Follow Friday: Employment Report and the Higgs Boson Particle

Friday, July 06, 2012

Here's a roundup of the week's stories. The release of this month's job report is the first big story of the day. It reports that 80,000 jobs were added, while the unemployment rate remained steady at 8.2 percent. While 80,000 is certainly an improvement, it is a small one in terms of the big picture.

This sluggish improvement could prove detrimental to President Obama's reelection campaign efforts in swing states such as Ohio. "If there's anything that Obama wants to do, it's more or less to not get stuck in the mire of talking about nothing but the economy," Jeff Yang, writer of the Tao Jones column for the Wall Street Journal and blogger for WNYC’s It’s A Free Country. Yang says, "That's the one thing that I think Romney actually has a strong counter-argument to make against keeping Obama in office." 

Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for WNYC, says that there are some positive aspects to the report. Temporary jobs, hourly wages, and hours worked all increased, which Herman says are indicators that economists look for. "All three of those were up, so those are positive signs of job growth in the future," he says. "But as we've seen for the last three years, we've been here before where the year starts out really well, it gets really bad in the summer, and then it kind of just is flat for the rest of the year. I'm optimistic, but I want to hedge my bets there." 

Lisa Randall, a professor of science at Harvard University, discusses the discovery of a "Higgs-like" particle. "It really is an international effort in this case," Randall says. "The goal is to really understand what's going on at that scale, and hopefully this is just the start of what we're going to find." The discovery has led to many explanation attempts for the non-scientists among us, one of which being Garance Franke-Ruta's article in The Atlantic. 

Also in the news is Ann Curry's tearful departure from NBC's Today, as well as New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin's potential move to the Houston Rockets. 

Guests:

Charlie Herman, Lisa Randall and Jeff Yang

Produced by:

Robert Balint and Paul R. Smith

Comments [1]

listener

Some journalists seem desperate to hang their partisan hat on a tiny sliver of an unemployment percentage point which is essentially meaningless.

Is the goal to improve the smoke and mirrors percentage points in four months to get a politician elected or to genuinely improve the gainful employment of citizens?
Is this report about Obama or the other 310 million Americans?

Maybe the uncertainty of a tsunami of taxes and regulations starting next year thanks to Obama has something to do with nobody hiring?

Isn't it unserious to celebrate hundreds of thousands of work permits going to undocumented workers thanks to a election year Presidential fiat and then also expecting unemployment to decrease?

Jul. 06 2012 09:50 AM

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