U.S. jobs report, other economic data would be delayed by shutdown

Reuters

By Jason Lange

WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - The United States will stoppublishing much of its economic data next week if the governmentshuts down, including the closely watched monthly employmentreport, officials said on Friday.

Whole swaths of the U.S. federal government could shut downnext week if Congress does not approve extensions to departmentbudgets due to expire on Monday.

All non-essential federal employees would stop working,including those at the Labor Department's Bureau of LaborStatistics (BLS), which is scheduled to release the monthlynonfarm payrolls report on Oct. 4.

"All survey and other program operations will cease and thepublic website will not be updated," said Erica Groshen, thecommissioner of the BLS, said in a memo published on thedepartment's website.

The Commerce Department, which issues estimates on the paceof growth in the economy, also will stop releasing economicdata, a spokesperson said.

The jobs report due on Friday would provide estimates forthe nation's unemployment rate in September. It would also showhow many workers were added to employer payrolls during themonth.

The report sets the tone for financial markets worldwide.Policymakers and investors use it to gauge the health of theU.S. economy.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been racing to passlegislation to avert the shutdown, but time is running out. TheSenate passed a emergency-funding measure on Friday that wouldkeep the government running through Nov. 15 and the House couldvote on the bill over the weekend.

The BLS also publishes data on inflation and productivity.Should a shutdown occur, the next closely watched data thatwould be delayed would be a report on import prices, due on Oct.10.

The Commerce Department's next scheduled economic indicatoris for construction spending during August. That report is dueon Tuesday.

Not all U.S. economic data would be delayed by a governmentshutdown, however.

A separate memo from the Labor Department said thegovernment's weekly jobless claims reports would not beaffected.

The U.S. Federal Reserve, which also publishes economicdata, would continue to issue data in a shutdown, a spokespersonat the Fed said. Also, the government would continue itsborrowing and debt operations, the Treasury Department said.

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