The U.S. Department of Labor won’t issue the September payrolls report today as initially scheduled because of the partial government shutdown.
An alternative date for the employment report, usually released on the first Friday of each month at 8:30 a.m., hasn’t been scheduled, the department said. The release includes the unemployment rate and data on payroll employment.
The report is the most prominent among the data releases issued by federal government agencies that have been canceled as workers deemed non-essential are furloughed. A meeting between President Obama and congressional leaders Wednesday failed to break the budget logjam that has led to the first shutdown since 1996.
During the lapse in appropriations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics “will not collect data, issue reports or respond to public inquiries,” according to its website. The agency “will continue to assess the situation” during the shutdown, Labor Department spokesman Steve Barr said earlier this week.
The jobs report is closely watched for clues to Federal Reserve policy and the health of the economy. The central bank has said it will keep its benchmark interest rate near zero for at least as long as the unemployment rate exceeds 6.5 percent and the outlook for inflation is no more than 2.5 percent.
Employers probably added 180,000 workers to payrolls in September, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
That would be the biggest gain in five months. The jobless rate is forecast to hold at 7.3 percent.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics delayed the release of the December 1995 employment report during a partial government shutdown that stretched from Dec. 15, 1995, to Jan. 6, 1996. The report was released Jan. 19, 1996.
Data on weekly jobless claims, issued Thursday by the Employment and Training Administration, will continue to be released during the shutdown, the department has said. First-time claims for unemployment benefits rose by 1,000, to 308,000, in the week ended Sept. 28, from a revised 307,000, the report showed.