11-23-2017  8:08 pm      •     
Happy Thanksgiving
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NEWS BRIEFS

Kenton Library Hosts African American Genealogy Event Dec. 2

Stephen Hanks to present on genealogy resources and methods ...

PSU Hires New Police Chief

Donnell Tanksley brings policing philosophy rooted in community engagement to PSU ...

African American Portraits Exhibit at PAM Ends Dec. 29

Towards the end of its six month run, exhibit conveys the Black experience, late 1800s - 1990s ...

SEI, Sunshine Division Offer Thanksgiving Meals to Families in Need

Turkeys are being provided to fill 200 Thanksgiving food boxes for SEI families ...

NAACP Portland Monthly Meeting Nov. 18

Monthly general membership meeting takes place on Saturday, 12 - 2 p.m. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Black Celebrities, Athletes and Politicians Must Respect the Black Press

Rosetta Miller-Perry discusses how Black celebrities snub the Black Press when they get “discovered” by the mainstream media ...

Local Author Visits North Portland Library

Renee Watson teaches students and educators about the power of writing ...

Is the FBI’s New Focus on “Black Identity Extremists” the New COINTELPRO?

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.) talks about the FBI’s misguided report on “Black Identity Extremism” and negative Facebook ads. ...

ACA Enrollment Surging, Even Though It Ends Dec. 15

NNPA contributing writer Cash Michaels writes about enrollment efforts ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

By Annalyn Kurtz and Gregory Wallace

Labor Department officials will still not confirm or deny whether the government's monthly jobs report will be released as scheduled Friday, but other signs point to a delay amid the government shutdown.

Since the recession, the monthly report has become the most closely watched indicator on the economy, with the first Friday of each month often being dubbed "Jobs Friday."

The information is so sensitive, that when it's released, reporters who write about it are locked in a windowless room without internet or phone access until 8:30 a.m. on the dot, to prevent the information from getting to investors even a millisecond too soon.

The report is also of particular importance this month, as the Federal Reserve monitors the unemployment rate to decide when to slow its stimulus program.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles the report each month based on surveys of about 60,000 households and 145,000 businesses and government agencies. Those surveys are both conducted during the week of the 12th, so the September data has already been collected.

But with just three of its roughly 2,400 employees on duty during the shutdown, the BLS is unlikely to have the manpower to compile and release the report on Friday.

BLS Commissioner Erica Groshen said in a memo Friday that "all survey and other program operations will cease and the public website will not be updated," and the agency has since posted an advisory on its site, indicating it "will not collect data, issue reports, or respond to public inquiries."

Meanwhile, Department of Labor officials will not respond to inquiries about the jobs report, but they have indicated there's at least one exception. A weekly report on unemployment benefits will continue to be released every Thursday morning.

That report is compiled by a separate division, the Employment and Training Administration, which has 28 of its roughly 1,100 employees reporting to work during the shutdown.

It's still possible that the White House could grant the BLS special permission to issue the jobs report. A similar situation occurred during the 1995 government shutdown, when the Clinton Administration put out the Consumer Price Index. The information was ready to go and officials were concerned about the "risk of disclosure."

In her memo last week, Groshen said that this time around, the jobs data could be released if the White House budget office authorizes it. Her agency would then need a small staff to come in during a shutdown.

Economists were expecting the report to show the unemployment rate remained at 7.3 percent in September. They were also predicting the economy added 183,000 jobs last month, up slightly from 169,000 jobs in August.

The only other time the jobs report was delayed was in the previous government shutdown in January 1996, when it was released two weeks late.

 

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