Storm Clouds Do Not Block the Brighter Outlook for Workers

10/06/17 10:17 AM EDT

Storm Clouds Do Not Block the Brighter Outlook for Workers

Comment on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Report By Gad Levanon, Chief Economist, North America, The Conference Board

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Employment declined by 33,000 jobs in September after increasing by 169,000 jobs in August.

Given the impact of the Hurricanes in August and September, today's job report does not tell us much about the current trend in employment. Downward revisions to previous months, along with this month's report, provide reason to slightly reduce expectations about the current trend in job growth.

Today's report was more helpful in gauging the tightening of the labor market and wage growth. The unemployment rate, which according to the BLS should not have been impacted by the Hurricanes, dropped to 4.2 percent, the lowest since February 2001, and at the same time more people are getting off the sidelines with the labor force participation rising to 63.1 percent, the highest rate since March 2014. In other good news, wage growth seems to have accelerated in recent months, reaching 2.9 percent in the 12 months ending in September, and was revised upwards for July and August suggesting that this improvement is not only storm related.

Even if job growth does moderate a little in the coming months, the labor market is likely to continue tightening, providing Americans with more opportunities for better work and better pay.

About The Conference Board
The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world's leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. Winner of the Consensus Economics 2016 Forecast Accuracy Award (U.S.), The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org 

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SOURCE The Conference Board