Hurricanes Impact September Hiring Number, But Unemployment Rate Drops to 16 Year Low

October 06, 2017

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey combined to result in a small decline (-33,000) in reported payroll jobs in the September employer survey, however, the household survey showed strong employment growth and the unemployment dropped to its lowest level since 2001.  The difference in the two employment surveys suggests the number of payroll jobs will rebound strongly over the next few months similar to what happened after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.  Payroll employment in bars and restaurants dropped by 105,000 in September as many workers were out of work because of the hurricanes.  However, several other industries continued to add jobs, including:

  • Health Care (+22,500);
  • Transportation and Warehousing (+21,800);
  • Educational Services (+13,900);
  • Professional and Technical Services (+13,000); and
  • Financial Activities (+10,000).
Most other industries were little-changed except for the information industry which shed 9,000 jobs mostly in the motion picture industry, which has lost 36,700 jobs (8.5 percent) over the past year.  Meanwhile, there are over 335,000 jobs waiting to be filled on, the Association's job board.