Does The Cold Snap Affect Employment?

Take heart, jobseekers: The worse-than-expected unemployment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday may have been…simply a trick of the climate, caused by flurries and a cold front moving in.

The Wall Street Journal explains:

December chill may have triggered more than the usual number of seasonal layoffs in outdoor employment, especially construction, which lost 53,000 more jobs in December. Heavy and civil-engineering construction, which are most vulnerable to weather effects, were hit hardest, with a loss of 18,000 jobs, despite adding positions in the previous month.

“From a weather standpoint, the situation actually looks quite similar to December 2005, when employment registered a well-below-trend performance,” said David Greenlaw of Morgan Stanley in a research note.

In fact, the week the BLS did its survey, the week of December 7, 283,000 people were employed but “not at work for weather reasons.” If the weather was bad enough to keep more than a quarter-million Americans home, analysts theorize, perhaps it was bad enough that outdoor workers were told not to come in at all.

This hints at growth for January, as outdoor workers can get back to work.

Of course, most of y’all don’t work outside but as big media companies see the economy improving in general, they may be less cautious about hiring.

And just so you know, the freezing cold weather is just about over.