Hurricanes Harvey, Irma Expected to Dim U.S. Jobs Growth in Short Term
U.S. job growth probably slowed further in September as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma left displaced workers temporarily unemployed and delayed hiring, the latest indication that the storms undercut economic activity in the third quarter, reported Reuters.
According to a Reuters survey of economists, the Labor Department’s closely watched employment report on Friday will likely show that nonfarm payrolls increased by 90,000 jobs last month after rising by 156,000 in August.
Payrolls are calculated from a survey of employers, which treats any worker who was not paid for any part of the pay period that includes the 12th of the month as unemployed.
Economists estimate that Harvey and Irma, which wreaked havoc in Texas and Florida, cut as many as 125,000 jobs from payrolls in September.
“We are going to get a lot of the jobs back and we are going to see hiring related to the clean-up and rebuilding into early 2018 as well,” said Ryan Sweet, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Economists say a weak employment report should not change views the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December. Fed Chair Janet Yellen cautioned last month that the hurricanes could “substantially” weigh on September job growth, but expected the effects would “unwind relatively quickly.”
“Given this, we suspect the financial markets will also take any hurricane-related weakness to the September employment report in stride, maintaining an elevated probability for a December Fed interest rate hike,” said Sam Bullard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, North Carolina.
According to the Labor Department, the Texas and Florida areas affected by the storms employed 11.2 million people in March 2017, representing 7.7 percent of U.S. employment.
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