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Jobs Report Becomes a Casualty of Shutdown

New York Times (10/03/13) Nelson D. Schwartz

Due to the federal government shutdown, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will not be releasing a jobs report today. Wall Street prognosticators expect the shutdown to last a week or so, which is in line with most previous shutdowns. More pessimistic observers aren’t so sure, arguing that the politics behind this shutdown are similar to the much longer 1995-96 shutdown.

Each week of the shutdown will reduce fourth quarter economic growth by 0.1 to 0.2 percentage point, according to Ellen Zentner, senior U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley. If the economy were robust, this would not make much of a difference, but given the slow growth of the economy and jobs, “Every 10th of a percent of growth matters much more [than in 1995-96],” says Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist at Barclays.