Daily Rundown   |  January 10, 2014

Job reports takeaway: More work to do

Jason Furman talks about the bipartisan support for Obama's initiative to decrease economic inequality and shares his thoughts on the December jobs report.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> president obama is promising to tie up income -- on thursday he officially unveiled the first five promise zones. think about the jack kemp empowerment zones that are different. those are the urban ones. southeastern kentucky and the nation of oklahoma. the white house said they focused on the communities and have been hardest hit by the recession. it's an attempt to cut and public safety and housing. think about it. yesterday's event included kentucky senators mitch mcconnell and rand paul who were there because the president designated eight kentucky counties and personally decided to attend thursday's event to show that support. pennsylvania congressman said it was a good sign. take a listen.

>> the fact that you had mitch mcconnell and rand paul and myself along with president obama here today for these announcements signifies how important this is for the country. this is something that brings all of us together.

>> jason furman is the chair of the white house council of economic adviseors. five were unveiled and walk me through how this gets expanded and how does a community get designated if they would like to be.

>> there is a process for designating those zones and it is based on what the words say. there places that have been hit hard and are struggling to make it back. there places that we think have potential.assistance, we can catalyze them and help them grow. these are the first five. there's going to be many more designated, and just last night, you know, i was in conversation with a lot of our cabinet members , because this is something that the whole government is making an effort on to really talk about how excited they all were about this and the next steps we're going to be taking on it.

>> it's not often we get that kind of bipartisan support as we saw yesterday, all the wings of the republican party were there, democratic party were there, seems to have bridged a divide that's always very difficult. i want to move to the jobs report, jason . it was not a great picture. what do you make of it?

>> you know, there's no question that december's jobs number was well below expectations, but chuck, i try not to get too excited when numbers are well above expectations. i try not to move too much the other direction when they are below.

>> by the way, is that part of the job description? your predecessors love that line, too, jason .

>> but it's true. look at these numbers, for example, they say that we lost 25,000 accountant jobs in the month of december. do i think there was a huge blow to the accountant profession in december of this year? i don't think so. things like that are often seasonal quirks, a lot of things in these numbers. now that we have december, we can look at the full year. 2013 , the unemployment rate fell 1.2 percentage points, 2.2 million private sector jobs were added in 2013 . a wide range of data, not just the jobs numbers, all indicate that the economy was strengthening in the second half of 2013 , so we're certainly making progress. no question, a lot more work to do, also part of the job description.

>> all right. jason fehrman, chairman of the president's white house counsel of economic advisers. obviously, so bullish, you came to the north lawn without an overcoat. anyway, thank you, sir.