U.S. loses 33000 jobs in September after hurricanes slam Texas, Florida

Reuters

The index has been little changed after the US Bureau for Labour Statistics reported that the US had lost 33,000 jobs last month, largely on account of the two hurricanes hitting the country, marking the labour market's first contraction in seven years.

USA non-farm payrolls declined 33,000 for September compared with expectations of a gain around 85,000 for the month and this was the first reported decline for over seven years. The unemployment rate, measured from a separate survey, nevertheless fell to 4.2 percent, a rate not seen since February 2001-lower than the lowest rate reached before the Great Recession.

Economists had expected that nonfarm payrolls would grow by 80,000 during the month with the unemployment rate expected to remain steady at 4.4%. In the last 12 months, the industry expanded by an average of 24,000 jobs per month. They rose 5.6 percent (annualized) and are up 2.9 percent year over year. Over the course of the past year, average hourly earnings have increased by 74 cents. The proportion of Americans with jobs rose to a almost nine-year high. Hurricane Sandy struck in October 2012, affecting the busy Northeast, including the NY metropolitan area, but the economy barely noticed, falling from 203,000 new jobs that September to 146,000 and 132,000 the next two months.

The monthly data is based on a survey of households.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.9 percent) and Blacks (7.0 percent) declined in September. People are still considered employed even if they missed work and were unpaid as a result. The rate continues to rest at the lowest levels since the 1970s.

Some of the job losses were offset by strong gains in transportation and warehousing, possibly a positive sign ahead of a holiday shopping season that relies increasingly on online shoppers. "We're going to make up for it late 2017 and early 2018". The labor force rose a huge 575,000 and the labor force participation rate by 0.2 percentage points. But wages could look good and go up a bit because lower-wage hourly workers usually don't get paid if they don't work, while higher-income salaried workers do.

The Department of Labor released its hiring and unemployment report for the month of September Friday, and it's bad news for President Trump.

Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were hammered by Hurricane Maria, aren't included in the national unemployment report.

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