Unemployed? Blame it on the Cold

unemploymentHey job-seekers, we now have another thing to blame for the lack of gigs out there. That's right, jobless claims are back up-the government reports that the number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance surged to a 2-month high last week. There were 482,000 initial job claims filed in the week ending January 16, an increase of 36,000 from the previous week, according to the Labor Department.

Guess why.

The weather. Specifically, the cold weather, which meant that industries ranging from construction to agriculture and even retail all suffered.

"We did see an increase in initial claims and that does counter the recent trend of consistent improvement," said Robert Dye, a senior economist at PNC Financial Services, to CNNMoney. "But it's not surprising given the adverse weather conditions."

See, it really isn't us!

The good news: Dye said he expects jobless claims to fall significantly beginning in February as warmer weather boosts employment. And Alan Gayle, senior investment strategist at Ridgeworth Investments in Richmond, Virginia, told Reuters that "It looks like the recovery momentum is still very much in place and it suggests that we should have good growth going through the first half of the year."

Yet another reason we love spring.

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