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March 24, 2015

ASA Staffing Index Reaches New Record Again

Staffing employment for the week of March 9–15 rose to 96.21, the 10th consecutive week in which the ASA Staffing Index has reached a record high. Temporary and contract staffing employment increased 0.38% from the prior week and was 2.83% higher than the same week last year.

This week, containing the 12th, will be used in the March monthly employment situation report that will be issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics April 3.
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Economy to Rebound in Second Quarter
FannieMae (03/23/15)

Inventory drawdown, unusually high snowfall in parts of the country, and the West Coast port slowdown negatively affected the economy in the first quarter, but the economy will improve in the second quarter, according to data from the Economic and Strategic Research group at Fannie Mae. Growth will improve moderately this year, rising to 2.8% from 2.4% in 2014.

Meanwhile, job growth remains solid. Despite concerns that energy job cuts, West Coast port labor disruptions, and inclement weather would weigh on February payroll growth, the February jobs report showed a pickup in net hiring to 295,000. The three-month average job gain moderated, but to a still robust 288,000. Over the past year, the economy created 3.3 million jobs, the best since 2000. February gains were broad-based, as 65.4% of the 278 industries measured by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics witnessed employment growth.

U.S. Consumer Prices Rise for First Time Since October
Wall Street Journal (03/24/15) Josh Mitchell; Jeffrey Sparshott

The consumer-price index increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in February from January, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, marking the first increase since October and the biggest since June. However, underlying inflation remains weak amid tepid economic growth. Excluding the energy and food components, core prices rose 0.2%. Economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.2% increase in overall prices and a 0.1% increase in core prices.

Over the past year, overall prices remained flat and core prices have risen 1.7%. Overall prices had weakened since last summer, primarily because of a decline in oil prices that has since eased.

Low inflation is weighing on the U.S. Federal Reserve as it contemplates raising short-term interest rates. The Fed says it will raise rates when the labor market improves further, and when inflation begins to move toward a 2.0% target. Many analysts believe the Fed will increase interest rates later this year.

ASA for You

Free ASA Webinar Today—Legal Update for Staffing Firms

Don’t miss the ASA webinar “Legal and Legislative Advocacy for the Staffing Industry.” It takes place today from 3 to 4 p.m. Eastern time. Find out about the current legal and legislative environment and what it means for your firm. This webinar is free for nonmembers.
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New ACA Data on Tap at the Upcoming ASA Staffing Law Conference

The 2015 ASA Staffing Law Conference is next month—April 28–29 at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in metro Washington, DC. It is the only event dedicated exclusively to the legal and regulatory issues facing staffing, recruiting, and workforce solutions companies. Register now.

ASA senior counsel Ed Lenz, Esq., will be presenting the latest data—not available anywhere else—about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting staffing firms. Don’t miss his session, or the rest of the ASA Staffing Law Conference lineup.

Visit for details and secure your seat today. ASA members get a discount, so join now and save.
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