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U.S. loses 33000 jobs in September, due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma

U.S. loses 33000 jobs in September, due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma

That drop came even as the unemployment rate fell to a 16-year low of 4.2 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday...

The storm-damaged September jobs report featured a top-line decline of 33,000 jobs, the first decline since September 2010. The manufacturing sector shed 1,000 jobs after averaging gains of 14,000 new jobs each month since November 2016.

The report said the storms had "no discernible effect" on the unemployment rate, however, which sank by 331,000 claimants to 4.2 percent.

But a survey of US households showed that employment grew by a 906,000 in September, helping push down the jobless rate to the lowest level since February 2001.

Average hourly earnings for private-sector employees increased by 12 cents to $26.55. The employment rate of prime-age (25- to 54-year-old) workers, another closely watched indicator in this recovery, climbed from 78.4 to 78.9 percent, the highest since July 2008. It was the first time in seven years that the USA monthly total had recorded a fall.

The monthly data is based on a survey of households.

ThinkMarkets analyst Naeem Aslam said the earnings figure showed "that job market slack is fading".

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Adult men (3.9) and women (3.9) unemployment rates showed little change from August.

There are 23,000 employers in the 87 disaster-declaration counties included in the Labor Department's monthly survey of about 147,000 businesses and government agencies.

In September, the pool of unemployed individuals was at 6.8 million. That survey counted people as employed even if they were temporarily off work because of the storms. They could have been skewed, however, by the fact that many low-wage employees stayed away from work after the hurricanes. But last month, the closely watched labor force participation rate rose to 63.1 percent, its highest level since March 2014. The effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma contributed to the September's big decline.

The storms did not affect all industries or workers equally.

After Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in August 2005, job creation fell from 196,000 that month to just 67,000 and 84,000 in the next two months, returning to full strength, with 341,000 jobs that November. That's equal to about 7.7 percent of the nation's workforce.

Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were hammered by Hurricane Maria, aren't included in the national unemployment report.

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