What Today's Lack Of Jobs Report Reveals About Washington's Priorities
"Due to the lapse in funding, the Employment Situation release which provides data on employment during the month of September, compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), will not be issued as scheduled on Friday October 4, 2013. An alternative release date has not been scheduled."
This short memo appeared on the U.S. Department of Labor's website Friday morning. Another wearisome result of the recent government shutdown is that September's national jobs report has not been released, much to the concern of U.S. economists.
The jobs report, which released the first Friday of every month, is an important indicator of the economy's health. The main statistics derived from the report are the total number of jobs created each month and the fluctuation of the unemployment rate. The August report found the unemployment rate stood at about 7.3% overall, while job creation numbers were disappointingly low. The report also highlights those who are most vulnerable in the market. It shows double-digit unemployment rates for Black and Hispanic Americans and those under the age of 25.
The monthly jobs report is used it to determine a number of important issues aside from job creation and employment. It impacts Wall Street investment decisions and economic policies. Economists rely on it to look for signs of fiscal policy changes by the Federal Reserve. Chairman Ben Bernanke, for instance, has recently stated his wish for the Central Bank to cut back on stimulus funding before the end of the year.
While our economy continues its long recovery, it is worrisome why the government in shutdown would deem such a report non-essential at such a precarious time, especially since the ongoing shut down could have negative consequences for our economy. The D.C. area in particular may quickly begin to feel the effects as more than one-third of the area's economy is dependent on federal employment.
But amidst dysfunction, the BLS has been slashed to a mere three people. A report tracking our economy's health has fallen to the wayside as party members continue to bicker and attempt to gain leverage while their country pays the price.