Tuesday, June 22, 2010

ASA Staffing Index at 82-Week High

The American Staffing Association released its weekly update today on hiring trends for temporary help and contract work, with the following comment:

"During the week of June 7–13, 2010, temporary and contract employment increased 1.96%, pushing the index up one point to a value of 90.  At a current index value of 90, U.S. staffing employment is 30% higher than the level reported for the first week of the current year and is 25% higher than the same weekly period in 2009."

MP: For the 22 weeks since the beginning of the year, the ASA staffing index has increased (or stayed the same) for 20 of those weeks, and declined in only two.  The index values of 90 for both the week of May 17 and the week of June 7 mark the first time in 82 weeks (since the week of November 10, 2008) that the ASA index has been at the 90 level.  While still below 2008 levels, the gradual upward trend in the staffing index starting about a year ago signals gradual, but ongoing improvements in the labor market for temporary positions and contract work.   

Temporary help employment tracked by the ASA is considered to be an accurate leading indicator of employment trends. According to the ASA, temporary job increases typically lead gains in broader employment growth by three months when the economy is emerging from a recession (see chart above), and the continuing strength in temporary hiring hopefully signals future employment growth for the U.S. economy.

15 Comments:

At 6/22/2010 2:24 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

"...continuing strength in temporary hiring hopefully signals future employment growth for the U.S. economy."

Let's hope so:

Unemployment insurance running out for millions
June 22, 2010

"At the end of this month, if Congress does not change things, 1.2 million people will see their unemployment insurance expire -- a number that will increase each subsequent month if no extension to benefits is granted.

"It's a pretty grim picture for these people," said Ross Eisenbrey of the Economic Policy Institute.

"There are no jobs for 80 percent of job seekers" (and) An estimated 200,000 to 300,000 teachers could lose their jobs next year."

 
At 6/22/2010 4:16 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


PeakTrader said...

...and leave the snark out of it, as evidenced by yesterday. They were telling nothing the unemployed already know. The only thing that was meant to be said is that it's open season on anyone whom is looking for work.

Either put some pressure on business to hire them in a direct, long-term basis - or extend it. Otherwise, strip the unrelated pork out of that bill.

It's one thing to pressure the unemployed. They have to take something that business won't take - risk and cost - in a temporary setting.

Pull out every single requirement stop that is used to narrow work. Make it progressively harder to refuse the unemployed (as some already are specifically refusing them right now). Then put the choice (largely) in the hands of the unemployed.

A staffing firm is more likely to screw over the party looking for work than the person providing the opportunity (and thus paying the staffing firm). What incentive does the staffing firm have to treat a captive market(the side that isn't paying) with any respect? None.

If you think it's a vacation, quit your job. Then write your resume to look as if you were part of that 80% for 2 years.

 
At 6/22/2010 6:34 PM, Anonymous morganovich said...

why compare this to household employment as opposed to u-3 or u-6?

neither of those measures looks to have the same correlation.

there has been a small uptick in payrolls, but the lag looks more like 9 months than 3.

if job creation is just keeping pace with population and unemployment (especially u-6) is not going down, is that a sign of recovery or just stabilization at a low level?

 
At 6/22/2010 7:45 PM, Anonymous Benny The Man said...

Morganovich-

I wish job creation was higher, but job creation is growth, meaning corporate profits will go up, property will come back,etc.

It is possible to envision a US economy with relatively high unemployment but growing at 2 percent a year. In 10 years, our economy will be 20 percent large than now, and profits will be way up, even if unemployment persists.

I suspect we will see heavier hiring in a few more years.

Unit labor costs are actually going down, not up. At some point, with profits up and uit labor costs down, I gotta think businesses will start hiring.

 
At 6/22/2010 9:30 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


I suspect we will see heavier hiring in a few more years.

The question is if they'll still have the same fear of hiring the unemployed that is here now.

While a bit of media attention usually clears that out - that's a lot of lights shined on a lot of entities who fear the unemployed.

 
At 6/22/2010 9:31 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6/23/2010 1:35 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The only thing that was meant to be said is that it's open season on anyone whom is looking for work."

Open season? do you mean I can finally force you to work for me even if you don't want to?

 
At 6/23/2010 5:59 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Ron H.
Open season? do you mean I can finally force you to work for me even if you don't want to?

