Why Does it Take a Jump in Unemployment Claims the Following Week for Reporters to Recognize the Impact of Weather the Prior Week?

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Friday, 18 February 2011 05:39

Initial filings for unemployment claims were reported as rising to 415,000 last week. This was an increase from 385,000 the previous week (originally reported as 383,000).

The reports on the filings noted the impact of weather in reducing the number of claims the prior week. Because of bad weather the previous week, many unemployed workers did not get to unemployment offices to file claims, which in many cases were closed anyhow.

The result was that the number of claims were lower than otherwise would have been the case due to the weather. However, those unable to file the previous week would file in the next week, raising the number of filings for the most recent week. The reports were able to recognize this weather driven pattern this week when claims jumped, but did not note the impact of weather when claims fell the previous week.