- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Labor Department announced Thursday that it will not release its report on the job market in September as scheduled on Friday morning because of the federal budget stalemate that has shut down much of the federal government since Tuesday. Labor economists who compile the report were designated as “nonessential workers” and sent home earlier this week.

The jobs report, always the first and most important barometer of the economy’s health to come out each month, has taken on even more importance this year as it contains the unemployment and payroll growth figures that the Fed is watching and targeting as it decides whether to continue its easing campaign to bolster the economy.

The postponement of the release of the jobs report thus leaves the Fed and the financial markets “flying blind” in their attempts to assess how well the economy is faring and whether it is weathering the shutdown.

With the end of the shutdown still uncertain, “an alternative release date has not been scheduled,” the department said in its statement.

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