Monday, March 09, 2020

Weather Adjusted Employment Gains in February

by Calculated Risk on 3/09/2020 08:39:00 AM

The weather boosted employment gains in again in February. The question is: how much?

The BLS reported 190 thousand people were employed in non-agriculture industries, with a job, but not at work due to bad weather. The average for February over the previous 10 years was 380 thousand. The median was 294 thousand.

The BLS also reported 667 thousand people were usually full time employees, but were working part time in February due to bad weather.  The average for February over the previous 10 years was 2.02 million.  The median was 1.08 million.

Both of the series suggest weather negatively impacted employment less than usual (boosting seasonally adjusted employment).

The San Francisco Fed estimates Weather-Adjusted Change in Total Nonfarm Employment (monthly change, seasonally adjusted). They use local area weather to estimate the impact on employment. For February, the BLS reported 273 thousand jobs added, the San Francisco Fed estimates that weather adjusted employment gains were 240 thousand.  Still solid, but there have been weather related gains the last three months of close to 160 thousand.

So we should expect some payback in coming months.