The monthly jobs report for the Bureau of Labor Statistics will not be released due to not having workers to process it because of the current government shutdown. Only three out of 2,400 employees at the bureau are still working during the government shutdown.
A spokesperson for the Labor Department cited a lapse in funding amidst the shutdown as the reason the report had not be released. A later date of release has still not been scheduled.
Only once prior to this was the jobs report delayed and that also was due to a government shutdown during January of 1996, when the report came out two weeks after its normal release date.
Since the recent recession, the jobs reports is a tool that has become closely watched as an indicator of the health of the economy, with every first Friday each month being nicknamed Jobs Friday.
Independent economists had expected that the new information from the report would keep the unemployment rate the same at 7.3%. They also had predicted that the economy would add approximately 183,000 jobs in September, which would be slightly more than Augusts’ 169,000.
This month, the reports was of greater importance as the U.S. Federal Reserve is monitoring the data to decide when is the best time to taper back its $85 million monthly purchase of bonds.
Even though the data for the jobs reports was collected through surveys taken over three weeks ago, the 3 out of 2,400 employees from the Bureau of Labor Statistics could not complete the report.
The surveys are given out to 145,000 businesses and government agencies as well as 60,000 households, but a staff of economists is needed to compile the final report.
A separate Department of Labor division however had a contingency plan in place to allow for weekly jobless claims information to be released during the government shutdown. That agency, which is the Employment and Training Administration, had only 28 of 1,100 employees working this past week.