1.7 Million Took Part-Time Jobs In December Because Of Weather

We just got a bad and noisy jobs report.

The economy added just 74,000 payrolls in December.

Part of the noise came from unusually low temperatures — as a result of which, 1.7 million workers took part-time instead of full-time jobs.

That’s according to Mesirow Financial economist Diane Swonk:

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (either because hours were cut back or they couldn’t find full-time work) was essentially unchanged at 7.8 million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full- time work.

Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, said that even taking into account the effects of weather, the report was “still a fairly sizable disappointment,” and “definitely weaker beyond that factor,” according to Bloomberg. Hatzius also says that because the decline in labour force participation rate accounts for the entire decline in the unemployment rate, it shows how “relatively poor” an indicator of labour market conditions the headline unemployment rate actually is.

Here’s the full part-time break down:

BI’s Sam Ro has the full breakdown of what weather may have done to the numbers.

To be sure, weather can’t explain all the other bad stuff going on. But it’s something to keep in mind.

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