The U.S. economy lost 33,000 jobs in September while the unemployment rate fell to 4.2%, compared with economist expectations of 75,000 new jobs and a 4.4% jobless rate.

Last month was the first in seven years when the U.S. economy lost jobs. It bled 52,000 jobs in September of 2010.

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Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios
  • Economists widely blame the disruptive effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey for the disappointing number, because the survey methodology dictates that folks who didn't get paid on the pay period that included September 12th are not counted as employed.
  • But the report also revised down the two previous monthly estimates of job growth, suggested the slowdown is not all weather related.

Why the unemployment rate fell: The jobs report is actually a collection of two different surveys, one of businesses that gives us the number of job gains or losses, and a survey of households, from which the unemployment rate is devised. The household survey showed a huge increase in jobs, further bolstering the case that September's number are largely a hurricane-related fluke.

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Hurricane Zeta makes landfall on Louisiana coast as Category 2 storm

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta is "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi with life-threatening storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain," per the National Hurricane Center.

What's happening: The hurricane was producing maximum sustained winds of nearly 110 mph and stronger gusts after making landfall on the southeastern coast of Louisiana as a Category 2 storm earlier Wednesday.

Supreme Court rejects GOP push to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a request by Republicans to shorten North Carolina's deadline for mail-in ballots from nine to three days.

The big picture: This is the latest of a series of decisions over mail-in ballot deadlines in various states.

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