More Corporate Economists See Increased Hiring in Next Six Months

April 23rd, 2013

Wall Street Journal (04/22/13) Eric Morath

A significant economic slowdown may not materialize this spring after all, according to the National Association for Business Economics. A NABE survey of corporate economists released Monday found U.S. companies are more optimistic about the economy and plan to hire. Some 40% of those surveyed say their company or sector intends to boost hiring in the next six months. Just 9% intend to lay off employees.

“Overall business activity has been expanding for well over three years…we’re at the point where companies can no longer just pay overtime, and need to go hire more people,” says Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America.

Almost two-thirds of the economists surveyed forecast the economy will grow at a pace faster than 2% in the next year, up from 50% that projected similarly strong growth in a January survey.

ADP: Companies added 158,000 jobs in March

April 3rd, 2013

By Paul Davidson, USA TODAY12:29p.m. EDT April 3, 2013

Businesses added 158,000 jobs in March, payroll processor ADP said Wednesday, fewer than expected and possibly raising concern about the government’s closely-watched employment report for March, due Friday.

Economists had forecast that ADP would report private-sector job gains of 215,000. They expect the Labor Department on Friday to report 195,000 net jobs added in March. That figure would include the private sector and federal, state and local governments, although governments have been cutting payrolls.

Professional and business services led job gains with 39,000, trade and transportation added 22,000 and financial firms, 9,000. Construction companies added no net new jobs after several months of solid gains during a housing rebound.

“Construction employment gains paused as the rebuilding surge in the wake of Superstorm Sandy ended,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which works with ADP to compile the report. “Anticipation of health care reform may also be weighing on employment at companies with close to 50 employees. The job market continues to improve, but in fits and starts.”

Small businesses and midsize businesses accounted for most of the job gains for the third straight month. Small businesses added 74,000 jobs; midsize ones, 37,000 and large companies, 47,000.

ADP often reflects the same broad trends as Labor’s report, but the firm has had mixed success forecasting. Last month, ADP estimated businesses added 198,000 jobs in February while Labor reported 246,000 gains.

Total non-farm payrolls rose 236,000 in February, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7% from 7.9%, the government said.

The economy has remained resilient despite a recent rise in payroll taxes for working Americans and across-the-board federal spending cuts that started to take effect March 1.

This week, an index of manufacturing activity fell slightly, but its measure of factory employment ticked up.

Meanwhile, consumer and business spending have held up, and the housing rebound has picked up steam. Many economists are revising their estimates for first-quarter economic growth higher, to near 3%.

Important Reminder: May 7 Deadline for New I-9 Form!

March 12th, 2013

 

The USCIS recently announced changes to the I-9 form which will take place on May 7, 2013.

Here are some of the changes to the I-9:

  • Form I-9 is now two pages
  • Expanded instructions
  • New fields for email address, phone number and foreign      passport in Section 1

Employers are required to complete Form I-9 for all newly hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States.

Click here for more information on these changes.

You can download the new form here.

Heriberto Vale

Jobless Claims Fall as Labor Recovery Grinds On

March 7th, 2013

Wall Street Journal (03/07/13) Jeffrey Sparshott; Sarah Portlock

The number of U.S. workers filing new applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, the latest sign of a slowly improving labor market. The U.S. Department of Labor reported today that initial jobless claims decreased by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 340,000 in the week ended March 2. It was the third lowest number of initial claims in five years. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast 350,000 new applications for jobless benefits. The average of new claims over the past month, which smoothes out weekly volatility, fell by 7,000 to 348,750, touching its lowest level since March 2008.

U.S. Jobless Claims Rise for First Time in Three Weeks

February 21st, 2013

Bloomberg (02/21/13) Lorraine Woellert; Alex Kowalski

The number of people who applied for new unemployment benefits jumped 20,000 to 362,000 in the week ended Feb. 16, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today, keeping claims at a level that suggests slow but steady improvement in the nation’s labor market. The median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase to 355,000. The number of applications in three states and the District of Columbia was estimated because of the holiday-shortened week. The average of new claims over the past month rose by 8,000 to 360,750, putting it at the highest level since the first week of the year.
 

