Government shutdown could delay economic reports
If there is a government shutdown, several important economic reports, including the U.S. jobs report, would be delayed. Reports indicate that the U.S. government will stop publishing the majority of its economic data this week if there is a government shutdown. The closely watched monthly employment report is the most significant of those reports, experts have said.
All non-essential federal employees would stop working, including the staff at the Labor Department’s Bureau of Statistics, which is set to release data that relates to the monthly nonfarm payrolls report on October 4.The Commerce Department would also stop releasing economic data during a shutdown. The Commerce Department estimates the pace of growth in the economy.
“All survey and other program operations will cease and the public website will not be updated,” said Erica Groshen, the commissioner of the BLS, said in a memo published on the department’s website.
Friday’s jobs report would provide estimates regarding the nation’s unemployment rate for September. It would also provide totals for the number of workers added to employer payrolls during the month. The report sets financial market tone globally. Policymakers and investors use it to gauge the health of the U.S. economy.
The BLS also publishes data related to inflation and productivity. In the event of a government shutdown, the next closely watched data delay would be an import prices report, which is set to be released on October 10.
Lawmakers are trying to pass legislation to prevent a shutdown, but the hour is fast approaching and time is running out. Senate passed an emergency measure on Friday that would fund the government through November 15. However, the House passed a different bill that calls for defunding Obamacare. Because the House and Senate are yet to reach an agreement regarding funding the budget, the likelihood of a government shutdown remains very possible.
On Tuesday, the Commerce Department is set to release the construction spending report for August. The government shutdown will not delay all economic data. The Labor Department said in a memo that the weekly jobless claims report will continue as usual.
The U.S. Federal Reserve, which also publishes economic data, would continue to issue data during a shutdown, according to a spokesperson. Borrowing and debt operations for the government will continue, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.