Blame It on the Rain. Or the Snow.
I don’t begrudge the Obama administration when they argue that heavy snow in much of the country last month, including the “Snowmageddon” that closed the federal government for most of a week, will be reflected in Friday’s unemployment report. Word is they’re bracing for “ugly” numbers at the end of the week.
(Ironically, nine of the Federal Reserve’s 12 regional banks reported that economic activity had improved in February.)
But if we had had “normal” February weather, just how much better would our current 9.7 percent unemployment have gotten? Was there some big hiring binge that was effectively canceled by the snow? Were folks laid off because of icy roads? I figure if you were in the snowplow business, you probably never had so much work.
Our economy is in lousy shape. Most months, it is going to get a little bit less lousy, or a little bit more lousy. If the news is bad on Friday, there’s no point in blaming Jack Frost.