Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Weather and the February Employment Report

by Calculated Risk on 2/24/2010 07:49:00 PM

Note: I've added a list of "Posts Today" and "Posts Yesterday" on the right sidebar so everyone can find posts on recent economic releases (this has been a busy day and week)!

On Monday I linked to an article by Floyd Norris at the NY Times: Horrid Job Number Coming. Norris wrote:

"a lot of people who had jobs may report they did not work during the week, and companies may say they had fewer people on the payroll than they would have cited a week earlier or later. If so, we may get a truly horrid job number."
Since then I've spoken to a BLS representative, and although they will not comment on upcoming releases, he told me the BLS would prominently disclose any possible impact of the recent snow storms on the employment report - similar to the disclosure after Hurricane Katrina. It is possible that the response rates will be lower than usual in certain areas (like Washington D.C.) - this will be disclosed and adjustments will be made.

Other contacts - with knowledge of how the BLS conducts the surveys - have told me the snow storms will have little or no impact on the employment report (other on data collection as will be disclosed by the BLS).

Heck, maybe the snow storm boosted employment because of all the people hired temporarily to shovel snow!