Among the employers benefiting from Americans' continued willingness to spend is Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, based in Stoddard, N.H. Carlisle makes hardwood flooring used in stores, restaurants and hotels. CEO Michael Stanek said orders jumped 30 percent in the first quarter compared with a year earlier.
The company is hiring factory, sales and administrative employees to meet the higher demand. Carlisle expects to add about 15 employees this year to its 85-person workforce.
Friday's report showed that the U.S. economy added 70,000 more jobs in April and May than the government had previously estimated â¿¿ 50,000 in April and 20,000 in May.
The Fed has been buying $85 billion in Treasury and mortgage bonds each month since late last year. The purchases pushed long-term interest rates to historic lows, fueled a stock rally and encouraged consumers and businesses to borrow and spend. The low rates have helped support an economy that's had to absorb government spending cuts and a Social Security tax increase that's shrunk paychecks this year.John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo, said he thinks the Fed will announce at its September policy meeting that it will start reducing its bond purchases, perhaps to $75 billion a month. Chairman Ben Bernanke has said the Fed's bond buying could end around the time unemployment reaches 7 percent. The Fed foresees that happening around mid-2014. But Silvia said he didn't think unemployment would reach 7 percent by then. He thinks the Fed could continue its bond buying into 2015. Friday's report contained at least one element of concern: Many of the job gains were in generally lower-paying industries, a trend that emerged earlier this year. The hotels, restaurants and entertainment industry added 75,000 jobs in June. This industry has added an average 55,000 jobs a month this year, nearly double its average in 2012. Retailers added 37,000. Temporary jobs rose 10,000.