How hurricanes could distort September jobs numbers

Mitchell Hartman Oct 6, 2017
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Resident Mirian Medina stands on her property about two weeks after Hurricane Maria swept through the island on October 5, 2017 in San Isidro, Puerto Rico. Mario Tama / Getty Images

How hurricanes could distort September jobs numbers

Mitchell Hartman Oct 6, 2017
Resident Mirian Medina stands on her property about two weeks after Hurricane Maria swept through the island on October 5, 2017 in San Isidro, Puerto Rico. Mario Tama / Getty Images
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The September jobs report from the Labor Department comes out today, and hurricanes Harvey and Irma are likely to show up in the numbers in different ways. In Texas and Florida, where the hurricanes did significant damage, employees couldn’t get to work, workplaces shut down, job interviews got cancelled. All that could make job-creation numbers look bad. But wages could look good and go up a bit because lower-wage hourly workers usually don’t get paid if they don’t work, while higher-income salaried workers do. So, barring unforeseen events, the October numbers may give a better picture of how the whole economy’s doing.

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