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Oct 18, 2012, 02.19 PM IST
The countdown for the US presidential elections has already begun and in the second segment of our special series we are going to discuss, unemployment. The first one we discussed was housing. The biggest challenge gripping the American economy today is, unemployment.
The countdown for the US presidential elections has begun with housing and unemployment being key poll issues. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Gad Levanon, Director Macroeconomic Research at the Conference Board says the September jobs data showing marked improvement in employment scenario may not have been manipulated, but he is disappointed by overall job scene in the US.
Levanon, who also leads the labour markets programme, however, believes that the employment situation will worsen in days to come.
A: I think it was an interesting debate probably the most interesting so far and I wish both of them luck.
Q: Earlier this month when jobs data was released we got a comment from Jack Welch, who said that he believes that the data had been manipulated by the Obama camp or the data was incorrect. Did you expect the unemployment rate to drop down to 7.8 percent? Do you suspect manipulation or do you think the data gathering process is not robust enough?
A: I was surprised, but have no doubts that there is no manipulation going on. In fact if you look at the average growth rate or the average changes in employment in the household survey, employment was growing similar to the employment in the payroll survey. So the fact that employment grew rapidly in September was one month’s blip and doesn’t signal any major divergence between the two surveys. The overall employment growth was disappointing and the decline in the unemployment rate is more due to the baby-boomer retiring than any strong growth in employment.
Tags: US Presidential election, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Gad Levanon, the conference board, jack welch
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