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Abraham contributes to story on Omicron surge

Marketplace news service examines economic numbers

A Marketplace report on jobs numbers for February 2022 draws on analysis by Faculty Associate Katharine Abraham.

Dr. Abraham explained that the "reference week" used to report job numbers is carefully selected. In every case it is the week of the month that includes the 12th. “Because, in part, that avoids major holidays. It doesn’t include Memorial Day weekend, it doesn’t include the Fourth of July,” she told Matt Levin in an interview on February 12.

What really matters is the trend, Abraham said. “People are understandably very focused on that new information. But I think it’s more informative to look at what the trends over a somewhat longer timeframe have been.”

The expected jobs numbers (at the time) were to include a week when the COVID Omicron variant resulted in abnormally large absences from the workforce.

See the Marketplace story


"Omicron’s peak coincided with key week for jobs data," Matt Levin,, February 2, 2022