Shutdown May Delay Release Of September Jobs Report

Ordinarily, Friday morning at 8:30am would see the release of the September Jobs Report. However, with the government shutdown there’s a good chance we won’t see a report at all:

The government shutdown that started Tuesday could prevent the Bureau of Labor Statistics from releasing its monthly employment report, which serves as the basis of an economic and political obsession known as “jobs day” among White House officials.

BLS had planned to reveal the September numbers on Friday, but the agency is down to just three workers due to a lapse on congressional appropriations that allows only “essential” operations to continue.

Labor Department spokesman Stephen Barr did not respond on Tuesday to questions about whether the BLS will release the national jobs numbers this month.

BLS Commissioner Erica Groshen said in a memo last week that the White House Office of Management and Budget could authorize her agency to put out high-priority economic data during the shutdown.

The monthly jobs reports, which include 24 tables of economic data, can have an impact on markets and politics, as they influence Federal Reserve policies, investor decisions and even the president’s approval rating.

The report would be particularly important this month as the Federal Reserve tries to make a decision on when to pull back on its multibillion-dollar economic stimulus program that involves bond purchases to create downward pressure on interest rates.

As of now, there’s still no word about what the BLS plans to do on Friday, or whether they’re even close to having the report ready at this point. Additionally, given the reduced labor force there one has to wonder how reliable a report will be if they do manage to release something.

FILED UNDER: Bureaucracy, Congress, Deficit and Debt, US Politics, , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Rob in CT says:

    Uh, oh, that means you will have to wait in order to cut & paste your usual post to accompany said jobs report.


  2. Yes because job creation numbers that are consistently below the level needed keep up with population growth, along with the lowest labor force participation rate in 30+ years, are exceedingly good news. Keep on spinning there!

  3. pylon says:


  4. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    …are exceedingly good news.

    Someone clean up all this straw!

  5. grumpy realist says:

    Yes, who would have possibly thought that closing down the government would have had an effect on the publication of a government-issued report?

    I’m just wondering when the USPTO will start really cutting back….(which is weird, since they’re one of the few government agencies that brings in more money than it costs.)