December Economy Feeling Chilly Weather's Effects?
Not everyone is surprised by December's underwhelming jobs report. And it's not global warming's fault, either.
December’s jobs report was underwhelming, particularly when compared to recent months. For example, 252,000 jobs were generated in November, but December saw just 148,000 — a month-over-month reduction of 104,000 and about 42,000 fewer than economists’ expectations, according to CNBC. At 4.1%, the headline unemployment rate remained static, though the U-6 rate, a better measure, ticked up to 8.1% from 8%. Most of the jobs report blame is being pegged on the retail industry, which fell by roughly 20,000 jobs, and that certainly makes sense as brick and mortar stores are still grappling with Internet sales. But other factors may be at play.
While the jobs numbers failed to meet economists’ expectations, there was one person who anticipated the possibility of a lackluster report. On Nov. 30, meteorologist and Patriot Post contributor Joe Bastardi warned, “Caution: December Weather May Cause Skidding of the Economy.” Americans were accustomed to unseasonable warm Decembers in recent years, but Bastardi foresaw a major change this time around. He wrote, “The potential for more extreme cold between Dec. 10 and Jan. 10 has us very concerned.” In fact, his research revealed that the coming cold “would have a huge effect on the economy in almost all sectors from the Plains and areas east.”
Of course, climate change alarmists are tying the U.S. deep freeze to man-made global warming. Guys like Al Gore are proclaiming, “It’s bitter cold in parts of the US, but climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann explains that’s exactly what we should expect from the climate crisis.” Which is rubbish — analogs derived from Bastardi provide example after example of similar extreme patterns before global warming was even part of the discussion. And deep freezes like our current one add credence to the idea that cold weather hurts the economy far more than warm weather.
By the way, Bastardi expects milder temperatures later this month, but anomalous cold could return in February. So a similar jobs report could presumably be in the offing when February’s economic analysis is released. January’s buzzkill report is neither the fault of Donald Trump’s economic policies — in fact, investors appear mostly unbothered — nor the result of man-made global warming. But expect naysayers to portray it that way anyway.