December 22, 2020

ASA Staffing Index: Staffing Jobs Hit 2020 High in December

Staffing employment for the week of Dec. 7–13 edged up 0.4% from the prior week, according to the ASA Staffing Index. This week marks a 2020 high for staffing jobs, with the index reaching an unrounded value of 91 for the first time this year. It also was the narrowest year-to-year gap so far in 2020, with staffing jobs down just 5.6% from the same week last year.

New starts were down (-5.8% on average), with less than half (42%) of staffing companies reporting gains in new assignments week-to-week.

“While new assignments (an indication of job orders) are down, staffing employment continues to grow steadily—reaching a level not seen in the past year, which shows promise for the recovery of temporary jobs,” said Cynthia Davidson, ASA senior director of research.

This week, containing the 12th day of the month, will be used in the December monthly employment situation report scheduled to be issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Jan. 8.

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Congress Passes Coronavirus Relief Bill, Allows Businesses to Deduct PPP Expenses

After months of negotiations, starts, stops, and restarts, the U.S. Congress this week sent a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package to President Trump for his signature before heading home for the holiday recess. One of the key provisions of the bill represents a major win for the business community—which ASA had lobbied for over the past several months. In the section of the bill dealing with the Paycheck Protection Program, language was included that clearly states that business expenses paid for with the proceeds of PPP loans are tax deductible.

When the PPP was adopted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Congress made clear that any loan forgiveness under the program would be excluded from the borrower’s taxable income. However, in a notice published in April, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service undercut this policy by denying borrowers the ability to deduct the same expenses that qualified them for forgiveness. Business groups, including ASA, have been lobbying Congress to allow the tax deductibility of payroll and other expenses paid or incurred to achieve loan forgiveness. Recently, ASA sent a letter to House and Senate leaders urging them to support the deductibility language.

The stimulus package also includes additional funding for the PPP and allows small businesses hit hardest by the pandemic to receive a second forgivable loan. It extends all pandemic unemployment insurance programs and reinstates federal supplemental unemployment insurance benefits through March 14, 2021. The bill, which was included as part of the end-of-the-year spending agreement, is expected to be signed by the president.

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Celebrate the Industry’s Best Employee Training Programs—Read Staffing Success Magazine

This year, an elite group of companies received national recognition for their innovative and effective work-based learning programs designed specifically for temporary and contract employees. In the November–December issue of Staffing Success magazine, learn more about the recipients of 2020 ASA Elevate Awards and get a closer look at these outstanding initiatives.

Access the current issue and back issues of Staffing Success, and other ASA digital publications, at

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Make Yourself Essential in 2021—New Lower Prices on ASA Education and Certification Products

Show your employer how essential and valuable you are during a time that’s stressful for everyone. ASA makes it easier with drastically reduced prices on education and certification products, including the ASA Certified Staffing Professional®, Technical Services CertifiedSM, Certified Search Consultant®, or Certified Health Care Staffing Professional® credential.

Expand your industry knowledge and prove your worth to your company by earning a staffing certification. Learn more at, and encourage your employees to join the staffing industry elite.

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