ADP Research Institute: Just Over Half of Eligible Part-Time Workers at Large Companies Elect Health Care Coverage

February 5th, 2013

Reuters (02/04/13)

The ADP Research Institute’s 2012 Study of Large Employer Health Benefits, based on data from about 300 nonunion U.S. companies employing 1,000 or more workers, reveals that 68% of the full-time work force selected employer-sponsored health coverage, versus 8% of the part-time work force. However, the number of part-time employees eligible for benefits is expected to rise in 2014, as the Affordable Care Act specifies that employees who work at least 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month are automatically eligible for employer-sponsored health plans. The study also shows that employers with more than 5,000 workers pay 14% less in health insurance premiums as a group than employers with 1,000 to 2,499 employees.

US – More Staffing Firms Focus on Culture

December 21st, 2012

The percentage of staffing firms that cite the creation of a “positive company culture” as a management priority has trended up over the past few years, according to a new report based on the 2012 Staffing Company Survey by Staffing Industry Analysts. That may mean more profitability.

“On average over the past three years, ‘creating a positive company culture’ has been the third-most correlated with profitability among all the priorities that we track,” said Theo Vadpey, author of the report.

The survey found that 14 percent of staffing firms in 2012 said “creating a positive company culture” is a top management priority. That compared with 12 percent in 2011 and only 6 percent in 2010.

During the height of the recession in 2009, the percentage dropped to 8 percent. And in 2008, it was 9 percent.

Staffing Jobs 4.3% Higher Year-to-Year in Third Quarter of 2012 New Data From the ASA Quarterly Employment and Sales Survey

December 13th, 2012

U.S. staffing companies employed an average of 2.95 million temporary and contract workers per business day during the third quarter of 2012, according to recent data released by the American Staffing Association.

“Even though the rate of growth slowed during the fall, third quarter staffing employment was the highest it has been in five years,” says Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer.

From July through September of this year, the number of temporary and contract workers employed by U.S. staffing firms on an average business day was 4.3% higher compared with thethird quarter of 2011. This is the 11th consecutive quarter of year-to-year staffing industry job growth since the recession ended mid-2009.

“The economy continues to struggle to regain its pre-recession footing and until businesses have more confidence and see sustained increases in demand, new permanent hiring will likely remain tepid as we enter 2013,” Wahlquist says.

Temporary and contract staffing sales in the third quarter totaled $26.63 billion and were 5.9% higher year-to-year.

Job Openings and Labor Turnover Changed Little in October U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (12/11/12)

December 12th, 2012

There were 3.7 million job openings on the last business day of October, little changed from September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Dec. 11. The hires rate (3.2%) and separations rate (3.1%) were also little changed in October.
The number of openings was little changed in all industries except construction, manufacturing, and accommodation and food services, which increased. The number of openings was also little changed in all four regions in October. The hires rate was also little changed in all industries and regions over the month. The total separations rate was little changed for total nonfarm, unchanged for total private, and rose for government. Over the 12 months ending in October, hires totaled 51.7 million and separations totaled 49.8 million, yielding a net employment gain of 1.9 million.

American Staffing Association Opposes Extending Unemployment Benefits

December 6th, 2012

ASA Opposes Expansion of Unemployment Benefits American Staffing Association (12/06/12) Toby Malara

Earlier this week, the White House and Congress made proposals on how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff-billions of dollars in government spending cuts and the expiration of tax breaks set to take effect in January. Although both plans focus mainly on tax increases and spending cuts, the president’s proposal is also seeking $50 billion in additional stimulus spending, which includes a one-year expansion of unemployment benefits.

As negotiations continue over the next few weeks, there will be political pressure to further increase spending for regular extended unemployment compensation and for emergency unemployment compensation-despite the fact that unemployment rates are decreasing and that the account funded by employer-paid taxes to cover regular extended benefits is already $20 billion in deficit.

ASA has joined other trade associations and more than 25 state chambers of commerce in a letter reminding congressional leaders that now is not the time to increase payroll taxes paid by employers and that it is imperative that any deal that is struck between the White House and Congress not make it more costly for businesses to hire employees.