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Semper’s Q2 Survey Analysis – April 2008

April 28, 2008

First, Thank You all for the huge number of responses. 

We honestly use this survey as a benefit for the industry in general 

and not for commercial reasons.


I think we all can be glad the first quarter is over; except for the fact that the 

second quarter, so far, seems to be even worse then the first. The last 2 

months have seen a severe contraction in most areas of the economy and 

in all geographic areas. The Fed’s actions last Summer came several sessions 

too late to avoid this contraction. The relentless negativity from the media over 

the last two years reached a crescendo of hysteria in August that has scarcely 

abated till just recently. We all are grateful for the news media’s recent more 

positive bias!!


A Big question now is have the stock markets hit bottom? If so, then the 

recovery will be approximately six months from that bottom. If you look at the 

current stock charts for Apple, the Dow and the NASDAQ over the last two 

years, It appears that we have hit the bottom and are on the upturn (barring 

another terrorist shock). If the charts are correct, then we should start to see 

improvements as early as September – October. Flex Staffing tends to be a 

leading indicator, like the stock market, so we at Semper should see improvement 

three to four months after the bottom. We will let you know. 


Another BIG change in the Industry this year was the demise of Annual report 

printing. One manager I spoke to, mentioned that last year they printed 100 Annual 

reports- this season only four. The result of the SEC allowing companies to post 

the reports “online.” This single change has had a huge negative impact in that 

segment of the industry. I think of what will happen to Blockbuster and the movie 

theatre chains once the movie studios release first run movies directly online. It 

will likely be a similar issue- MAYBE I should sell any holdings.


Now to the survey results:


As you recall, the results are in the new easier to read and understand format 

which reduces the need for commentary.


The question on profitability I am sure is high on everyone’s list. The trend line is 

clearly indicative of the stress we would expect to see ; this is a MACRO issue 

not just your firm.


The question on profitability I am sure is high on everyone’s list. The trend line 

is clearly indicative of the stress we would expect to see ; this is a MACRO issue 

not just your firm.


The hiring question reinforces the above two responses. Hiring has dropped off, 

but it seems staying at the same staffing level is the course most firms are going 

with. Maybe others agree that things will improve sooner than later. (br>

Clearly, keeping expenses limited is on everyone’s mind, with base pay and benefit 

costs showing big jumps in concern from respondents. Supply costs in general are 

now the largest percent concern of firms as opposed to technology issues.


In closing, we see positive news here in the expectations of sales for this quarter. 

Take a close look at the actual results and feel free to ask questions or give 

feedback –


Click here to view the Survey:


Thank You

One Comment leave one →
  1. Adam permalink
    April 28, 2008 6:58 pm

    What was the sample size? I would find it helpful to also see descriptive statistics of the sample as well.

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