This Week's Jobs Numbers

Calculated Risk warns that the big snowstorm and temporary Census work will inflate the upcoming report. Ryan Avent sees a possible silver lining:

The interesting question is whether this somewhat artificial gain might push the economy past a turning point an on to self-sustaining recovery. So far, renewed growth hasn't produced job gains, and so growth in spending has been constrained. Lack of customers has in turn limited the willingness of firms to add (or permanently add) new employees. New demand has been met with greater labour productivity rather than hiring, and the concern has been that as stimulus and housing market supports fall away, demand will flag and the economy will stall out.

But if a banner employment report or two convinces employers on the brink of hiring to pull the trigger, then a virtuous cycle might begin.