High infection, extreme weather to depress February job gains
March 3, 2021
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its February job report, which is expected to show slight gains in the number of employees at U.S. businesses.
Erica Groshen, senior economic advisor at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, says high infection rate and extreme weather conditions is likely to depress what could have been a more significant job growth.
“Forecasters' projected job gains likely reflect anticipated impacts of recent relief payments, lower initial unemployment insurance claims, and relaxation of pandemic restrictions on restaurants and public gatherings in some areas of the country.
“If the latter, the job gains would be mostly in leisure and hospitality establishments. Yet, at least two factors could have depressed job gains in mid-February: high infection rates and extreme weather conditions through much of the country. Thus, there is considerable uncertainty about job growth from January to February.”