June 1 - Declining confidence in the struggling economy caused by lackluster job creation is causing the head of Linda Tool, a small manufacturer in Brooklyn, New York to delay hiring new workers even though he has open positions. Jill Bennett reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL The news from the U.S. job market is grim - job growth slowed sharply in May with 69,000 jobs added, well below the 150,000 forecast. The unemployment rate fell for the first time in 11 months. Mike DiMarino owns Linda Tool in Brooklyn, New York. He planned to hire more workers until he heard the Labor Department's dismal numbers. SOUNDBITE: MIKE DIMARINO, OWNER, LINDA TOOL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Reports like this tend to heighten my awareness for my caution and I'm a little more cautious about, it just doesn't present a good scenario, you have to lay back a little bit and maintain the skilled workforce that you have and not put yourself in a position where you over hire and hurt the masses in my place." Employees are currently working 55-hour weeks, at Linda Tool, up from 32 during the recession, thanks to a 25-percent jump in orders in the past year. DiMarino plans to continue to bulk up on overtime instead of over hiring. He hasn't had a layoff since 1983. Other companies have also adopted the wait-and-see attitude. Economist Yelena Shulyatyeva: SOUNDBITE: YELENA SHULYATYEVA, U.S. ECONOMIST, BNP PARIBAS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Everybody is worried about Europe and in fact I think that's one of the main reasons, you know, companies are not hiring right now." STANDUP: JILL BENNETT, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: "While Linda Tool reports it has a backlog of orders, notably from an increase from the aerospace industry, it has seen a decrease from machine builders and says its materials suppliers are reporting some softening." SOUNDBITE: MIKE DIMARINO, OWNER, LINDA TOOL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Recently, I've been speaking to materials suppliers and they are telling me that they see orders slowing, which I don't, I don't like that scenario at all. I'm still actively pursuing people and the right skill set will have a job, but I'm cautious enough not to just hire anybody. I'll be much more selective." That caution is a worrisome sign for future economic growth; 5 million jobs lost during the recession have yet to reappear. And, as these negative numbers cycle through - company heads have little reason to put out the help wanted signs. Jill Bennett, Reuters