The economy seems so gripped by uncertainties that many employers have decided to manage with the staff they have. They aren't convinced their customer demand will keep growing. Or they worry that Europe's festering debt crisis could infect the global economy. Or they aren't sure what Congress will do, if anything, about taxes and spending in coming months.But hey, at least there's more economic "equality."
All that helps explain why U.S. employers added just 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year and the third straight month of weak job growth.
"If you're anxious, you sit on your hands," said Chad Moutray, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers.
The U.S. government is also nearing its debt ceiling. It was just last summer that a bickering Congress rattled markets by nearly allowing the government to default on its debt.
State and local spending levels are uncertain or shrinking as governments try to shrink their own debts. The result is smaller budgets for schools, transportation projects and services.
Companies also complain that changes in environmental regulations and business subsidies are too hard to predict and plan for.
Sunday, June 03, 2012
Watching And Waiting
The era of inertia: