U.S. sheds 30K jobs in September amid hurricanes

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It's also important to note that the unemployment rate continued to fall, hitting a more than 16-year low of 4.2%, despite the monthly jobs loss. Bars and restaurants lost 105,000 jobs, for example. The temporary, negative blip comes to us courtesy of Harvey and Irma, the hurricanes that roared through Texas and Florida last month, disrupting lives, of course, but also wreaking havoc with the BLS payroll employment survey.

"Our analysis suggests that the net effect of these hurricanes was to reduce the estimate of total nonfarm payroll employment for September", the BLS said.

In September, health care added 23,000 jobs, in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months (+27,000). That calculation would make Harvey the second-worst US natural disaster, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 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.

That was despite a two tenths of a percentage point increase in the participation rate to 63.1%, as the number of people employed surged by 906,000.

The unemployment rate is calculated through a survey of 60,000 households.

All those people fleeing south Florida to escape Hurricane Irma was bound to depress the number of Americans who were at work in September. 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 result was that higher-paid workers disproportionately boosted the wage figure. "Other parts of the report were much stronger than expected", wrote Jim O'Sullivan, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics.

Offshore oil-drilling rigs are already shuttering ahead of the coming Tropical Storm Nate, which is estimated to affect a quarter-million barrels of oil per day. One likely factor: Many low-wage workers were temporarily unemployed because of the storms, pushing up the overall average for a time.

The FTSE 100 was 0.08 percent up at 7,514.26 points as of 15:00 BST on Friday, 06 October 2017.

Employment in other major industries, including mining, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, and government, showed little change over the month.

The U.S. economy lost 33,000 positions last month, largely due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in more than 13 years. "The storms caused large-scale evacuations and severe damage to many homes and businesses".

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