mostlycloudy
Monday August 31st, 2015 3:48PM

Sandy is thought to have slowed hiring in Nov.

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Superstorm Sandy is widely thought to have slowed U.S. job growth last month. The only question is how much - an answer that's expected to emerge Friday in the government's jobs report for November.<br /> <br /> Yet once the storm's impact is cleared away, the report may reveal that the job market is strengthening.<br /> <br /> Many economists predict employers added fewer than 100,000 jobs last month, and some think it was fewer than 50,000. That would be far below the 171,000 created in October and normally a sign of a weak market. The unemployment rate is expected to remain 7.9 percent.<br /> <br /> Analysts caution, though, that Sandy likely reduced the November job gains significantly. And some employers might have delayed hiring because of concerns that the economy will fall off the "fiscal cliff" next year. That's the name for tax increases and spending cuts that will take effect in January if Congress and the White House fail to reach a budget deal by then.<br /> <br /> If not for those factors, some analysts estimate the job gains in November might have been as high as 200,000. That would represent the best month of hiring since February.<br /> <br /> Sandy forced restaurants, retailers and other businesses to close in late October and early November in 24 states, particularly in the Northeast. Many people couldn't get to work and weren't paid. The government counts those cases as job losses, even if they are temporary. Those subtractions would reduce net hiring.<br /> <br /> One encouraging sign is that the storm's effect is fading. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits have tumbled in the past three weeks after spiking in early November to an 18-month high of 451,000 because of Sandy.<br /> <br /> Last week, applications fell to a seasonally adjusted 370,000. That's roughly the same level as before the storm and is consistent with moderate hiring.<br /> <br /> Payroll provider ADP said Wednesday that businesses added 118,000 jobs in November, down from 157,000 in the previous month. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, which helps compile data for ADP, estimated that the storm lowered the job gains by about 86,000.<br /> <br /> The payroll losses from the storm could be higher in the government's total. That's because ADP counts people as employed if they remain on a payroll - even if they're not paid. By contrast, the government counts people as employed only if they are paid.<br /> <br /> The fiscal cliff's impact on hiring may be harder to quantify. Even if companies aren't cutting jobs because of the cliff, the uncertainty surrounding the outcome is likely delaying some hiring, economists say.<br /> <br /> Measures of hiring fell in two surveys released this week by the Institute for Supply Management, a private trade group of purchasing managers. Some companies in the service sector told the ISM that economic uncertainty was delaying hiring.<br /> <br /> The storm also held back consumer spending and income, which drive economic growth. Consumers spending fell 0.2 percent in October, the weakest showing since May. Incomes were flat, after rising 0.4 percent in September.<br /> <br /> Work interruptions caused by Sandy reduced wages and salaries in October by about $18 billion at an annual rate, the government said.<br /> <br /> The U.S. grew at a solid 2.7 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter. But many economists say growth is slowing to a 1.5 percent rate in the October-December quarter, largely because of the storm and threat of the fiscal cliff. That's not enough growth to lower the unemployment rate.<br /> <br /> Still, many say economic growth could accelerate next year if the fiscal cliff is avoided. The economy is also expected to get a boost from efforts to rebuild in the Northeast after the storm.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Couch names administrative team
Ahead of his scheduled swearing in Friday, Hall County Sheriff-elect Gerald Couch named his top administrative team Monday.
6:28PM ( 2 years ago )
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Hall Co. officials launch health-based initiative for employees
Hall County officials believe healthy county employees will be of greater service to the county. With that in mind, they have created a health-based fitness initiative to provide free fitness training for county workers.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
Fiscal cliff may determine gas prices at start of 2013
Retail gas prices climb as 2012 comes to end. While gas prices are likely to rise into next year, whether or not a deal is made to avoid the fiscal cliff will determine if prices continue on an upward trend.
6:18AM ( 2 years ago )
Ga. ethics legislation could end free tickets
General Assembly approval next year of a proposed ethics reform measure could endanger an important fall tradition for Georgia lawmakers - free football tickets.
6:26PM ( 2 years ago )
Business News
9 die as tour bus crashes on icy Oregon highway
The stretch of rural Oregon interstate where a tour bus crashed through a guardrail and plummeted 100 feet down a steep embankment is so notorious that state transportation officials have published a specific advisory warning of its dangers.
6:52AM ( 2 years ago )
Al-Qaida carves out own country in Mali
Deep inside caves, in remote desert bases, in the escarpments and cliff faces of northern Mali, Islamic fighters are burrowing into the earth, erecting a formidable set of defenses to protect what has essentially become al-Qaida's new country.
6:50AM ( 2 years ago )
Missing Ga. boys located in Texas, father held
Police said two young boys from Georgia who were reported missing this week were found safe in Texas on Saturday and their father is in custody and facing charges.
10:04PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Texas-based Blue Bell resumes sales 4 months after listeria scare forces ice cream recall
BRENHAM, Texas (AP) — Blue Bell ice cream is back.Blue Bell Creameries resumed selling its products at some locations Monday, four months after the Texas-based retailer halted sales due to listeria co...
3:30PM ( 18 minutes ago )
US stocks edge mostly lower as market closes out its worst month in more than 3 years
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks remained mostly lower in midday trading Monday, but a spike in oil prices helped energy shares reverse an early decline. Investors continue to focus on the Federal Reserve, whic...
2:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
Fred is easternmost hurricane to form in tropics of Atlantic, 1st to cross Cape Verde Islands
MIAMI (AP) — Weather forecasters say Hurricane Fred is easternmost hurricane known to have formed in the Atlantic tropics, and the first to actually pass over the Cape Verde Islands as a hurricaneThe...
2:19PM ( 1 hour ago )
Flowery Branch considers a ban on panhandling and "urban camping"
Flowery Branch city councils will consider an ordinance Thursday that would ban "urban camping and panhandling" in the city.
2:16PM ( 1 hour ago )
White County mails property tax notices; due Nov. 15
White County property owners started receiving their 2015 tax notices over the weekend.
2:03PM ( 1 hour ago )