Hiring slower after Sandy
Private survey shows downturn in advance of government’s jobs report on Friday.
The combination of U.S. employers that shut down because of Superstorm Sandy and fears over looming tax increases and spending cuts likely slowed hiring sharply in November.
A private survey released Wednesday showed companies added fewer workers last month than in October. The same picture is expected when the government issues a more comprehensive jobs report for November on Friday.
Still, most analysts say the underlying economy remains healthy and is creating jobs at a still-modest but steady pace.
Economists expect Friday’s government report to show employers added 110,000 jobs in November, according to FactSet. And they think the unemployment rate will remain 7.9 percent.
Other analysts expect much lower job gains, roughly 25,000 to 50,000, because of Sandy and anxiety over the tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect in January.
Yet without the depressive effects of Superstorm Sandy, many think employers would have added up to 200,000 jobs last month — even stronger than the solid 171,000 jobs added in October.
“We don’t think the labor market has lost any underlying momentum,” Paul Edelstein, an economist at IHS Global Insight said. “We just have these two issues.”
Superstorm Sandy tore into the East Coast on Oct. 29, closing restaurants, retailers and other businesses and cutting off power to 8 million homes in 10 states.
The government would count people who couldn’t