USA economy loses jobs for first time in seven years

USA economy loses jobs for first time in seven years

Nonfarm employment fell by a seasonally adjusted 33,000 in September, the Labor Department said Friday, the first decline since September 2010. Seven years. That's how long it had been since the monthly jobs report went the wrong way, back during the second year of the Obama Administration. "There was no discernible effect on the national unemployment rate".

The unemployment rate dropped to 4.2%, its lowest since February 2001. Over the past year, average hourly earnings have risen by 74 cents, or 2.9%. Treasuries came under further selling pressure with the 10-year contract declining over 10 ticks to yield 2.39% while equity futures were slightly lower.

The fast food sector isn't known for paying its workers a lot of money - despite some recent minimum wage increases across the nation and moves by individual companies like McDonald's to boost hourly wages. It was the first time in seven years that the U.S. monthly total had recorded a fall.

One thing to note regarding September's jobs report is the fact that the USA was battling a series of hurricanes causing catastrophic damage.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria slammed the US economy in September, leading to the first net job losses since 2010, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Manufacturing was essentially flat for the month (-1,000 jobs), as were mining, construction, retail trade, wholesale trade, information and government.

The unemployment rate is calculated through a survey of 60,000 households. Employees who weren't paid during the Labor Department's survey week (of September 12) were not counted as employed. That's true even if those employees returned to work after the storm passed or will return.

Private-sector economists have warned that the jobs figures, along with other economic data, will be skewed in coming months due to the hurricanes. The rate continues to rest at the lowest levels since the 1970s.

"We weren't able to do our normal hiring spree that we usually do going into the fall", Harmon said.

That was despite a two tenths of a percentage point increase in the participation rate to 63.1%, as the number of people employed surged by 906,000. "Other parts of the report were much stronger than expected", wrote Jim O'Sullivan, chief USA economist at High Frequency Economics.

Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, did not affect this report.