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November Jobs Report; Remembering Nelson Mandela's Life and Legacy

Aired December 6, 2013 - 08:30   ET


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: A U.S. cargo vessel could start destroying some of Syria's chemical weapons in January. The MV Cape Ray would be equipped with special equipment to neutralize the chemical compounds at sea.

Senator Paul Rand is in Detroit today unveiling his economic recovery plan for that city. It's part of a larger proposal meant to create jobs in cities with high poverty rates and is being viewed as an outreach effort to minority voters.

Renewed hope for a group of whales stranded off the coast of Florida. Thirty-five of them have moved to slightly deeper water. They do still have miles to go before they reach safety. Eleven of them have died so far. Five others went missing overnight.

President Obama and the first family will light the national Christmas tree today in Washington. That event is hosted by actress Jane Lynch and will feature several musical performances.

We always update those five things to know. So be sure to visit for the very latest.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Michaela.

Just in to CNN, the Labor Department is releasing the November jobs report. Chief business correspondent Christine Romans is here with the numbers. You just got them in your ears. So what do we know?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: And they're stronger than expected, 203,000 jobs added in November. The jobless rate fell to 7 percent. It had been 7.2 percent. It fell to 7 percent. The average, you guys, this year, if you put the monthly average coming into this report, it was about 190,000. So this would show you that hiring is picking up. Last month we saw about 204,000 jobs added. So you're seeing that the hiring in the fall heading into winter is picking up.

Here is the thing when we dig through the numbers to look for, what kind of jobs are we adding? Are we adding temporary jobs? Are we adding the kinds of jobs that don't pay the kind - the wages of the jobs that were lost? So even as you're seeing these signs of strength in the labor market, when you look and dig through the numbers, still trying to create more of those middle class jobs.

And I think it's why the White House is still making this case to extend unemployment benefits, 1.3 million are going to run out of unemployment benefits at the end of the year. The White House is making the case, the job market's healing, but it's not strong enough yet to let people go out there without jobless benefits.

You see the trend there. The trend is what's so really important here. You want to see this trend more than 200,000 jobs and you want to see it sustained. When you have job growth of 200,000, 200,000 plus, that's when you start bringing down the jobless rate for the right reasons. Sometimes the jobless rate falls because people just simply, you know, they can --


ROMANS: Right, right, right.

BOLDUAN: They stop looking.

ROMANS: What you want is you want people to be entering back in, people who are out of the labor market, you want them to start coming back in and finding opportunity, but that jobless rate no question has fallen pretty substantially over the past couple of years, 7 percent right now.

BOLDUAN: And as you said, looking at one jobs report is not what you should do. You have to look at the trend. What do you think now -- as we're looking as the year passes, what do you think -

ROMANS: Well -

BOLDUAN: How do you think economists are going to take this trend and what does this mean for the jobs market?

ROMANS: The good thing here, I think, GM, for example, his chief economist, when it was releasing its car numbers this week, he said that they're expecting a stable labor market into next year. That's good news. People, when they feel good about their job prospects, they buy a car. And when we see car sales doing well, which we are, I think that's a sign that people are feeling better about their situation.

Here's the thing, you still have more than 11 million people who are out of work. And somebody who's out of work, for them, the jobless rate is zero.

CUOMO: Right.

ROMANS: So that's still the problem. We have a long-term unemployment rate - unemployment that is still a problem here.

CUOMO: So let's put some shade on these numbers. You were talking earlier that you have to think about the number of people you're capturing who just stopped looking for a job, not that they quit, I used that word, but that they just can't find a job so they stop. Also, it is November. What's the discount effect on this being when a lot of places are hiring just for the season?

BOLDUAN: The seasonal jobs (ph).

ROMANS: And there's also -- this is also the time of year when people start to, frankly, this is when firing decisions also get made, too, because you're looking into numbers for next year as well. So that can sort of be a wash. I mean my producer can tell me what the - what the underemployment rate is and check and see what those temporary number - temporary worker numbers that adds some flesh to that.

CUOMO: But that's just something -- that's just for context for this particular through that matters, right?

ROMANS: Absolutely. Absolutely, it matters.

