Impact of US Government shutdown felt in weaker-than-expected September jobs report

American economy still fragile, report shows

New York

American employers added 148,000 jobs over September, underscoring the still fragile state of the labour market as the Federal Reserve considers changes to its bond buying programme.

Analysts had expected the non-farm payrolls report for the month, which was delayed owning to the partial shutdown of the federal government, to show a gain of 180,000 jobs. 

The US Labour Department had been scheduled to release the report, which also showed that the unemployment rate had dipped slightly to 7.2 per cent, on 4 October. But the shutdown forced its Bureau of Labour Statistics to temporarily pare back its staff from more than 2,400 people to just three. 

The figures will be scrutinised closely by policymakers at the Fed, who decided against cutting the scope of the central bank’s $85bn per month bond buying programme last month amid uncertainty about the US economic recovery. 

Their task will be complicated further at this month’s meeting by the 16 day government shutdown as Republicans and Democrats argued over the budget, the debt ceiling and the President’s health reforms. According to Standard & Poor’s, the ratings agency, the impasse in Washington is likely to chop 0.6 per cent off US growth in the final three months of the year.

Although lawmakers have given themselves some time to come up with a longer term fix before the issues come up for debate yet again, concerns remain that the US - and the world - might have to endure another round of costly political jousting early next year. 

Against that backdrop, the Fed, which was expected to signal the beginning of the end of the era of cheap money before 2013 was out, is likely to keep its policies unchanged for now. Speaking to CNBC earlier this month, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans acknowledged that a cut in the bond programme was “a tough one” in October. “December? I think we need a couple of good labour reports and evidence of increasing growth, GDP growth. It’s probably going to take a few months to sort that out,” he said. 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Class Teacher Required ASAP In Uminster

£120 - £150 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: I am recruiting on instruction o...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wimbledon, SW London

£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...

Recruitment Genius: Magento Front End Web Developer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore