A partial shutdown of the U.S. government could slash job growth by as much as 500,000 in January and lift the unemployment rate above 4.0 percent unless the impasse in Washington is resolved before next Friday, economists warned. Some 800,000 government workers missed their first paycheck on Friday following the partial shutdown which started on Dec. 22 as President Donald Trump demanded that the U.S. Congress give him $5.7 billion this year to help build a wall on the country’s border with Mexico. The Labor Department, which has not been affected by the shutdown, surveys employers and households for its closely watched employment report, which includes nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate, during the week that includes the 12th of the month.
For this month, the pay period for most federal employees that includes the week of the 12th runs from Jan. 6 to Jan. 19. About 380,000 workers have been furloughed, while the rest are working without pay.—Agencies