Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Bring First Drop in U.S. Hiring in Nearly Seven Years

The U.S. shed 33,000 jobs in September because of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which closed thousands of businesses in Texas and Florida and forced widespread evacuations. It marked the first monthly hiring decline in nearly seven years.The unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent from 4.4 percent, the Labor Department said Friday, the lowest level since February 2001 and a sign that the job market remains fundamentally solid. Hiring is expected to rebound in the coming months as businesses in the area reopen and construction companies ramp up repair and renovation work.Last month's drop was driven by huge losses in restaurants and bars, which shed 105,000 jobs, a sign of the damage to Florida's tourism industry. Roughly 1.5 million people were unable to work last month because of the weather, the government said, the most in 20 years.  Continue reading...

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