Labor Ready

Notes from a conference call with Labor Ready, which sends about 600,000 temps to about 300,000 businesses:
 
On the retail industry:
CEO Steve Cooper: “Retail is doing very well, and I believe that’s what’s driving GDP right also. Our retail numbers are up like we’ve never seen, and it’s hard for us to even comprehend it, actually.”
On construction and other industries:
CEO Steve Cooper:
“Construction across the board is down everywhere …”
“Florida has experienced a downturn in services and other and transportation. When contruction projects go down, then garbage pickups go down.”
“We’ve seen the port business, the shipping business, in California hold strong.”
 
On so many states increasing their minimum wages:
 
CFO Derrek Gafford: “With the volume of states that we’ve got this year and the demand for our services is somewhat softer than we’ve seen in the past, there may be some temporary setbacks …”
 
CEO Steve Cooper: “We haven’t seen our gross margins so far fall off. In January, we’ve seen a slight decline in the minimum wage states, but it hasn’t been huge. We expected it.”
 
On the UK vs. the U.S.
CEO Steve Cooper: “The economic environment in the United Kingdom looks a little better than it does in the U.S. right now.”
 
Thanks to Thomson Financial and Voxant for assistance with the transcript.
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