Storm may damage Labor Department’s ability to print out papers.

I was considering devoting the blog to hurricane tips and coverage, but let’s be honest here. I live far inland and have never experienced anything remotely resembling a hurricane (and that includes “hurricane” Isaac), so while I’m able to give you exciting information on which types of alcohol can properly be stored in large banks of snow (your best bets are cans of beer and white wine, but only for short periods), my only advice would likely be useless and pulled from various Dave Barry essays. As for the latter, well, you’re not looking at me to inform you about the weather.

Because here’s my weather report: things look scary. Good day.

As it stands, however, things seem to be closing up shop for the week, as Sandy gets ready to bitch-slap the East coast. Plenty of people will find themselves in harm’s way and likely, much of the coast could be without power for the rest of the week. For most people, this will be a problem and we wish them all the best, but for the Department of Labor, this is fantastic. After all, now they can helpfully delay jobs numbers until after the election.

“We will assess the situation when the weather emergency is over and notify the press and public of any changes at that time,” said Gary Steinberg, spokesman for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the data arm of the department.

The Labor Department is also scheduled to release its third quarter employment cost index Wednesday, and the third quarter productivity and weekly jobless claims reports Thursday.

These are big numbers, because unlike the report that came out at the end of September/early October, this report should be based on quarterly numbers, which result from mandatory reporting, and not just a random query of 3% of employers. In other words, they might not be the best numbers, which probably explains why the Labor Department was pretty much the first government office to throw it’s hands up and admit defeat at the hands of the storm.

Well that and a lot of people really wanted the week off, I guess.

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