EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

October 23, 2013

US hiring might not accelerate if economy doesn't speed up

(Continued)

Consider Patrick Shrader, vice president of Arundel Manufacturing, based near Portland, Maine. Shrader said the uncertainty and brinkmanship in Washington have led his company to postpone hiring.

“As soon as we think the dust is settled, and we’re ready to move forward, there’s something else,” he said.

Arundel makes precision metal components for oil and gas drilling equipment, aircraft and semiconductor manufacturers. Defense contracts make up about one-fifth of business.

The company has enough work to support up to 10 hires, on top of its current staff of 80, Shrader says. But it isn’t ready.

“We’re not prepared to bring anybody else on board until we figure out what’s going on after Jan. 15,” he said.

Even as hiring and economic growth have remained tepid in recent months, the stock market has been roaring. Two key reasons: The Federal Reserve’s policies have kept long-term interest rates so low that many investors have shifted out of low-yielding bonds and into stocks, thereby driving up stock prices. And corporations have managed to deliver steady profit growth, in part by keeping costs down.

The economy has been growing at a lethargic pace since the recession officially ended in June 2009. Growth has averaged about 2 percent a year. Job growth since 2010 has averaged about 180,000 a month.

The burst of hiring earlier this year was probably unsustainable without a faster economy, said Sophia Koropeckyj, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. While companies were adding jobs at a healthy pace in the first six months of the year, the economy was expanding at a meager annual rate of 1.8 percent. Brief periods of robust job gains have raised hopes only to fizzle.

The weak economic growth appears to have caught up with employers. They’re now adding fewer jobs. That’s been particularly noticeable among companies that depend on consumers, like restaurants and retail chains.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
World/National News

Latest U.S. News
Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Russell Simmons, LL Cool J Visit Youth at Jail Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian US, UN Announce Deal on Gaza Cease-Fire Despite Moratorium, Detroit Water Worries Remain Faith Leaders Arrested at DC Deportation Protest Family Dispute Cripples Northeast Grocery Chain CDC Warns Travelers Amid Ebola Outbreak US Stocks Plunge, Wiping Out July's Gains Demoted Worker Shoots CEO, Kills Self Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit Raw: 2 Hurt in NY Trench Collapse House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve 3 People Killed, Deputies Wounded in NC Shootout Suing Obama: GOP-led House Gives the Go-ahead
Latest World News
Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene US, UN Announce Deal on Gaza Cease-Fire US Warns Against Traveling to Ebola-hit Areas Raw: Deadly Taiwan Gas Leak Explosion Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Raw: Smoke, Explosions Fill Gaza Skyline Today in History for July 31st Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Raw: Guinea Rap Concert Stampede Kills 33+ Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Graphic Video: 15 Killed at Gaza UN School Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Floodwaters Ravage Villages in Romania Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Photos of the Week