January retail sales data were not good by any measure, and they have economists trying to fit the puzzle pieces together today.

The chart above — from Neil Dutta, head of U.S. economics at Renaissance Macro — does an excellent job of illustrating the frustration. Recent retail sales data just don't square with recent jobs data.

"Something has to give," says Dutta.

"There is a widening disconnect. Either retailers stick with it and stay confident on the expectations that sales will improve, or they will be forced to cut employment dramatically."

See Also:

One Little Stat From January Has Economists Worried The Bad Data Is About More Than Just WeatherSomething Has To Give HereRETAIL SALES UNEXPECTEDLY TUMBLE 0.4%

READ MORE ... Check out how banks have slashed their GDP estimates in recent days