Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria took a great toll on jobs. In particular, restaurants and bars, many of which were shuttered due to storms, saw jobs drop by 105,000 for the month.
“To quantify, there were 1.47 million people that didn’t show up for work due to the ‘bad weather.’” Those no-shows and temporarily halted businesses made the job losses look much worse," Peter Boockvar, co-chief investment officer for Bookmark Advisors, told ABC News.
In order to even be counted as employed, employees have to be paid by the 12th of the month. If they are not, they fall into that unemployment figure. Because many businesses were shuttered, they didn't meet that payroll deadline, and those jobs were considered "lost."
The unemployment rate, on the other hand, fell by 0.2 percent to 4.2 percent, the lowest rate since February 2001. So why did the unemployment rate improve if there were job losses in September?
When they surveyed businesses, many were temporarily halted due to the storms. When they contacted households, things looked much better. According to leading economists, the job losses do not reflect a weakened economy.
So while the economy lost 33,000 jobs, there is good news in today's report as well. Wages are rising; in September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 12 cents to $26.55.
So what's next?
Assuming the labor market continues to strengthen, economists expect the Fed to hike rates again in December.