The current government “shutdown” seems to be the only thing on the airwaves. Oh, that and the introduction of Obamacare. All “non-essential” government employees are staying at home and government contractors are being furloughed, all since Tuesday when Congress couldn’t get together on a budget.

National parks are closed, the IRS seems still okay with taking tax payments but tax refunds are going nowhere. Various government agencies also report economic data on a near-daily basis and one thing that will be missing while the government is taking a holiday: economic statistics.

The first business Friday of each month announces the Unemployment Numbers for the previous month. This Friday, October 4, had the shutdown not occurred we would find out how many new jobs were created or lost as well as the Unemployment Rate for September. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a federal agency, is closed and according to their weshutdown and mortgage ratesbsite (1) the BLS states that during the shutdown, there will be no data collected or reports issued; including the September Unemployment Numbers.

This report is perhaps the most-watched by the Federal Reserve Board as the Fed has indicated that once the Unemployment Rate reaches a certain number, then Fed stimulus known as quantitative easing will stop, or at least gradually slow down. But with the shutdown, that very important number will at minimum be delayed then once it’s reported the numbers will be slightly skewed with September numbers and October’s potentially overlapping. September could show weaker payroll counts and October inflated ones with perhaps November being the earliest that we could get a more bona fide accounting.

Then we fall into the holiday season from the latter part of November through the New Year and with seasonal spending, hiring and holiday time off, important statistics will still be more difficult to dissect. How does that affect rates? It indicates that the Fed will hold off doing anything one way or the other until well into 2014.

(1) http://www.bls.gov/home.htm