Hurricane Won’t Delay Friday’s Monthly Labor Dept. Jobs Report

Hurricane Sandy, which lashed the mid-Atlantic states this week, won’t delay the U.S. Department of Labor from releasing its October jobs and employment numbers. The agency said its monthly report will be out as scheduled Friday morning.

The October report has special significance as it’s the last one before the Presidential election Tuesday. How much the report will influence voters is up for debate, especially since economists aren’t expecting any surprises.

A Bloomberg survey of economists puts the average of their payroll growth estimates at 125,000 and unemployment up slightly from 7.8 to 7.9 percent. A Dow Jones Newswires survey  puts job growth at 120,000, with no change in the unemployment rate. TrimTabs, an investment research firm, puts the number at 140,000 new jobs.

Not much change expected in October report

Tomorrow, ADP will release its own job growth estimate. The numbers rarely agree with what the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the following day, however there’s been considerable discussion over the years as to which set of data is the more accurate. Wall Street watches both sets closely, seeing the ADP report as a portent of the official report.

The October ADP report will be even more closely watched as the payroll processor has brought on a new analytics partner and made significant changes to how it reaches its jobs numbers. In addition to adding more business and employee payroll records to its calculation, ADP and its new partner, Moody’s Analytics, will incorporate data from other sources, including the Federal Reserve, and will broaden the number of industries and the size of employers about which it offers numbers.

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Other indicators suggest not much change in the employment picture in October. The Conference Board said today that its count of online job postings was down about 78,000 during the month. The numbers have been seesawing for several months, leading The Conference Board’s VP, June Shelp, to describe labor demand as “basically flat.”

Consumers are more optimistic

Some states, she noted, have done better than others. Idaho and Michigan have each had a 10 percent increase in advertised jobs since May.

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, normally released by now, won’t be out until tomorrow due to the hurricane. However, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment increased by just over 4 points in October to 82.6, the highest reading since September 2007. The report says:

Consumers were more optimistic in the most recent survey about prospects for their own personal finances, anticipated continued improvement in the national economy, and expected the unemployment rate to decline significantly during the year ahead.  Overall, consumers were more confident about economic prospects in October than any other time during the past five years.”

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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