Aya Healthcare acquires San Diego-based locum tenens staffing firm

Aya Healthcare, a provider of travel nursing and workforce solutions to hospitals, acquired Locums Unlimited, a San Diego-based locum tenens staffing company. Locums Unlimited places physicians in locum tenens and temp-to-perm jobs nationwide.

Aya Healthcare ranks No. 7 on Staffing Industry Analysts’ most recent list of largest healthcare staffing firms in the US with $340 million in estimated 2016 US healthcare temporary staffing revenue. The company also ranks No. 4 on the list of largest US providers of travel nurse staffing.

The transaction closed May 20; terms were not disclosed. Locums Unlimited will operate as a subsidiary of Aya Healthcare, and the brand will gradually transition to Aya Healthcare. Locums Unlimited’s executives will remain with the business.

Although Aya has added locums agencies through its Aya Partner Network recently, this acquisition provides direct recruiting capacity to provide locums services to its facility clients.

“In this ever-changing industry, it’s critical that we evolve with the needs of our clients to provide them with the best value and experience,” said President and CEO Alan Braynin.

Aya also announced that locums services are now available through Aya Connect, its software platform to manage the procurement of contingent labor. Aya has added more than $200 million in new managed service contracts on Aya Connect over the last 12 months.

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US lowers GDP growth estimate for first quarter; big picture unchanged

US real gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.2% in the first quarter, according to the second estimate of GDP growth released today by the US Commerce Department. The new estimate is down from the previous estimate, which pegged growth at 2.3%.

While the general picture of economic growth remains the same, the new estimate reflects downward revisions to private inventory investment, residential fixed investment, and exports that were partly offset by an upward revision to nonresidential fixed investment.

Real GDP for the US increased 2.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

MarketWatch’s poll of economists had forecast GDP would be unchanged. It attributed the slowdown mainly to a slower buildup in inventories, and reported the revised first-quarter report doesn’t change anything in the big picture. All signs point to faster growth in the spring, with economists predicting GDP is likely to top 3% for the third time in the past five quarters, according to MarketWatch.

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Private sector in US adds 178,000 jobs in May as labor market continues to tighten

US private sector employment rose by 178,000 jobs in May from April as finding workers becomes increasingly difficult, according to the ADP National Employment Report. April’s gain was revised downward to 163,000 from the initially reported 204,000.

“The hot job market has cooled slightly as the labor market continues to tighten,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, VP and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “Healthcare and professional services remain a model of consistency and continue to serve as the main drivers of growth in the services sector and the broader labor market as well.”

April’s jobs gain was below forecasts from economists polled by Bloomberg, which had expected ADP to tally 190,000 private-sector job gains, according to USA Today. Monthly job growth averaged a healthy 200,000 through the first four months of the year, but that’s likely to slow.

The number of goods-producing jobs rose by 64,000 in May on gains of 39,000 construction jobs, 14,000 manufacturing jobs and 11,000 natural resources/mining jobs.

Service-providing jobs rose by 114,000 in May, including by 61,000 jobs in professional/business services; 35,000 jobs in education/health services; and 33,000 jobs in leisure/hospitality.

Jobs in trade/transportation/utilities posted the only decline, falling by 23,000.

Large businesses added 56,000 jobs in May, midsize businesses added 84,000 jobs and small businesses added 38,000 jobs.

“Job growth is strong, but slowing, as businesses are unable to fill a record number of open positions,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “Wage growth is accelerating in response, most notably for young, new entrants and those changing jobs. Finding workers is increasingly becoming businesses’ number one problem.”

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