“Florence really held down the jobs growth number last month, it was below where we’ve been trending,” Mr. Anderson said. “We do expect some bounce back. Jobs came back in the Carolinas.”
The expected rebound, however, could be dampened by Hurricane Michael, which Gov. Rick Scott labeled “the worst storm that our Florida Panhandle has seen in a century.” In Florida and Georgia, jobless claims rose by 10,000.
Nikhil Sanghani, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a research note that “uncertainty around the hurricanes means that we would not be surprised to see a markedly higher or lower number for employment.”
Holiday Season’s Approach
Worries about fierce competition for holiday hires have prompted employers to be more aggressive by putting offers out earlier than usual and raising wages, recruiters said. The global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which tracks hiring announcements, has reported that companies are looking to add 700,000 seasonal workers, the largest number since 2014.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics regularly adjusts employment figures to account for seasonal changes, but here, too, unusual shifts may not be fully captured and could artificially inflate (or deflate) the monthly totals.
United Parcel Service has said it plans to hire 100,000 people for the holidays. Several applicants for packing or delivery positions who showed up at the company’s hulking customer center in Manhattan during a recent nationwide hiring drive said they hoped temporary stints would turn into permanent jobs. A company spokesman said seasonal positions paid $10.35 to $30 an hour, depending on the location.
“I’m just praying,” said Chanique Cox, 42, knocking her knuckles on a wooden counter and clicking her blue nails. “I’m only finding temporary jobs. I would love it if I got a permanent job.”