CUOMO: It's not just about the numbers.

ROMANS: You know, and the other thing that really matters here too, I think, you guys, is that, if these numbers keep getting better, it could stall the stock market, right, because that means the Fed will feel more comfortable in pulling back on all this stimulus. So as the stock - as the job market gets stronger, it means the Fed maybe can pull back. And you don't want to do that too soon because you don't want to hurt the labor market, but that could mean that the stock market run maybe has seen the best of its run so far.

BOLDUAN: And we were talking earlier - earlier in the show that it's a little bit of a - every time we get the jobs report, we keep talking about, it's kind of a mixed bag. It's good but it's not good enough.

ROMANS: Right.

BOLDUAN: How would you characterize this? Because they're saying in my ear, the last time the unemployment rate was this low was November 2008. I've got to take that as a good thing.

ROMANS: This is a strengthening job market. It is a strengthening job market. The underemployment rate is 13.2 percent. So those are people who are working part-time but want to be working full time or they don't have -


ROMANS: So it's double-digit underemployment rate. So people who are down on the labor market will say, hey, man, that still feels real bad but it is moving in the right direction. You want -- people with jobs and a house and a little bit of savings, this is going to be a good economy for you in 2014. If you don't have all three of those things, it's going to feel the same.

CUOMO: But you know what, though, then that's exactly the problem is that many don't. You just - so you get this quality/quantity issue every time these job numbers come out.

BOLDUAN: Right. CUOMO: There's a trend, but what kind of trend? For whom? You know, what does it mean? Those questions matter just as much. So this is really just the start of the analysis, right?

ROMANS: That's right. Absolutely. You're right.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Christine.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

CUOMO: All right, coming up on "NEW DAY", so much to say about Nelson Mandela. We have unique perspectives from three members of the CNN team who have covered him, Wolf Blitzer, Christiane Amanpour and Fareed Zakaria. They're going to join us next to discuss the man, the message and the legacy.


CUOMO: Welcome back to "NEW DAY".

More now on the death of Nelson Mandela. We've spent this morning celebrating the extraordinary life and legacy of South Africa's first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela. A man whose work to end apartheid in South Africa inspired his nation and the entire world. Joining us now from Washington is Mr. Wolf Blitzer, anchor of "The Situation Room," and Christiane Amanpour is here with us in New York, our CNN chief international correspondent.

It's great to have you both here.

Christiane, let me start with you. We're trying to find the right way to capture the man and the message. But you are dealing with so much impact on so many levels. Give us some perspective of how we should see what matters most

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, if you ask people and people have been asked throughout the years who is your hero, just about everybody will tell you Nelson Mandela, because of the immense moral courage, moral dignity and the respect that he simply attracted to himself by his pride, by his dignities, I say, by the core of steal that allowed him to emerge from some of the most inhuman conditions, not just his prison for three decades, but the terrible indignity that was wrought on the majority black population of South Africa.

He came out and he was resentful, and he did hate what happened to him, and he was angry, but his great glory was that he triumphed over that and was able to see the future, get into the head of the white man, understand his adversary, speak his language and negotiate what became the first democratic election in South Africa. It was phenomenal.

BOLDUAN: And, Wolf, I know you'll share the sentiments that Christiane has, but you've told - you tell this story quite often, and I want to make sure you can tell it to our viewers. People always ask you, as you've interviewed many world leaders, who is the most impactful interview that you have had in your long career, and you always say Nelson Mandela. What is it about Nelson Mandela that was so special that left such an impression on you?

WOLF BLITZER, ANCHOR, CNN'S "THE SITUATION ROOM": He was such a powerful figure. And I interviewed him in Capetown at the presidential residence there. You see some video of that interview. That was in 1998, the day after Nelson Mandela took then President Bill Clinton on a tour of Robben Island, where he had spent so many years as a prisoner. In all, Nelson Mandela spent 27 years as a political prisoner under awful conditions during the apartheid regime.

I had visited South Africa in the 1980s as a journalist and I saw what was going on then, the bitterness of the segregation, at apartheid regime. It was awful what was going on then. But then he got out in 1990 and slowly but surely he was eventually elected the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994.

