Hurricanes Harvey, Irma awaits to low U.S. jobs growth in short term

WASHINGTON: U.S. work development presumably moderated promote in September as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma left dislodged laborers briefly jobless and postponed enlisting, the most recent sign that the tempests undercut financial movement in the second from last quarter.

As indicated by a Reuters study of financial analysts, the Labor Department’s nearly watched business give an account of Friday will probably demonstrate that nonfarm payrolls expanded by 90,000 employments a month ago in the wake of ascending by 156,000 in August.

The anticipated activity picks up for September would be the second littlest this year and well beneath the 175,000 month to month normal for the a year through August.

They would follow on the heels of August’s disappointing employment growth, which economists blamed on a seasonal quirk.

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.

Senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Ryan Sweet said, “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.”

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.”

The U.S. central bank said last month it expected “labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further.”

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.


Excluding the weather impact, economists say the labor market continues to tighten. The employment report would join August consumer spending, industrial production, home building and home sales data in suggesting that the hurricanes will dent economic growth in the third quarter.

Economists estimate that the back-to-back storms, including Hurricane Maria which destroyed infrastructure in Puerto Rico last month, could shave at least six-tenths of a percentage point from third-quarter gross domestic product growth.

Growth estimates for the July-September period are as low as a 1.8 percent annualized rate. The economy grew at a 3.1 percent rate in the second quarter.

Harvey and Irma are not expected to have an impact on the unemployment rate, which is forecast holding steady at 4.4 percent for September.

The smaller survey of households from which the jobless rate is derived treats persons as employed regardless of whether they missed work during the reference week and were unpaid as result.

There was probably no impact on the length of the average workweek from the storms.

 Ellen Zentner

Chief economist at Morgan Stanley in New York, Ellen Zentner said, ”There are competing forces at play in September, where hours worked in many sectors will see shutdown-related cuts, while hours worked for clean-up and reconstruction efforts will get extended.”

With the hurricane-driven temporary unemployment concentrated in low-paying industries like retail and leisure and hospitality, average wage growth is forecast picking up.

Average hourly earnings are forecast increasing 0.3 percent in September after rising 0.1 percent in August. Still, the annual increase in wages probably remained stuck at 2.5 percent for a sixth straight month.

Annual wage growth of at least 3.0 percent is need to raise inflation to the Fed’s 2 percent target, analysts say.

Construction payrolls likely fell in September, bearing the brunt of the bad weather. Manufacturing employment is forecast increasing by 10,000 jobs after surging 36,000 in August, which was the most in four years.

Source: Reuters

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