WASHINGTON (AP) - The government shutdown may have affected October's jobs numbers. But not how you think.
In the height of irony, the 16 days of federal worker furloughs and government disruptions may have helped, not hurt, the improved jobs picture.
Because of the shutdown, the Bureau of Labor Statistics delayed the release of the jobs numbers by one week to allow more time to collect payroll and household data. That extra time resulted in an above average response rate for payroll data.
A stronger participation rate can skew the hiring numbers up. As a result, to some economists, Friday's robust jobs number is looking slightly inflated.