And during those years after he left prison, and he explained this to me, you know, there was no anger, no remorse if you -- no recriminations. He didn't want revenge. He was bitter inside, but he said we need everyone to work together and he almost single-handedly avoided a blood bath, the civil war between whites and blacks that could have erupted in South Africa. He single-handedly prevented that and that's why that interview to me was so powerful.

BOLDUAN: And you can see -- just a note really quick -- over Wolf's shoulder you see the White House and the flag at half-staff in honor of Nelson Mandela. Just a note.

PEREIRA: You know, it's interesting, Christiane, I was thinking about the fact that - the sacrifices that also a man who becomes a freedom fighter and becomes an icon throughout the world has to make as an individual, aside from his years in prison. But when he was called to be this kind of leader, he had to make sacrifices to his own family.

AMANPOUR: That's absolutely right. And President Zuma of South Africa, when he announced the departure, as he said, of South Africa's greatest son, not just its favorite son but it's greatest son, he said, "and we thank his family for making the sacrifices as well," because Mandela did have to give up his family. He did. He was fighting the fight and then he was behind bars. And so, you know, as a human dynamic, that can be very, very difficult for family members. And they had to, obviously, cope with a man who belonged to the world and belonged to their country and not just to him.

But, you know, sometimes it's hard to sum up why -

BOLDUAN: Of course.

AMANPOUR: "The Onion," which as you know all know is a satirical magazine here and I wouldn't normally quote "The Onion" at a time like this, but I think what it said today was -- just sums up everything. It said that reliable sources have told us that for the first time in recorded history, a political leader will be missed. And in a funny satirical way, they put their finger on the spot.

BOLDUAN: Yes, that's really pretty poignant.

AMANPOUR: And it's that, that we miss him and people, you know, would like to have seen him go on forever.



BOLDUAN: And he - as someone said, he kind of almost stared at his maker and then he blinked.

AMANPOUR: Mandela never blinked. Mandela was brave and courageous to the end. He never blinked. He got tired and his body gave out.


CUOMO: At 95.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

CUOMO: What an amazing blessing of a life after all he'd been through and who would appreciate a good joke about him better than himself, given his sense of humor and what he smiled at through life.

This is a great conversation. We must have more of it.

Let's take a break here on "NEW DAY". When we come back, we'll have more with Christiane and Wolf. Stay with us, please.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to "NEW DAY". We are continuing our conversation and celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela. We're back here with Wolf Blitzer, Christiane Amanpour and also joining Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's "FAREED ZAKARIA, GPS" all of them have known very much about Nelson Mandela, his life and his legacy.

Wolf, I wanted to talk to you about we've been getting reaction really from leaders across the globe and many of them speaking very personally about their impressions that one thing they're going to be left with about Nelson Mandela. President Obama, when he came out yesterday he spoke personally about Nelson Mandela. What did you make of it?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: You know, this was a man, Nelson Mandela who really inspired not only Barack Obama as a young college student but so many other millions of Americans and people all over the world. And the President sees Nelson Mandela as a hero, a personal hero -- that will be underscored in the coming days when the President will lead an impressive U.S. delegation to go to South Africa for the funeral to participate in the memorial service.

I know there are a lot of people that want to go with the president. I assume the former President Bill Clinton, the former first lady, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, maybe Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter -- a lot of people want to go members of Congress, and people who were so inspired, it's going to be a difficult chore for the White House to put together that list. How many planes will go? How many people will be allowed to go?

They've been planning this for the last several months because Nelson Mandela has been gravely ill but they've got their work cut out for them over the next few days.

CUOMO: Fareed, I want to bring you in here. Part of the task is to figure out the scale and the scope of this man and his influence. It's not easy especially here in America. And what is why you are thought on this?

Edward Stanton, he was Lincoln's Secretary of War, when Lincoln was assassinated he said, quote, "Now he belongs to the ages." Those are the same words that President Obama used for Nelson Mandela. The question is when you're trying to size up impact, relevance, legacy effect, Abraham Lincoln to the 19th century, Nelson Mandela to the 20th. Is there a comparison?