A ton of workers and businesses were hurt when Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast before Halloween this year. However, the good news is that the storm didn’t affect the jobs of the nation too much, in general.
The growth in payrolls, for example, kept going in much the same pace as it did in the months before. The amount of hours of work rose, too, while the rate of unemployment dropped.
Since Sandy didn’t really effect the East Cost much, a lot of analysts are scared the the worst is still to come. Some economists, on the other hand, are going so far as to say that they are suspicious of the fact that the nation’s estimates per month weren’t significantly affected.
Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast during late October, but a lot of the areas there continued to experience a ton of disruption way into November because of various power outages and transportation shutdowns within the different states.
A lot of factories were also temporarily closed, while other businesses had to shut down completely because of miscellaneous damages. A lot of people weren’t able to go to work, either, and the labor market measure showed a surge in their weekly filings within the month because of the storm.
At the very least, it is clear that Sandy affected the economy in one way or another. After the Labor Department held a household survey, for example, they picked up disruption signs because of the storm. Around 1.1 million people actually took on part-time work instead of full-time work because of it. Around 369,000 people also admitted that they didn’t go to work because of the bad weather. Both of these figures were significantly higher compared to the records made for this every November since 1976.
Most of the reasons why people weren’t able to go to work until November 5 is because they were cleaning up after the storm. This might have been the reason behind the significant drop in the workforce, as well, which helped push down the jobless rate to 7.7% from the previous month’s 7.9%. In the end, this effectively resulted in the jobless rate reversing itself a few months later to get closer to 8% overall.
Another employment survey that the Labor Department held estimated that the amount of payrolls for non-farm employers didn’t show a lot of problems during the storm. Important sectors, like leisure jobs and temporary employment, increased, as well. On the other hand, the manufacturing employment and amount of construction workers dropped, even though the entire factory sector weakened for various other reasons. This trend has slowly been reversing itself after the rebuilding has picked up in the East Coast, though.
Despite the amount of interest shown in jobs reports every month, economists are still warning against looking into these amounts too much. Overall, the amount of jobs is meant to provide reliable estimates in every direction, but what truly matters in the end would be the trend in the long term, and it doesn’t look like Sandy has changed a lot in that front.