U.S. economy loses jobs for first time in seven years


Ahead of Friday's jobs report the Bureau of Labor Statistics said some 11.2 million workers lived in the affected areas, about 7.7% of the U.S. workforce.

The storm-damaged September jobs report featured a top-line decline of 33,000 jobs, the first decline since September 2010.

The US has been experiencing one of the longest stretches of job creation in its history, with the economy adding a monthly average of more than 170,000 over the past year.

The headline unemployment rate edged down to 4.2 percent. Average hourly earnings also rose in September, with a 0.5% monthly gain and a sharp 2.9% annualized gain.

The PayScale Index, which tracks the change in wages for employed US workers, showed 2.4 year-over-year growth for Q2 2017.

For the first time in seven years, jobs have been destroyed in the wake of the hurricanes that struck the u.s. territory.

Other industries added jobs, including healthcare (+23,000 jobs), transportation and warehousing (+22,000 jobs), business and professional services (+13,000 jobs) and financial activities (+10,000 jobs).

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The September jobs report from the Labor Department comes out today, and hurricanes Harvey and Irma are likely to show up in the numbers in different ways.

Adult men (3.9) and women (3.9) unemployment rates showed little change from August. In the establishment survey, employees who are not paid for the pay period that includes the 12th of the month are not counted as employed. The number of people describing themselves as unemployed fell to 6.8 million, the fewest since March 2007, before the Great Recession began.

Hiring could even get a boost from a temporary increase in the number of people employed to help clean up after the recent spate of hurricanes. Another positive was that the labor force participation rate rose to 63.1% in September from 62.9% in August.

Workers' wages jumped last month, another figure that may have been affected by the storms. "The job losses were due to disruptions from hurricanes, not underlying weakness in the economy". That calculation would make Harvey the second-worst US natural disaster, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. That's true even if those employees returned to work after the storm passed or will return.

The FTSE 100 was 0.08 percent up at 7,514.26 points as of 15:00 BST on Friday, 06 October 2017.

The trio of major hurricanes last month devastated parts of Texas and Florida and all of Puerto Rico, weighing heavily on jobs.