TEXT OF INTERVIEW
STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The nation’s unemployment rate remained at 9.6 percent in October.
That’s despite this morning’s Labor Department report that showed the U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs in the month. Thanks largely to private sector job growth.
Marketplace’s Scott Tong is with us live from Washington with a breakdown of the numbers. Good morning Scott.
SCOTT TONG: Good morning Steve.
CHIOTAKIS: What have we seen out of the private side of the economy?
TONG: That’s the whole story as far as today’s jobs numbers. In fact private employers in October created 159,000. So if you do a little math, that means the public sector has actually lost a few jobs. The growth in the jobs was double what many economists expected. Where are the gains? Mining, temporary workers, health care, and construction — those are some of the big areas. This morning the President had this modest reaction to the news:
BARACK OBAMA: As encouraging jobs report doesn’t make a difference if you’re still one of the millions of people who are looking for work and I wont be satisfied until everybody who is looking for a job finds one.
CHIOTAKIS: That was the President this morning. Well that’s the thing – we still have a lot of Americans looking for jobs, yes?
TONG: The unemployment rate, as you said, remains at 9.6 percent. Now that might be a little confusing but the rate and the payroll number come from two different surveys. What we do know is about 15 million Americans are still looking for a job, and about 6 million have been looking for a long time, for more than six months. And the longer you look, the harder it tends to be to find a job. Economists say to cut into the jobless rate, we need to create 100,000 jobs every month, to keep up with the growing population.
Also this morning, the man expected to become the Speaker of the House, Republican John Boehner, commented on the news. He says unemployment remains “stubbornly high.” And his way to fix it, in his words is to “stop the looming tax hikes.” He’s referring to the Bush era tax cuts for every American that will expire at year’s end unless Congress renews them.
CHIOTAKIS: And will that happen, Scott?
TONG: And yesterday the White House spokesman indicated the administration is willing to deal — suggesting an extension all the tax cuts for all Americans temporarily.
CHIOTAKIS: Marketplace’s Scott Tong, reporting live from Washington. Scott, thanks.
TONG: You’re welcome.
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