April Jobless Rate Drops

By William Hershey, Columbus Bureau Updated 10:39 AM Tuesday, May 24, 2011

COLUMBUS — The monthly unemployment rates for Dayton and Montgomery County continued to drop in April, reaching their lowest levels since December 2008, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported Tuesday.

Dayton’s rate remained in the double digits, 10.1 percent, for the 28th straight month, but was down from 12.7 percent in April 2010 and from 10.4 percent in March.

The Montgomery County rate for April was 9.2 percent, down from 11.4 percent in April 2010 and from 9.5 percent in March.

It was the third consecutive month the rates had dropped in the city and county.

The April rate also dropped to 9 percent for the Dayton metro area, which includes Greene, Montgomery, Miami and Preble counties. That’s down from 11.2 percent in April 2010 and from 9.4 percent in March.

Across Ohio, county unemployment rates ranged from a low of 5.8 percent in Mercer County to a high of 14.5 percent in Pike County in southern Ohio. The monthly rates dropped in 87 of 88 counties. The rate increased slightly in Logan County, from 9.6 percent in March to 9.8 percent in April.

Among Dayton area counties, Warren County’s 7.6 percent rate was the lowest while Preble County’s 10.2 percent was the highest.

Among area cities, Mason’s 6.2 percent rate was the lowest, while Trotwood had the highest rate at 10.5 percent.

The rates for cities, counties and metro areas are not seasonally adjusted. The not-seasonally-adjusted April rate for Ohio was 8.4 percent. The state seasonally adjusted rate was 8.6 percent.

 Contact this reporter at (614) 224-1608 or whershey@DaytonDailyNews.com.

Economic Forecast

Economic growth in the U.S. is expected to continue through the year, according to a survey of purchasing and supply executives.

A Tuesday semiannual economic forecast from the Institute for Supply Management show expectations have improved for manufacturing for the remainder of 2011.

On the manufacturing side, the report projects revenues will increase 7.5 percent and capital investments will increase nearly 18 percent. It also shows that operating capacity at plants has topped 83 percent, the highest level since Dec. 2006 and an increase from about 80 percent at the end of last year.

“Much of manufacturing has emerged from the economic downturn and is experiencing significant growth,” said Norbert Ore, chair of the institute’s manufacturing business survey committee, in a statement. “Capacity utilization is back to typical levels and manufacturers are significantly investing in their business.”

Fuel Prices Influence Employment Decisions

DAYTON — The high cost of going to work has led some displaced Ohio workers to choose not to, instead relying on their weekly unemployment benefits, which can pay more than many of the jobs available to them.
“I’ve been looking for a job for more than a year, and I’ve only had two decent offers. They were both in Cincinnati,” said Lannie Scott, a former administrative assistant from Dayton who lost her job when the landscape company she worked for shut down because of the sour economy. “I would have spent most of my paycheck on gas and actually ended up losing money.”
Scott is among the fraction of unemployed Ohioans receiving maximum benefits, ranging from $387 a week for singles with no dependents to $470 a week for someone with one or two dependents, and $524 for someone with three or more dependents. One economist estimated that 1 percent of all unemployed Ohioans receive the maximum benefit.
But for them, their benefits — which were intended as a temporary safety net for workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own — often provide more income than the low-wage jobs that have defined most of the growth in employment since the Great Recession ended.
“It’s a conundrum,” said Ann Stevens, a spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Department of Job and Family Services. “I wouldn’t say you should turn down any job because unemployment will eventually run out. But if you have a job making minimum wage and an hourlong commute, you have to ask is it worth your while to invest that time and money.”
Even jobs paying twice the state minimum wage of $7.40 an hour offer little or no monetary incentive to look for work when gas prices and other costs are factored into the equation.
A job paying $15 an hour, or about $2,400 a month, would put an unemployed worker receiving the maximum benefit about $800 ahead of the $1,600 a month he or she receives in unemployment.
But gas prices alone would eat up almost a third of the difference for the average Ohio worker, who has a round-trip commute of about 20 miles, according to the American Community Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
At current gas prices of about $4 a gallon, a worker with a 20-mile commute, working five days a week and driving a vehicle that gets an average 35 miles per gallon would spend just over $250 on gas each month.
That doesn’t include child care, which can range from $125 to $175 a week or more; coffee breaks and lunches, which can top $100 a month; and laundry and dry cleaning costs, which can vary from as little as $10 to more than $100 a week, according to various industry surveys.
Even if an unemployed worker could replace his or her benefits with a $15-an-hour job, they’d have to find one first. And those jobs have become increasingly scarce.
The economy added 244,000 jobs last month, making it the third consecutive month in which payrolls increased by more than 200,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported. But nearly a quarter of the new jobs created last month were in the retail sector, where the average hourly rate is just over $9.
Still, some economists and politicians argue that if unemployment benefits had not been extended from the traditional 27 weeks to up to 99 weeks in many states, including Ohio, the unemployment rate and government costs for providing unemployment benefits would have been drastically reduced.
Unemployment benefits skyrocketed to a record high $157 billion in 2010, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget. In Ohio, the figure was close to $3 billion.
Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics LLC near Cleveland, argues that without the prolonged extensions of unemployment benefits more people would have taken the best available job and perhaps tried to supplement income from a low-wage job with a second job or income from other sources.
It’s hard to say how many beneficiaries are content to rely on their benefits checks rather than actively seeking work — a government requirement for receiving benefits.
But another Cleveland-based economist, George Zeller, says the situation is probably more rare than most people think.
“The number of people who decide to sit on unemployment instead of going to get a job is probably pretty near zero,” Zeller said. “The unemployment benefit levels are so low for most people that the disincentive for unemployment benefits does not exist.”

