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Did abnormal weather affect U.S. employment growth in early 2015?


  • Christopher L. Foote


A current policy concern centers on how the severe winter weather experienced in some parts of the country may have affected the economy earlier this year. As of 2015:Q1, monthly payroll growth has slowed by more than 100,000 jobs compared to 2014:Q4, while GDP declined at an annual rate of 0.7 percent. To measure the potential effect of weather on recent employment growth, the author estimates a regression model using state-level employment and weather data from 1981 onward. The coefficients from this model are combined with data on recent weather to generate an estimate of how weather is likely to have affected employment growth earlier this year. The specification of the regression model builds on some recent research by Boldin and Wright (2015), who show that abnormal weather is likely to have the biggest effect on employment if it occurs on or just before the 12th day of each month, due to the timing conventions of the government's employment surveys.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher L. Foote, 2015. "Did abnormal weather affect U.S. employment growth in early 2015?," Current Policy Perspectives 15-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbcq:2015_002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael D. Boldin & Jonathan H. Wright, 2015. "Weather-adjusting employment data," Working Papers 15-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Boldin & Jonathan H. Wright, 2015. "Weather-Adjusting Economic Data," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(2 (Fall)), pages 227-278.
    2. Charles Fries & Fran├žois Gourio, 2020. "Adaptation and the Cost of Rising Temperature for the U.S. economy," Working Paper Series WP-2020-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    3. Jones, Adam T. & Ogden, Richard E., 2017. "A day late and a dollar short: The effect of policy uncertainty on fed forecast errors," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 112-122.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity


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