Fiscal Cliff

Sandy 'likely put dent in' US jobs

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 December, 2012, 4:26am


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The damage wrought by Sandy probably extended to the job market last month as the superstorm forced businesses to close, upending the recent pickup in US hiring, economists projected a report this week would show.

Payrolls rose by 90,000 workers last month, the smallest gain since June, according to the median forecast of 71 economists in a survey before labour department figures on Wednesday. Manufacturing and services grew at a slower pace, other reports might show.

Sandy, the biggest Atlantic storm ever to hit the nation, left about eight million homes and businesses without power for days. Concern about the looming fiscal cliff might also be limiting jobs.

"The storm was certainly very disruptive and the numbers will reflect that," said Scott Brown, the chief economist at Raymond James & Associates.

The payrolls report may also show the jobless rate held at 7.9 per cent last month, according to the survey.

Cooling global demand and US fiscal policy concerns will be reflected in manufacturing data this week. Factory orders stagnated in October, the commerce department might report on Wednesday.

The Institute for Supply Management's factory index, due today, fell to 51.5 in November from 51.7 in October, according to the survey. Fifty is the line between expansion and contraction.