Friday, January 8, 2016

Weather Effect in December Jobs

I wrote yesterday about some of the more direct effects of mild winter weather on economic trends, and this morning we see the indirect effects in the jobs numbers for December. The net job creation was 292,000, much better than the expected 200,000 or 212,000, depending on who you asked. Layoffs were particularly low in December. Most of the discrepancy, it appears, consists of construction jobs that went forward in December because the weather permitted it. I have seen this firsthand in my local area, where road work that ordinarily would have shut down for the winter around December 5 carried on through December and continues even now. The weather effect was broad enough to make today’s headline macroeconomic number 40 percent higher than expected.