7 Oct 2013

US jobs data on hold during shutdown

6:18 pm on 7 October 2013

Important American jobs data usually comes out on the first Friday of the month but the September figures weren't released last week because of the US government shutdown.

The vital jobs figure is even more important than usual because the Federal Reserve is using it to help decide when to start pulling back stimulus.

The delay to the numbers being released has left investors to make decisions without crucial data to guide them and made it more difficult for them to gauge what may happen to the Fed's monetary policy.

About 180,000 jobs were expected to have been added in September, up from 169,000 added in the previous month.

ConvergeEx chief market strategist Nicholas Colas says the job numbers are critical to understanding the state of the US economy and the Federal Reserve's stance on it.

"It's a very awkward position because the Federal Reserve's been very clear that unemployment and the labour market is a critical factor in their thinking and Wall Street is keying its direction off a Federal Reserve monetary policy so we're missing a really critical part of the puzzle."

Mr Colas expects the labour market will have continued its growth last month.