Industrial production is up and the Wall Street Journal says manufacturers are beginning to hire again, but the government reported that seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims for the week ending Feb. 13 were up sharply, rising 31,000, to 473,000.
And that wasn't just any week. That was the week of Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypse. On Wednesday, Bloomberg warned that the bad weather might substantially affect economic statistic gathering -- with special emphasis on jobless claims.
The winter storms may have also led to a plunge in first- time jobless claims last week that will likely reverse in following weeks as state labor offices reopen and the newly unemployed file applications, economists said.
HTWW was prepared to discount a big drop in jobless claims because of the weather. But a rise? That's troubling.