Economists Quick To Dismiss Hurricane-Impacted Jobs Report On Twitter
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a net loss of 33,000 jobs for the country in September, the first monthly decline in seven years, but the market also saw the unemployment rate drop to 4.2%, a new low for this cycle.
Economists were slow to interpret too much from the report’s data, which was impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey much more than many expected.
“(The) U.S. storm-skewed report means nothing about anything,” New York University Center for Global Affairs Associate Professor Marc Chandler said.
In a statement released with the jobs report, Bureau of Labor Statistics Acting Commissioner William Wiatrowski said 1.5 million workers had a job but were not at work for the entire reference week due to bad weather, the highest level for this series over the past 20 years. Chandler said this, too, could skew the data in the jobs report.
One potentially positive report was the upward revision to hourly earnings in August, perhaps alleviating some concerns about wage growth following last month’s jobs report.
Following are some more of the takes on Twitter following the jobs report release on Friday morning:
After 83 consecutive months of job growth, the streak is over: 33k jobs were lost in September, down from the 156k added in August. pic.twitter.com/mGinJY7ceJ— Lucas Puente (@lucaspuente) October 6, 2017
Payrolls in hurricane-afflicted September worse than anyone anticipated: -33k.— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) October 6, 2017
Yet unemployment down to 4.2%.
Not good news but with a big *
There is clear bad news in the report: Job growth over the *previous* two months was revised down a total of 38k. Unrelated to the hurricane— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) October 6, 2017
But very strong news from the household survey, which says that employment GREW by an astonishing +906k.— Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) October 6, 2017
Non-farm payrolls falls by 33K, but the household survey shows employment growing by 906K! These are some noisy data people. The combined story says that the labor market continues to be strong.— Betsey Stevenson (@BetseyStevenson) October 6, 2017
Weak payroll number all about Harv/Irma. Note biggest spike in 20 yrs in weather-related absence from work. Underlying trend still solid. pic.twitter.com/MiNciXyZzH— Jared Bernstein (@econjared) October 6, 2017
Wage growth got a big boost from employment declines in low-wage industries. Not something to cheer about. pic.twitter.com/m7N40gy66Z— Jed Kolko (@JedKolko) October 6, 2017