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Montevideo, November 30th 2021 - 23:35 UTC

 

 

Confusing data about the US employment market

Saturday, September 3rd 2005 - 21:00 UTC
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United States unemployment reached a four year low in August, 4,9%, but since figures do not include the effects of the Katrina hurricane which hit Louisiana and other southern states, analysts are looking at the number of new jobs created in August which was less than expected.

According to the US Labour Department jobs growth in August cooled to 169.000 after having reached 242.000 in July. Markets were expecting a number closer to 190.000.

Statistics show that 156.000 jobs were created in the general services sector; 43.000 in health; 29.000 in professional and business services and 34.000 in leisure and hospitality. However the manufacturing sector lost 14.000 jobs in August for the third month running. The US economy has pushed employment so far in 2005 at an average 178.000 per month.

Analysts believe the hurricane Katrina will have a big impact in the September employment figure since estimates of up to a million people out of work have been considered given the devastation caused in the affected areas particularly New Orleans.

Hurricane Katrina brought 93% of oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico - as well as nine large Louisiana refineries - to a halt.

Labour Secretary Elaine Chao tried to be upbeat about the job market saying that, "our country is confronting the effects of Hurricane Katrina from a position of economic strength", adding that "our economy has enjoyed 27 consecutive months of employment growth".

Most economists believe the United States' gross domestic product will grow at an annual rate of 4.1% in the third quarter and 3.5% in the last quarter.

However unemployment among U.S. Hispanics climbed three tenths of a point in August to 5.8%, compared with 4.9% among the general population, the Commerce Department reported Friday. According to the Commerce Department, 1.15 million Hispanics were unemployed in the United States in August, compared with 1.09 million the previous year.

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