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AMN Healthcare to Acquire Stratus Video

AMN Healthcare Services Inc., a provider of health care talent solutions and staffing services, has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Clearwater, FL-based Stratus Video for $475 million. Stratus Video is a provider of video remote language interpretation services for the health care industry, and employs a network of more than 3,000 interpreters. The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to AMN’s adjusted earnings per share.

“This acquisition is the result of our continued efforts to positively impact patient care through innovative total talent solutions,” said Susan R. Salka, AMN Healthcare chief executive officer. “We believe Stratus will add great value to our clients and their patients and will provide further opportunity for us to expand in the virtual workforce and patient care arena.”

Economy Grows in the Fourth Quarter as GDP Gets Boost From Dropping Trade Deficit

The economy grew a bit faster than 2.0% in the fourth quarter of 2019, aided by a temporary decrease in imports and a resurgent housing market. Gross domestic product rose at a 2.1% pace. Analysts surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 1.9% rise.

GDP reached 3.1% in the first quarter of 2019, but growth waned to about 2.0% after the trade war with China intensified and business investment declined.

The view of the economy toward the end of 2019 offers a glimpse of what could be in store for 2020. Consumer spending has driven a record expansion now in its 11th year even as companies have reduced investment and production. Those trends are likely to continue.

Fed Leaves Key Interest Rate Unchanged, and Is Keeping a Close Eye on Coronavirus

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday voted unanimously to keep its benchmark fed-funds rate steady in a range between 1.5% and 1.75%. The central bank said the labor market remains strong, growth is being helped by consumer spending, and inflation is still below the 2.0% target. Fed chairman Jerome Powell suggested the central bank’s rate-setting committee is likely to remain on hold for quite some time, assuming little changes in current trends.

The Fed also said it is closely monitoring the severity of the deadly coronavirus and the potential for the illness to disrupt the global economy.

Free ASA Webinar Today—Background Checks

Don’t miss the ASA webinar “An In-Depth Conversation on Background Check Compliance.” It takes place today from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. Find out what you need to know when performing background checks on candidates and employees—including how to use social media for hiring.

All ASA webinars are free for ASA members, and most qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. To learn more and to register, visit americanstaffing.net.

Help Clients Understand Their Joint Employment Obligations

Are your clients confused about the various laws and rules pertaining to joint employment in third-party staffing arrangements? ASA offers a collection of resources to help staffing companies address client concerns.

The ASA Joint Employment Tool Kit includes a fact sheet about co-employment (the relationship between a staffing firm and its client in which each has legal rights and duties with respect to the same employees), a sample letter to clients on the topic of joint employment, model contract documents, and more. It’s free to ASA members.

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.