The September jobs report just dropped.
It showed that the US economy shed jobs for the first time since 2010 due to the damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
In the release, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said that the hurricanes affected the payroll jobs number, but not the unemployment rate.
“It is likely that the payroll employment estimates for September were lower due to the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey,” William J. Wiatrowski, the acting commissioner of the Bureau of Labour Statistics, said in the release.
“The storms caused large-scale evacuations and severe damage to many homes and businesses,” he continued. “Many employees in the areas affected by the hurricanes were likely off payrolls during the reference pay period for September.”
Employment in food services and drinking places fell by 105,000 last month, which the BLS singled out as a sector that was likely affected by the hurricanes.
“In this industry, a large majority of workers are not paid when they are absent from work,” Wiatrowski said. “Hence, if these employees were unable to work during the September survey reference pay period because they had evacuated, or because their establishments were not open for business due to power failures or other effects of the hurricanes, they were not included on September payrolls.”
Nonfarm payrolls fell by 33,000 in September, according to the BLS. Most of the losses occurred in the leisure and hospitality sector. It shed 111,000 jobs, the most dating back to at least 1939.
The unemployment rate fell to 4.2%, the lowest level since February 2001.
Irma made landfall during the September jobs report’s reference period, while Harvey hit prior to it. Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are not included in the report.