Florida and Texas lost about 135,000 jobs after the deadly hurricanes that struck the Southern and Eastern U.S., and broad rebuilding efforts and a recovery in consumer spending is likely boost demand for workers.
Floridians lost 127,400 jobs in September, seasonally adjusted, as Hurricane Irma hit, while Texas lost 7,300 jobs that month in the wake of Harvey, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“The rebound will certainly happen by the end of the year and [maybe] in the next few weeks,” Janelle Jones, an analyst at the Economic Policy Institute, told the WSJ. “People are already doing [temporary] and holiday hiring. It’s good for these workers who need jobs immediately, and there are a lot of hours to be had.”
Before September, Florida had added about 19,000 jobs a month since January while Texas added 24,000 a month.
Last week, the national job market showed signs of continued strength, despite stubborn underemployment and stagnant wage growth.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped to its lowest level in more than 44-1/2 years last week, pointing to a rebound in job growth after a hurricane-related decline in employment in September.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000 for the week ended Oct. 14, the lowest level since March 1973, the Labor Department said. But the decrease in claims, which was the largest since April, was probably exaggerated by the Columbus Day holiday on Monday.
The labor market outlook was also bolstered by another report on Thursday showing a measure of factory employment in the mid-Atlantic region racing to a record high in October. The signs of labor market strength could cement expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December.
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