Hurricanes take their toll on US jobs market

October 7, 2017
Source: BBC
Hurricanes take their toll on US jobs market

US employment fell in September for the first time since 2010 as hurricanes Harvey and Irma took their toll on the jobs market.

The Labor Department said 33,000 jobs were lost amid a record drop in employment in the leisure and hospitality sector.

It blamed the two storms, which struck Texas and Florida in late August and early September, for the slide.

Economists had expected a rise of 90,000 jobs last month.

However, Harvey and Irma did not affect the unemployment rate, which slipped to 4.2% - the lowest since February 2001.

The US Labor Department uses separate surveys to capture payrolls data and the unemployment rate.

Economists said the discrepancy between the two September reports suggests the jobs decline does not indicate a long-term trend.

Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services said: "Although the headline number for September is loss of jobs, the first in seven years, the labour market remains in good shape."

The strongest job gains last month came in health care and the transportation and warehousing industries.

But employment in the leisure and hospitality sector shrank significantly, while job figures in many other industries, including construction and government, were largely unchanged.