Storm Surge: Harvey Hammers Employment

How will the job market respond to Irma’s impact?

Initial jobless claims in America spiked by 62,000 last week, according to preliminary data released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

That’s a whopping 26 percent increase – the vast majority of it fueled by new jobless claims (51,637) coming out of Texas, which was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey late last month.  That’s the largest single-month increase since 2012 – and it sent the overall number of claims to their highest level since 2015.

Compounding matters, this spike in jobless claims comes on the heels of a decidedly tepid August 2017 jobs report … and was released just days before another massive tropical system, Hurricane Irma, is forecast to strike the east coast.

Courtesy of our friends at Zero Hedge, here’s a chart showing the current spike within the contest of historical trends …

(Click to view)

(Via: Zero Hedge)

And yes, those circled red spikes correspond with Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, which were the costliest storms to ever hit our country prior to Harvey – which is expected to eclipse them both (combined) in terms of cost.

Bottom line?  America’s employment economy was already struggling to find its footing before this one-two punch from the tropics hit.

Now it’s positively reeling …



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