need of workers who can pack and process online orders. Of the 60,000 seasonal workers expected to be added by WalMart, 3,500 will be department managers who will manage orders that have been placed online for in-store pickup. Additionally, as the job market has improved, there might be fewer people willing to take physically taxing jobs, according to Frank Layo, a retail supply chain strategist at consultancy firm Kurt Salmon. Sally Lynch, vice president of national accounts at employment firm Staffmark, has similarly said that her team is already experiencing challenges in filling seasonal warehouse jobs this year. Lynch says that three years ago, a job could be posted on a job board and, just by that activity, be filled. Now, however, for a client with 100 openings, she must use “more aggressive recruiting and cast a wider net” in order to fill those positions.

Become an Approved Continuing Education Provider

ASA has launched its Approved Continuing Education Provider program, which validates educational programs that provide continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal.

Under the ACEP program, ASA reviews content from companies that provide educational material related to staffing and recruiting. If their material is approved, companies may display the ACEP seal on their educational offerings, indicating that they meet ASA standards for quality and content. The ACEP seal distinguishes industry trainers, suppliers, and staffing companies that have been approved to award CE credits toward maintaining ASA credentials.

Learn more and apply to become an ACEP at For assistance, contact Emily Lawson or call 703-253-1145.