‘Cliff’ fears may hurt job gains
The survey by the National Federation of Independent Business shows that nationwide, the number of workers in small businesses fell by 0.04 workers last month. In October, the number rose by 0.02 workers.
NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg called Sandy’s effect on hiring “substantial.” The Oct. 29 storm shut down thousands of small businesses along the East Coast, and a large number of companies are still closed and have laid off workers. Moreover many residents have suffered heavy damage to their homes and aren’t spending money at businesses in their communities.
The storm is also likely to depress November’s job figures. And fears over looming tax increases and spending cuts, known as the “fiscal cliff,” may have also dragged on job gains last month.
Economists expect employers added 110,000 jobs in November, according to FactSet. And they think the unemployment rate will remain 7.9 percent.
Some analysts expect much lower job gains, roughly 25,000 to 50,000, because of Sandy and anxiety over the fiscal cliff.
Still, most analysts say the underlying economy remains healthy and is creating jobs at a modest but steady pace.
Without the depressive effects of Superstorm Sandy and the cliff, many think employers would have added up to 200,000 jobs last month — even stronger than the solid 171,000 jobs added in October.