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Volt Information Sciences Inc.: Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2019 Results

Volt Information Sciences Inc. reported net revenue of $258.4 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019, down 2.4% from $264.8 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018. The company reported a net loss of $749,000, compared with a net loss of $2.9 million in the year-ago quarter. Over the same period, North American staffing revenue totaled $216.6 million, down from $220.5 million, and international staffing revenue totaled $30.6 million, up from $27.3 million.

For all of fiscal year 2019, net revenue totaled $997.1 million, down 4.0% from $1.0 billion in fiscal year 2018. The company reported a net loss of $15.2 million, compared with a net loss of $32.7 million for fiscal year 2018. Over the same period, North American staffing revenue totaled $830.9 million, down from $860.5 million, and international staffing revenue totaled $114.4 million, from $117.4 million.

Linda Perneau, president and chief executive officer, said, “We exited or de-emphasized less profitable businesses, while placing a greater focus on growing business with attractive margin profiles. We did this while implementing significant cost savings, organizational changes, process changes, and updates to our systems. The positive results of these changes are just beginning to manifest in the form of improved financials.”

Beige Book: Modest Economic Growth Amidst Tight Labor Market

Economic activity generally continued to expand modestly in the final six weeks of 2019, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s “beige book.” Manufacturing activity remained essentially flat in most districts. Business in nonfinancial services was mixed but, on balance, growing modestly.

Employment was steady to rising modestly in most districts, while labor markets remained tight. Most districts cited widespread labor shortages as a factor constraining job growth. A few districts noted brisk demand for professional, technical, and managerial workers. A number of Districts reported job cuts or reduced hiring among manufacturers, and there were scattered reports of job cuts in the transportation and energy sectors. Wage growth was characterized as modest or moderate in most districts—similar to the prior reporting period—and there were scattered reports of wage increases from year-end hikes in minimum wages. A few districts also noted the use of benefits, incentives, training programs, and automation to reduce vacancies.

Jobless Claims Fall Fifth Straight Week

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits in early January declined for the fifth consecutive week, signalling the labor market is sturdy. Jobless claims dropped by 10,000 to 204,000 in the week ended Jan. 11, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a reading of 220,000. The monthly average of new claims declined to 216,250 from 224,000.

Claims declined to a 50-year low of 193,000 last April and have mostly hovered in the low 200,000s since then. Some companies have cut employment in the past few months, primarily in manufacturing, energy, and transportation. However, layoff figures remain very low.

Philly Fed: Manufacturing Rose in January

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia says manufacturing activity in the region increased this month, according to firms responding to the January Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey. The survey’s indicators for current activity, new orders, shipments, and employment were all positive and increased from their readings in December. The survey’s future activity indexes remained at relatively high readings, suggesting continued optimism about growth for the next six months.

Nearly 28% of the firms reported higher employment, while 9% reported lower
employment. The average workweek index remained positive but edged down three points.

Newly Revised ASA Certification Books Available

ASA has published updated editions of Co-Employment: Employer Liability Issues in Third-Party Staffing Arrangements (9th Edition) and Employment Law for Staffing Professionals (14th Edition), which are available as print textbooks and ebooks. The new editions were reviewed by legal experts and revised with new content that’s relevant to your business. Get more information and order online at americanstaffing.net.

Boost Your Marketing Efforts With the ‘Why Staffing?’ Brochure

Looking for a great way to complement your marketing efforts to potential clients and candidates? The new “Why Staffing?” brochure features updated data and infographics that effectively communicate the benefits of working with a staffing company. The colorful design and powerful messaging make this an ideal marketing tool—use it to differentiate your company by marketing your standing as an ASA member. ASA members can order the “Why Staffing?” brochure at americanstaffing.net.

The Latest From Your Colleagues on ASA Central

ASA Central—the dynamic online community just for staffing professionals—is home to more than 20,000 staffing professional profiles and countless ongoing industry conversations. This week, take a look at your colleagues’ discussions and some of the blogs they’ve posted on ASA Central: Get involved with the community—update your profile today so you can network with colleagues, join a section community, recommend and comment on your colleagues’ posts, and share your own blog or discussion post. Log in to ASA Central now.