BLS May Delay October Jobs Report Due to Frankenstorm

Sandy from Space

NASA image of Sandy from space at 9am ET

The known late-campaign “surprise” were the final pre-election jobs report scheduled for Friday. Both campaigns were poised to jump on whatever positive or negative numbers came out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But the unknown late-campaign “surprise,” Hurricane Sandy, which before it even hits land has flooded coastal areas all over New York and New Jersey, could lead to a delay in that jobs report. The federal government is basically closed down for today, and that could delay the BLS enough so they would not make their timeline.

The Labor Department said Monday that it has yet to make a decision on whether to delay Friday’s closely-watched October employment report due to the effects from Hurricane Sandy.

Federal government offices in Washington are closed Monday and may be shut again Tuesday due to the storm. It isn’t clear if the closure would cause a delay in processing the data.

“We will assess the situation when the weather emergency is over and notify the press and public of any changes at that time,” said Gary Steinberg, spokesman for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the data arm of the department.

Obviously if the power goes out in the Washington area, processing the jobs report becomes that much more difficult. In addition, collecting survey data is hampered by the storm conditions in the areas affected, which consists of as much as 1/5 of the nation’s population.

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