“New and Improved”

By Scot Feldmeyer
BarryStaff of Cincinnati Newsletter 5/11/11

      You hear the expression “New and Improved” bandied about quite a bit. Especially in the world of advertising we hear about products that are “new and improved.” But I have to ask, how can something be both “new” and “improved?”  I mean if something is improved, there had to have been a previous model. And if it is new, how can you be improving on something that didn’t exist before?
      Yet, I think the expression is correctly applied when talking about the BarryStaff web site (www.barrystaff.com). Oh sure we’ve had a web site for a long time. Just about 2 years ago we completely re-did it and it was a definite improvement. Now it has just finished getting a complete overhaul, and I must say it is pretty impressive. It is definitely improved, but is it new. Well, some parts of it are new.
      Check out the new pictures of all the BarryStaff crew. My picture looks a lot like my dad if he wore glasses and had a moustache and was overweight. Be sure to check out the new “Customer’s Stories” section where some of our customers were kind enough to vouch for us as an excellent source for staffing and recruiting. If we did a good job for them, we can do a good job for you, too. Another new feature on our web site is our “Sports” section where you can check on the status and even pictures of the 4 youth teams we have sponsored. Cute kids! You can find it all at www.barrystaff.com.


       Hope you all had a nice Mothers Day. In honor of Mom’s special day, here are “Things I’ve Learned From My Boys” By A Mother
– A 3-year-olds voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
– If you throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on, sooner or later you’ll get a hit.
– A ceiling fan will hit a baseball a long way.
– The glass in patio doors won’t stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
– Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke and lots of it.
– Certain Legos will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year-old boy
– Play Dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.
– 80% of men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.
Hope we hear from you………………………………Scot

How to Follow Up After a Bad Interview

     Have you ever left an interview knowing something went wrong? It can happen for a variety of reasons: Your gut tells you that this is not where you want to work, you had an uncomfortable exchange with the interviewer, or you forgot the interviewer’s name altogether.
     Chemistry with your boss is pretty important if you want to be successful, and if that chemistry isn’t there, you can’t ignore it. In this situation, send a carefully worded email to the person you interviewed with. Thank him for his time and let him know you were impressed with the company. To avoid any miscommunication, convey that you don’t feel this is the right position for you.  However, leave the door open for future opportunities by making it clear that you would like to be considered for other positions within the company.  Never burn any bridges.
     Or maybe you just don’t want to work for this company at all. No matter how qualified you are for the position, there will be times when you just know that you and the company are not a good match. Perhaps after learning more about the position, you decide it isn’t right for you. Or you discover after some research and the face-to-face interview that the company is not to your liking. When sending an interview thank-you letter, express gratitude for the interviewer’s time and gracefully bow out of the competition for the position.
     A big mistake that often happens is forgetting the interviewer’s name. Somehow, you walked out of the interview neglecting to jot down notes or get a business card from the interviewer. You want to send the interviewer a personal interview thank-you note but don’t remember her name. An easy solution is to check with the recruiter, who can supply that person’s name and contact information. If a recruiter was not involved but you remember the interviewer’s title or department, call the company’s operator and ask for the person’s name (and spelling).
     Maybe there was a “once-in a million” problem. As this implies, it almost never happens, but there are rare occasions in which the candidate has had some negative interaction with the interviewer prior to the interview. There could have been impolite comments exchanged on the elevator on the way to the interviewer’s office or when you were both waiting in line at Starbucks. What horror it is to see that person sitting behind the desk when you come in for the interview!
     The best way to address this is to tackle it head-on. Before the “official” interview questions start, acknowledge the unfortunate incident that took place earlier and apologize if appropriate. Make clear that you don’t want it to negatively influence the interview. In your thank-you note, acknowledge that there was some unpleasantness between the two of you prior to the interview. Indicate that you’d like to put that aside and move forward with the possibility of working for the company.
     Interviewing for a job can lead to all kinds of unexpected situations. The key is not to get flustered. There is always a way to recover from an awkward interview so that you end up in a positive light and leave the door open for future interactions.

Happy Anniversary Erin Post

Congratulations to Erin on her 1 year anniversary! Over the past year, Erin has taken over all the weekly payroll tasks allowing us to devote more time to our clients’ needs. Glad you’re part of the “family”!


Blog by: Kerri Voelkel

In today’s social climate many people look with disfavor on the word “discipline” because they simply do not understand that discipline means “to instruct or educate, to inform the mind, to prepare by instructing in correct principles and habits.” No one who achieves greatness does so without discipline. Sybil Stanton, in her beautiful book, The Twenty-Five Hour Woman, accurately states that “discipline is not on your back, needling you with imperatives, it is at your side, nudging you with incentives.” It’s true that when you discipline yourself to do the things you need t do, when you need to do them, the day’s going to come when you can do the tings you want to do, when you want to do them. It’s also true that life is tough, but when you are tough on yourself, life will be infinitely easier on you.

Today many people want to be free to do as they please, but consider this: If you take the train off the tracks, it’s free – but it can’t go anywhere. Take the steering wheel out of the automobile and it’s under the control of no one, but it is useless. The reality is that until the sailor disciplines himself to be obedient to the compass, he will have to stay within sight of shore. However, once he is obedient to that compass, he can go anywhere in the world the sailboat will take him. Yes, discipline is the missing ingredient that will make the difference in your life. Discipline yourself today so you have a better life tomorrow.

By Zig Zigler

Another Thank You!

Big thanks go out to Jessica Barry, the best graphic designer on the planet, for her latest work on our new website design.  We know all the work that went into the design and it is certainly appreciated.