Another Casualty of the Shutdown: The Monthly Jobs Report

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ three remaining employees weren’t able to manage an on-time comprehensive jobs report this month.

Nobody knows how many jobs this country has right now because 535 elected officials — who shall remain nameless, but they usually have a “D” or an “R” appended to them — couldn’t do theirs.

Usually, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a monthly report about the national employment situation. It covers the previous month’s unemployment rate and job gains or losses by demographics and industry.

This month, that’s not happening, at least not on time. Unlike other government websites such as, the BLS site is still online, but it’s not being updated. Because of the government shutdown, only three of the bureau’s nearly 2,400 employees are still on duty, CNNMoney says.

“Since the recession, the report has become the most closely watched indicator on the economy, with the first Friday of each month often being dubbed ‘Jobs Friday,'” CNNMoney says.

This month, we’ll have to rely on independent assessments, like one written about by USA Today:

Businesses added 166,000 jobs in September, payroll processor ADP said. Economists expected ADP to report 180,000 additional jobs, according to a consensus forecast. … Small businesses added 74,000 jobs; large companies, 64,000; and midsize ones, 28,000.

ADP doesn’t always line up with the official numbers. It has differed by an average of nearly 40,0000 jobs for the past 11 months, USA Today says. But it’s the best we have for now.

Meanwhile, for all of Congress’ talk about job creation, its various budget failures and endless dithering are actually costing jobs.

Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi estimates that budget battles over the past few years have cost at least 1 million jobs already, CNNMoney says. “Businesses are more reluctant to invest and hire, and entrepreneurs are less likely to attempt startups,” Zandi told the Senate Budget Committee last week.

Congressional Budget Office estimates say the sequestration cuts that took effect earlier this year will cost 1.6 million jobs over this year and next, the Los Angeles Times says. Congress’ pay and benefits, meanwhile, go untouched.

On the bright side, you know who has hiring authority over Congress? Us.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

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  • smokey347

    at first i was confused because i saw the USA Today report a few days back. but now i understand. what you want is the rosy albeit less than accurate numbers obumo and his minions will spin. well i’ll settle for the USA report. not a big fan of fantasy reports.

  • A. Lincoln

    Ha! We didn’t know what the job numbers were BEFORE the BLS shut down, either, because the official numbers were lies. The government keeps redefining the statistics and excluding huge segments of unemployed people, to make the numbers appear lower than they are. (Pardon my laugh at your unintentionally ironic post, Brandon; I enjoy your writing on a regular basis.)

    As for your claim that the voters are the hiring authority over Congress: Not really. Yes and no. It’s like being the boss at a company with a powerful union: The Republican and Democratic National Committees, by controlling party rules for endorsement and funding, determine which candidates get on the ballot. No one who advocates significant change from the status quo has a chance. President Obama *talked* like he wanted fundamental change during his first campaign, but we’ve since learned the truth; obviously, the old-boy network knew his real plans before it backed him.

    No matter how popular, a man like Ralph Nader (liberal) or Ron Paul (conservative), who would really change things, has to run as a third-party candidate, or face shutdowns at party conventions and shutouts in the media. The odds for them are very low.

    • jaimie bisbee

      My Uncle Isaac just got a great GMC Terrain SUV by working part-time off of a laptop… helpful hints w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m

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