--

It isnt that type - that already exists.

More like "it is your lack of employment that makes it OK to treat you as expendable and not worth any employment". Then these people complain that the same unemployed cannot find work.

 
At 6/23/2010 7:48 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, I've often wondered why the Economic Policy Institute label themselves as non-partisan when its staffed by a collection of neo-socialist keynesians?

 
At 6/23/2010 3:15 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Sorry Mark but I see weakness in the economy, lots of debt, huge deficits, high taxes,too many regulations, and regime uncertainty that discourages capital formation. We just saw the housing sales collapse, just as many of us predicted after the incentives ran out. We have seen Obama attack the wealthy, the health care industry, the telecoms, the energy sector, and other sectors of the productive economy even as he made clear that he will support the public sector with higher taxes and more borrowing if necessary.

From where I stand the US is looking like a failed state that is only as well off as it is because of momentum. It has not elected a competent president for more than half a century and tends to worship activist presidents who grow governments and reduce individual liberty. I do not see hope for a lasting recovery until voters sweep the progressives and meddlers aside and allow the economy to liquidate unproductive investments so that the competent can move ahead and begin to create real wealth.

 
At 6/23/2010 3:18 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

"There are no jobs for 80 percent of job seekers" (and) An estimated 200,000 to 300,000 teachers could lose their jobs next year."

So? What makes teachers who can't seem to improve American education essential to the economy? I might have more sympathy if the unions did not force boards to pay incompetents and deviants for doing nothing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/10/education/10education.html

 
At 6/23/2010 3:22 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Unit labor costs are actually going down, not up. At some point, with profits up and uit labor costs down, I gotta think businesses will start hiring.

If low labour costs were what mattered Africa would be booming. The US will not see job creation until Congress stops passing harmful regulations and uses the tax system to punish successful entrepreneurs. Why build a factory in the US when it has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world and a legal system that allows trial lawyers to destroy companies that have used prudent business practices?

 
At 6/23/2010 5:13 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


VangelV said...

You presume every single business is saintly and does no wrong.

Why build a factory in the US? Because there are 15-20m+ people who wouldn't mind work and could do the job?

Or do you just want a workforce and government that worships you like some of the Third World countries do (in the name of business friendliness)?

Why does it take regulation to do what was done in the past without it? I'd think that business hasn't been a willing and/or honest partner in the last 30-40 years.

 
At 6/23/2010 8:56 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Regarding taxes, it seems, when someone buys a new home, the implicit tax rate is about 50%:

New-home sales plunge 33 pct with tax credits gone
June 23, 2010

Each new home built creates, on average, the equivalent of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes paid to local and federal authorities, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The impact is felt across multiple industries, from makers of faucets and dishwashers to lumber yards.

The median sales price in May was $200,900. That was down 9.6 percent from a year earlier and down 1 percent from April.

New-homes sales made up about 7 percent of the housing market last year. That's down from about 15 percent before the bust.

The drop in new-home sales means fewer jobs in the construction industry, which normally powers economic recoveries but has remained lackluster this time.

My comment: The $90,000 in taxes on a $200,000 new home may not include the generation of indirect taxes through the multiplier effect.

Also, with home prices and mortgage rates lower (the 10-year bond yield is down to 3.12%), purchasing a home is even more affordable.

 
At 6/24/2010 12:46 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

You presume every single business is saintly and does no wrong.

False. Businesses can do wrong and look after their own interests, just like their employees, suppliers, and customers.

Why build a factory in the US? Because there are 15-20m+ people who wouldn't mind work and could do the job?

There are people all over the world who would like jobs. From what I have seen there are other places with better skill sets at more reasonable price levels but more importantly, in more stable regimes.

Or do you just want a workforce and government that worships you like some of the Third World countries do (in the name of business friendliness)?

I do not want worship. I only want to be able to take part in voluntary exchanges where conditions are not imposed by external parties looking to score political points.

Why does it take regulation to do what was done in the past without it? I'd think that business hasn't been a willing and/or honest partner in the last 30-40 years.

That is not your call to make. In a voluntary exchange both parties choose what they prefer over the alternative options. As an employee I can choose which business I would like to work for under which terms. I expect that businesses should be allowed to have the same choices about whom to hire under which conditions. You prefer a planned economy. I want a free one.

 

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