Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ASA Staffing Index Highest Since 2008 for Week 12

The American Staffing Association reported today that its weekly Staffing Index of temporary and contract employment increased to a year-to-date high of 89 for the week ending March 18, which was almost 5% above the year-ago level and about 1% above the previous week.  For Week 12, it was the highest reading since 2008 (see chart above), and just slightly below the comparable week in 2007.  As a leading indicator of future, broader-based labor demand, the upward trend in the Staffing Index this year would suggest that conditions in the  labor market will continue to improve going forward.  

6 Comments:

At 3/27/2012 3:53 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

NPR (I know, retch) is doing a series this week on the effect of automation on employment.

At least some Harvard and MIT types now seem to believe that automation is starting to reduce employment: more jobs eliminated than replaced.

Some low end jobs seem immune to automation, so far, and automation does create more high end jobs, but the middle is getting hammered.

 
At 3/27/2012 5:16 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

You cannot destroy jobs through automation. If goods and services cost less, then the economy has extra resources to devote to something else.

So, if auto repair barn gets new computer that reduces diagnostic time, and lays one guy off, it means they provide services for less money.

Consumers with more money buy more time at bowling alley, and laid-off guy gets jobs at alley.

It is a win-win for everybody. You get car fixed and get to bowl more too.

We have a shortage of aggregate demand, and that can be fixed by stimulative monetary policies.

 
At 3/27/2012 7:26 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

That is what I was taught, but some people are beginning to think that may no longer be true. Or that the game is changing such that the jobs that remain to be done are those with such low value it isn't worth designing a machine for.


One of my early jobs was setting up the pins in a bowling alley, before automation killed that job. What would I do in a bowling alley now?

 
At 3/28/2012 9:27 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Some low end jobs seem immune to automation, so far, and automation does create more high end jobs, but the middle is getting hammered."

So there are crap jobs and more good jobs, but fewer mediocre jobs? What's the problem

 
At 3/28/2012 9:28 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"We have a shortage of aggregate demand, and that can be fixed by stimulative monetary policies."

Didn't you just finish explaining that there was no shortage of aggregate demand?

 
At 3/28/2012 9:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"At least some Harvard and MIT types now seem to believe that automation is starting to reduce employment: more jobs eliminated than replaced."

Turn that thing off. You can't believe those guys.

Automation reduces the cost of producing whatever it is that's being produced. If that weren't true, the producer wouldn't automate.

That means that either you get more of whatever at the same price, or the same amount at a lower price.

Bowling is now cheaper and faster because of automation. If not you would still be back there going deaf.

Unless you are still standing outside the bowling alley looking for work as a day laborer, you have most likely moved on to something better. You should be thankful every day for automatic pin setters.

 

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