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Jobs Report: Economy Shed 33000 Jobs in September Due to Hurricanes
07 October 2017, 12:16 | Vera Richards
United States employment data showed that 33,000 jobs were lost during the month of September as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma made landfall, causing severe damage and loss of life in Texas and Florida and surrounding areas. Total employment dropped by 33,000 workers, the first decline since 2010.
A bright spot in the report was average hourly earnings, which in September jumped sharply higher, rising 0.5% over the prior month and 2.9% over the prior year.
Despite the unexpected drop in employment, the unemployment rate dipped to 4.2 percent in September from 4.4 percent in August.
That's a sign that the low unemployment rate is pulling more Americans off the sidelines and back into the job market.
Last month, there were 1.6 million people considered marginally attached to the labor force, meaning they are available for work and want a job, but are not now in the labor force.
Average earning were recorded as growing at an annual pace of 2.9 per cent, up from 2.7 per cent previously, and higher than the 2.5 per cent Wall Street analysts had pencilled in.
The United States' almost seven-year streak of job growth came to an end in September, as employers cut 33,000 jobs.
One thing to note regarding September's jobs report is the fact that the US was battling a series of hurricanes causing catastrophic damage. It was the first monthly decline in jobs in seven years. In a typical September, around 30,000 workers fall into that category; this year, that number was 1.5 million.
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Still, it is almost certain that, had it not been for the hurricanes, job growth would have been positive for a record 84th consecutive month.
Hiring could even get a boost from a temporary increase in the number of people employed to help clean up after the recent spate of hurricanes. The labor force participation rate, at 63.1 percent, changed little over the month and has shown little movement over the year. That's true even if those employees returned to work after the storm passed or will return. They could have been skewed, however, by the fact that many low-wage employees stayed away from work after the hurricanes. Low-wage, hourly workers in other industries may also have been disproportionately affected by the storm.
The FTSE 100 was 0.08 percent up at 7,514.26 points as of 15:00 BST on Friday, 06 October 2017. For both surveys, national estimates do not include Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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