February's Job Report Could Be Skewed By Record Snowfall

february job reportEach month there is a job report released by the government which reflects vital information about our nation's economy-how well the government is doing at creating jobs. February's report, set to be released today, is not expected to be positive, but rather bleak, and snowed with skewed data due to the record snowfall many parts of the East Coast experienced during the past months, says The White House.

A slippery snowy slope

As if it is not bad enough that the White House is pre-emptively pointing to bad weather to explain a poor jobs report, there is the possibility that the record snowfall inflated job losses by as much as 100,000. Private economist Sarah M. Place, President and CEO of Place Trade Financial said that "it is a slippery slope when you start blaming snow for the poor report and economic troubles of this country, especially since the snow effect can be filtered out."

Has the data been snowed?

Even with filtered data the report could confirm our worst fears: that we are suffering from weak hiring, minimal job growth, and an unemployment rate that is increasing, not decreasing. Together all of these factors could make the public skeptical in more ways than one. Skeptical about the precision of the figures in the February job report, and skeptical about the rating they would give the government for actually fixing the issue of job creation. "The White House and/or the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) should offer a clear breakdown of the estimated numbers with an asterisk. Showing the actual numbers with the volatile data included as well as without will allow individuals to get a clearer picture of the state of the market rather than receive false hopes," said Place.

The snow has finally melted, but job growth is just as slow

This recession has eliminated 8.4 million jobs and the economy needs to add 100,000 jobs per month just to keep the jobless rate from increasing. If we want to lower the jobless rate in this country, we need to add as many as 300,000 job per month for at least 3 or more years in order to see a positive result.

According to surveys by Bloomberg News and Thomson Reuters, after losing only 20,000 jobs in January, February's numbers reached as high as 50,000, driving the unemployment rate back up, maybe as high as 9.8 percent. This comes in the wake of January when the jobless rate was at 10.0, but fell to 9.7 percent, according to a news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Jobless rate is still rising

Excluding the storms, the economy may have produced a net jobs gain in February, but that is still not enough to keep the jobless rate from rising. Households that are surveyed to help calculate the jobless rate are less affected by the snowstorms because workers who stayed home are still considered employed, doing nothing for the bottom line at businesses where net changes in jobs are tracked.

Beacon of hope and red flags in this blizzard

"If we remove the abstracts and events like snowstorms, we would have seen a small positive number for February on the payroll jobs report," says Robert Dye, Senior Economist at PNC. That would have been a nice beacon for the rest of the economy to look towards, but instead we have to wait at least another month. This is going to be a half speed recovery, said Dye during his interview on Fox Business.

Place says that she finds it concerning that the White House has made such efforts to preempt the report, because that raises a red flag over the actual state of the economy, which could lead some economists to hope that this is not a snow job meant to distract the public from the actual jobs report and its true implications on the economy.

Weathering the storm

Heavy losses in February may be a boon for the March numbers as individuals go back to work and hiring that was delayed in February has been fulfilled, says Place. Just look at what happened in previous years. Following the 1996 storm the economy was robust.

Regardless, the job's report attempts to offer a snapshot of the current state of the job market, which is a direct reflection of how our economy is performing, so bad news or good news, we will have no choice but to weather the storm.

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I love that our government used part of the stimulus money to have workers in China manufacture wind turbines for use here in the USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The turbines will be installed via USA workers. Question to our man-child president : Is this your idea of creating "green" jobs?? Why the heck did you allow China to manufacture these???? Was it to appease China so they don't decide now to start calling in our debt or refusing to keep financing us?

March 06 2010 at 6:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Watts


March 06 2010 at 6:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obama has a plan and that is step by step is to destroy our economy where we will HAVE to DEPEND on government. If you do a little reseach on Andy Stern (SEIU) and associates you will find out that they want the government to take over this country and destroy our Constitution. The Unions are the ones who have sent the jobs overseas because of the labor costs. Look at the nuclear industry especially with the South Korea. They are building nuclear plants all over the world because of the cost factors. US will have a hard time competing with other countries because of our labor costs. They just lost a bid contract to S. Korea with UAE. The only way we will be able to create jobs is to lower taxes to get businesses back to the US. We have the highest tax rate compared to Japan.

