News Worms
News Worms


Hurricanes take their toll on U.S. jobs market

Hurricanes take their toll on U.S. jobs market

The U.S. economy lost 33,000 jobs in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.

The US economy experienced a shock fall in jobs in September, the first monthly decline since 2010.

From November 2016 through August, manufacturing had gained an average of 14,000 jobs a month, according to a statement by the bureau.

Despite the unexpected drop in employment, the unemployment rate dipped to 4.2 percent in September from 4.4 percent in August. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have risen by 74 cents, or 2.9%. In fact, the proportion of adults who have jobs rose to 60.4 percent, the highest since January 2009.

"We know that there have been sectors and localities faring better than the norm, but [the September jobs report] suggests that wage growth is spreading, finally", he added. September was the first employment report to register the effects of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The construction industry is also expected to see additional job growth in the coming months as companies see increased demand for repairs and renovations as a result of the storms.

Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said: "Unemployment is what matters, and this report therefore makes a December rate hike even more likely". Hourly employees in the area who couldn't work and missed a paycheck would be counted as not working, thereby lowering the September job gain. The number of people describing themselves as unemployed fell to 6.8 million, the fewest since March 2007, before the Great Recession began.

Meanwhile job gains for the month of July were adjusted downward by 51,000 and job gains from August were adjust up by 13,000. That's the lowest such level in over a decade.

The figures are judged unlikely to affect the US Federal Reserve's interest rates hiking cycle. The Labor Force Participation rate increased to 63.1 percent, the highest since March of 2014.

Overall, 152 million people are employed in non-agricultural industries, 122.1 million of them in private industry, 20.9 million in government, and 8.9 million are self-employed in unincorporated enterprises.

Workers' wages jumped last month, another figure that may have been affected by the storms. However, real wages - the buying power of workers' earnings with inflation taken into account - have declined 7.5 percent since 2006.

Puerto Rico, the U.S. territory also devastated by the hurricanes, is not counted in the jobs report.

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