WASHINGTON — The Labor Department has no plans to release the closely watched U.S. monthly jobs report on Friday in case of a partial government shutdown that lasts through the week.
A Labor official with direct knowledge said Monday that there wouldn't be enough staffers on site to compile the jobs report. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
A document the department filed Friday said its Bureau of Labor Statistics, which prepares the jobs data, would have only three employees working in case of a partial government shutdown.
The monthly jobs report includes the unemployment rate and the number of jobs employers added. It is one of the most influential economic reports in the world. Its data can heavily affect global financial markets.
"In the event there is a lapse in funding, we will engage in an orderly shutdown on Tuesday morning," said Stephen Barr, a Labor Department spokesman. "All program operations will cease." Barr declined to elaborate.
If the White House and Congress fail to agree on a spending bill by Tuesday, much of the government will shut down.
Erica Groshen, commissioner of the BLS, said in a memo Friday that the agency would close. Groshen noted that during a government shutdown in 1995, the Labor Department issued a monthly report on inflation because the government had already gathered the data.
Groshen's memo implied that a similar approach could be taken with the jobs figures. But the data won't be ready by Tuesday, the Labor official said. Much of the work involved in compiling the employment data takes place between Tuesday and Thursday.
"The timing of any shutdown is critical," Groshen said in her memo. If the government shut down but reopened by Wednesday, it's possible the jobs report could be released Friday.
In contrast to the uncertainty surrounding the release of the jobs data, Labor plans to issue its weekly report on applications for unemployment benefits as scheduled Thursday. Those figures are gathered by state governments.
Officials at the Commerce Department have said that department will issue no regularly scheduled economic indicators if Congress fails to fund the government past Monday. That would mean that Tuesday's scheduled report on construction spending and Thursday's data on factory orders would be postponed. Commerce will release a revised schedule of economic reports once the shutdown ends.
The Treasury Department is expected to release a report on the budget deficit for September and the 2013 budget year sometime in mid-October, though the specific date hasn't been announced. The release of that report could be delayed by a prolonged shutdown, officials said.
AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.
Follow Chris Rugaber on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/ChrisRugaber
Also on HuffPost:
<a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/boehners-battle-85729.html" target="_hplink">Republican</a> <a href="http://paulryan.house.gov/issues/issue/?IssueID=56750" target="_hplink">leaders</a> claim that austerity helps the economy. But a recent National Association for Business Economics poll of 49 economists found that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/25/budget-cuts-economic-growth_n_2756836.html?utm_hp_ref=tw" target="_hplink">95 percent of those surveyed agreed that budget cuts are hurting economic growth</a>. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/09/07/812251/republicans-blocked-jobs-act-one-year/" target="_hplink">Congressional Republicans</a> have blocked a second stimulus and <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0609/23525.html" target="_hplink">claim</a> that the first stimulus didn't work. But a survey of the 41 economists in the IGM Economic Experts Panel last year found that 80 percent agreed that <a href="http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-panel/poll-results?SurveyID=SV_cw5O9LNJL1oz4Xi" target="_hplink">the 2009 stimulus lowered the unemployment rate</a>. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/special/2013/02/17/1605401/gingrich-republicans-will-oppose-any-immigration-plan-backed-by-obama-because-they-hate-obama/" target="_hplink">Some</a> <a href="http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/27/17117385-key-house-gop-player-on-immigration-against-path-to-citizenship?lite" target="_hplink">Republican leaders</a> oppose substantially expanding immigration. But <a href="http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-panel/poll-results?SurveyID=SV_0JtSLKwzqNSfrAF" target="_hplink">89 percent of economists</a> in the IGM Economic Experts Panel agreed that more high-skilled immigration would benefit the average American. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/ron-paul-is-putting-on-a-great-show-right-now-in-front-of-bernanke-2012-2" target="_hplink">Some</a> <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-29/republicans-embrace-gold-to-hedge-non-existent-inflation.html" target="_hplink">Republican politicians</a> warn that the Federal Reserve's stimulus measures may cause high inflation. But <a href="http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-panel/poll-results?SurveyID=SV_02pBtPuOkYPP9bv" target="_hplink">57 percent of economists</a> in the IGM Economic Experts Panel said that even if the Fed's stimulus measures caused inflationary pressures, the Fed could rein it in. Only 15 percent disagreed with the statement that the inflationary pressures, if any, would be "inconsequential." (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/28/debt-ceiling-cost-taxpayers_n_2204553.html">Republicans have used the debt ceiling</a> as a bargaining chip and have opposed <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/06/obama-debt-ceiling_n_2249630.html">President Barack Obama's proposal</a> to eliminate it altogether. But <a href="http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-panel/poll-results?SurveyID=SV_555sdN4BXmfNKCN">84 percent of economists</a> in the IGM Economic Experts Panel agreed with the statement that the debt ceiling "creates unneeded uncertainty and creates potentially worse fiscal outcomes." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/20/post_523_n_731223.html" target="_hplink">Republican</a> <a href="http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000132481">leaders</a> <a href="http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/216965-house-gop-to-unveil-small-business-tax-break" target="_hplink">favor</a> giving special treatment to small businesses, but <a href="http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-panel/poll-results?SurveyID=SV_0JR8bRv6BywTYAl" target="_hplink">no economists in the IGM Economic Experts Panel said they believe</a> that would help the average American more than focusing on economic growth. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)