TEXT OF INTERVIEW
STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The economy created 39,000 jobs in November. But the nation’s unemployment rate ticked up to 9.8 percent — the highest since April. And I can tell you, analysts were expecting a lot better from the Labor Department employment report released just minutes ago.
Let’s get an explanation of what’s going on from Gus Faucher, director of MacroEconomics for Moody’s Analytics. He’s with us live from just outside Philadelphia in Westchester, PA. Good morning.
GUS FAUCHER: Good morning.
CHIOTAKIS: Your initial reaction sir.
FAUCHER: Very disappointing. We were expecting something closer to 150,000. And some of the other numbers were weak too — in terms of average hourly earnings and the average work week.
CHIOTAKIS: I heard reports at 150,000 as you say or 200,000 or more, right?
FAUCHER: Yeah I mean all the indicators were pointing to a very strong month in the labor market and then to come in with this 39,000 figure is very disappointing.
CHIOTAKIS: All signs were pointing to something a lot more positive. Why are we still mired in unusually high unemployment?
FAUCHER: There are a couple factors our there. I think businesses and consumers are still nervous. I think businesses may be still reluctant to hire. They’re just anxious about what’s going on out there. And then there may be some seasonal factors. It’s tough to get things right around the holiday season when there’s a lot of seasonal hiring. So it could be that the number next month will be stronger.
CHIOTAKIS: What’s it gonna take to kick this recovery up a notch?
FAUCHER: I think two things we need are an agreement on what we’re going to do about the expiring Bush tax cuts, and then we need to get extended unemployment insurance benefits so those people who have lost their jobs can continue to spend.
CHIOTAKIS: So some legislation there too. Gus Faucher, from Moody’s Analytics. Thank you.
FAUCHER: Thank you.
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