Steve Benen has the monthly jobs report for September. U.S. lost jobs last month for the first time in 7 years:
The job numbers were worse than anyone expected. While projections showed the U.S. economy adding about 80,000 jobs in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the economy actually lost 33,000 jobs in September.
It’s important to emphasize that these totals were heavily affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which depressed hiring. See, How Hurricanes Skewed September’s Job Numbers. [It’s also important to note that these numbers will be revised in future jobs reports, so the consecutive monthly gains streak could very well still be alive.] That said, the new job numbers still fell short of low expectations. What’s more, the combined job totals from July and August were revised down, and that can’t be attributed to hurricanes.
This is the first time the U.S. economy has lost jobs since September 2010 – seven years ago. It interrupts the longest streak on record of consecutive months in which the economy added jobs [This could change next month after revisions].
Here’s another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.
Economist Jared Bernstein explains, Thanks to Harvey and Irma, payrolls fell last month, but underlying job market remains strong:
Payrolls contracted by 33,000 last month due to the impacts of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The unemployment rate, which BLS tells us was not affected by the storms, fell to 4.2 percent, its lowest rate in over 16 years, and it fell for “good reasons” last month, i.e., not because discouraged workers left the labor force. In fact, the closely watched labor force participation rate rose to 63.1 percent, its highest level since March of 2014.