U.S. Economy Reports First Job Losses In Seven Years
The U.S. economy reported its first job losses since 2010. The labor market lost 33,000 jobs last month, the government reported on Friday.
Economists had expected a rough report because of the hurricanes, but the results were even weaker than predicted, though they could always be revised upwards in a future report.
“Job growth should resume in October as the impact of the storms fades, and in fact will get a boost through the rest of this year and into 2018 because of rebuilding efforts, supported by federal aid and insurance payments,” PNC chief economist Gus Faucher said in a statement.
Top Republican and Democratic House leaders acknowledged the devastating effects of the hurricanes and used Friday’s report to spar over GOP plans for tax reform.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said “it’s clear from this jobs report that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma not only devastated communities in Texas and Florida, they devastated their local economies as well.”
“By passing a budget that paves the way for tax reform, the House took a major step yesterday toward creating more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks,” Brady said.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) shot back saying, “the devastation of the hurricanes has laid bare the corrosive effect of the Republican Congress’ total refusal to act on jobs and wages for working families.”
“Republicans should abandon their job-killing giveaways for the richest and focus on raising wages and creating jobs for hard-working Americans,” she said.
“Instead, the GOP is pushing a budget that would devastate America’s investments in good-paying jobs, growing wages and dignified retirements — all to fast-track deficit-exploding, multi-trillion dollar tax breaks for the wealthiest 1 percent.”
Job growth in August and July was revised down, to 38,000 less than previously reported, though the unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent, the lowest in 16 years.
Riding on the Obama boom, the economy has added an average of 172,000 jobs a month over the past year, taking the unemployment rate to 4.2 percent, the lowest in 16 years.
But with the September figures, the job gains dropped to a 91,000 average over the past three months.