TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Steve Chiotakis: The job cuts are overwhelmingly U.S. Census worker jobs. Businesses, the Labor Department report said, the private sector added about 83,000 workers. The unemployment rate fell slightly to 9.5 percent. That’s its lowest level in nearly a year. James Angel is a finance professor at Georgetown University. He’s with us live from D.C. this morning with some analysis for us. Thanks professor for being with us.
James Angel: Thank you, it’s an honor to be here.
Chiotakis: All right. Well there are a lot of mixed signals coming out of this report this morning. What’s the most important thing you think we should be looking at?
Angel: Well I look at private sector payroll employment. We gained 83,000 jobs in the private sector, which is important because we’re not going down — we are climbing out slowly. But the painful thing that it is, you know, such a slow recovery.
Chiotakis: Yeah, a lot of these jobs were Census worker jobs, the temporary jobs that we gained last month, correct?
Chiotakis: Yeah. So explain to me then why we had, all right, we had so many jobs lost, yet the unemployment rate actually dropped a bit.
Angel: Well that’s because the size of the labor force went down. They measure the unemployment rate by dividing the number of unemployed people by the number of people who are in the work force. So if somebody gives up looking for work, they’re no longer counted in the work force. So if somebody gives up looking for work, they’re no longer counted in the work force. And that’s why the rate went down.
Chiotakis: And that number dropped, so yeah, holistically the number went down because of that, because people have been giving up.
Chiotakis: That can’t be a good thing.
Angel: No it’s not. And in particular the number of discouraged workers is almost three times what it was a year ago. These are people who’ve just plain given up looking for work because they don’t think any jobs are available.
Chiotakis: What’s the takeaway, professor? What should we take away from all of this?
Angel: It’s a slow recovery. We’ve got some recovery happening, we are adding jobs in the private sector, but it would take almost 10 years at this rate to absorb all the unemployed.
Chiotakis: Wow, all right. Professor James Angel joining us from Georgetown University. Thank you, sir.
Angel: You’re quite welcome.
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