09/10/2017 - Employment Data Paints Mixed Picture

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The number of workers on U.S. payrolls declined last month for the first time since 2010, reflecting major disruptions from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Labour Department figures showed Friday. The jobless rate fell to a new 16-year-low while wage gains accelerated .Hurricanes Harvey and Irma damaged not only Texas and Florida but also the U.S. jobs picture, as payrolls fell by 33,000 in September. That drop came even as the unemployment rate fell to a 16-year low of 4.2 percent, the Bureau of Labour Statistics reported Friday.  The unemployment rate was expected to hold steady at 4.4 percent. It declined even as the labour-force participation rate rose to 63.1 percent, its highest level all year and the best reading since March 2014.
 
It was also reported  that average hourly earnings were up by 12 cents on the month to $26.55, equating to a 2.9 percent gain for the year. That's well above the 2 percent target the Federal Reserve sets for healthy inflation growth, meaning that the central bank is more likely to approve another interest rate hike at its December meeting.

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It has been reported that as Infighting consumes the Tory government, Europeans have stepped up quiet preparations for a possible collapse of Brexit talks that could see Britain crash out of the EU without a deal 18 months from now. Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU counterparts still see the "no-deal scenario" she threatened them with as most unlikely, as they think it would hurt Britain much more than the continent.

In what appears to be a desperate bid to cling onto power British Prime Minister Theresa May has signaled that she could sack Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a Sunday newspaper said. May has seen her authority over her Conservative Party erode since she called a snap election in June in which she lost her majority in parliament.

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