Labor Department officials will still not confirm or deny whether the government’s monthly jobs report will be released as scheduled Friday, but other signs point to a delay amid the government shutdown.
Since the recession, the monthly report has become the most closely watched indicator on the economy, with the first Friday of each month often being dubbed “Jobs Friday.”
The information is so sensitive, that when it’s released, reporters who write about it are locked in a windowless room without internet or phone access until 8:30 a.m. on the dot, to prevent the information from getting to investors even a millisecond too soon.
The report is also of particular importance this month, as the Federal Reserve monitors the unemployment rate to decide when to slow its stimulus program.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles the report each month based on surveys of about 60,000 households and 145,000 businesses and government agencies. Those surveys are both conducted during the week of the 12th, so the September data has already been collected.
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