The government shutdown caused a data blackout at the federal government statistical agencies. The lights are back on but the view could be better.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) had the employment data collected but the processing and release was delayed by the shutdown. The Employment Situation report for September was softer than expected. From the establishment survey, total nonfarm payrolls added 148,000, with the private sector adding 126,000, a substantial slowdown from earlier in the year. The government sector added 22,000, mainly in state government education. The previous two months were revised upward by a total of 9,000.
From the household survey, the unemployment rate slipped to 7.2% based on weak labor force growth, moderate employment growth and rounding. The unrounded rate declined from 7.28% to 7.24%.
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