Karim writes:

Weather tough to gauge; 1mm missed work in Feb due to weather vs avg of 290k

BLS website saying you have to miss work for an entire pay period to not be counted on payrolls, and that ‘about half’ of all workers are on a bi-weekly pay period. All you can say about weather I think is that its impact on the number, whatever it is, is asymmetric. One of larger storms occurred during survey week of Feb 7-13. Census workers contributed 15k.

Other details that are positive:

  • Net revisions +35k almost offset drop in headline of -36k
  • UE rate stable at 9.687%, making it more and more likely we have peaked in UE rate
  • Diffusion index improves to 48 from 44.2
  • Part rate up to 64.8 (highest since November)
  • Median duration of unemployed down from 19.9 to 19.4 (lowest since October)

Negative details:

  • Hours worked -0.3%; but likely all due to weather
  • U6 UE rate measure (discouraged workers, working p-t but would rather work f-t, etc) up to 16.8% from 16.5%; but may also be related to hours situation last month.

We are likely to see more FOMC members embrace FRB Staff’s more optimistic forecast in the coming weeks.