March 06 2010 at 3:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't believe this administration. I guess SOME in the media got sick of hearing "it's Bush's fault". So now they are blaming the snow. Weeks ago they said that fewer jobs were lost. Well DUH. Their are fewer jobs out there to lose. They have dug holes so deep, it'll take the next 5 presidents to get us above water. I am an America but at this moment, I'm NOT proud. Other countries are laughing at us.

March 06 2010 at 2:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cheri's comment

True other countries are laughing at us, I get lots of Email jokes about the current administration that started outside of the US.

March 06 2010 at 10:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hugh Farouk

When Bush was in office and gas prices went up, the press said he was sleeping with big oil. I guess he jumped out of bed and now Obama the Drama is now in bed with big oil.

March 05 2010 at 11:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What we need to do is take a step back in time about 30 or 40 years. Things were much better here in the US before we started closing all the factories and sending jobs overseas, and will not improve until we reverse the trend. You can not make jobs by closing a factory that had 2000 employees and put up a WalMart with a couple hundred mostly part time.

March 05 2010 at 10:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Bob's comment

Bob - you so hit the nail on the head. I am so sick of hearing the government say they are "creating jobs" when they have not put a stop to major corporations out sourcing manufacturing, labor and even customer service to China, Mexico & India. It is the governement who permits this crap. Not to sound like my grandparents but this country has gone to hell in a handbasket!

March 05 2010 at 11:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The government buzz word now is stuff like shovel ready. So they build a bridge or something at taxpayer expense they make a few jobs for a few months and the people are out of work again. They should have put put duties on imports 30 years ago and huge fines on greedy corporations that send jobs off shore, and we would not be in the mess we are in today. Instead they make deals like NAFTA, and invite more people into the country who compete for jobs or can not find work.

March 06 2010 at 10:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Gawd all mighty!!! Now the Government is blaming snow for the crappy job report??? Obama is wagging the dog!!!! He keeps trying to sell us on the idea that healthcare is THEmost important issue...IT IS NOT!! Issue number one ...THE ECONOMY!!! The reason Obama and his Democrat stoodges don't want to talk about the Economy is because they SCREWED it all up and have no clue what to do to get things going!!! OBAMA IS AN IDIOT!!!

March 05 2010 at 10:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Listening to NPR today as people that have given up, benefits that have run out and part time workers at best the rate is 17%. Don't know just saying.
Even at 10% one in ten ..wow thats awful. NAFTA and all the rest trade in balance with China etc. I'm an idiot and would know how to attempt to tackle these problems than these buffoons in Washington have no idea which end is up. Vote them out ........both parties, independents come forward please.

March 05 2010 at 10:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I got a CENSUS job. Trained for a week and then worked for a week. Could someone be fiddling with the numbers?

March 05 2010 at 10:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There is one simple thing that the government can do that will stimulate jobs and put people back to work: Cut the costs of petroleum products. The prices are being regulated by commodity traders. Every time the prices start to drop confusing inventory reports cause jumps in prices. Every snowflake that falls creates threats of short supplies of heating oil. Holiday weekends lead to price jumps at gas pumps. They've been threatening $3 to $4 a gallon gas for the summer for a few months alreay. Nobody is planning vacations. Its all fun and games for the bottom line of the traders but homeowners, car owners, businesses that rely on petroleum for production or delivery are getting killed by this. The China excuse has passed. We're being robbed by WallStreet again. Its killing the economy and killing jobs. We're only working for food, gas and taxes. There's nothing left after that...Nothing at all!

March 05 2010 at 9:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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