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Jobs Report; Jay Leno Farewell; National Wear Red Day

Aired February 7, 2014 - 08:30   ET


JOHN CHALLENGER, CEO, CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.: So this number has been dropping, not just in the last year, but over the last two decades.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Well, that's interesting. Christine, what's your take on that, because I don't -- I take John's point, and he understands the issue better than I, obviously, but I only -- I see it the other way, which is, this is a sign of weakness in the economy.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: There - it's a sign that there are -- some of those people would like to be working and are not. There need to be more jobs. But, you know, we're not - we don't have enough jobs to sop up the people who want them.

Six point six percent is the unemployment rate. I'm just getting these numbers from my producer in my ear from the Labor Department. So 6.6 percent.

CUOMO: So it dropped?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: So it's dropped?

ROMANS: Dropped a little bit. One of the reasons it could have dropped is because people dropping out of the labor market. One hundred and thirteen thousand jobs created, almost double what it was basically last month, in December, but still not as much as many people had hopped. And 113,000 is not enough to really absorb all the people who are entering the workforce, immigrants, people graduated from college, people who are 18 and getting out into the labor market.

BOLDUAN: So let's compare this from one month to another. The -- last month some are considered it a bit of an anomaly.

ROMANS: Weather problem, right.

BOLDUAN: There -- it was very strange. There was -

ROMANS: There was 74,000.

BOLDUAN: What, 74,000 jobs created. Unbelievably low. It was a surprise for everyone.

ROMANS: Right. BOLDUAN: And so we've just gotten the job numbers in and tell us the latest.

ROMANS: So here's what we know. We know that hiring picked up a little bit in January. So hiring picked up a little bit, but not a whole lot. The unemployment rate fell a little bit to the lowest since 2008. Part of that is because people are dropping out of the market.

The labor force participation rate is a really important number, and John can talk about that too, 63 percent. So 63 percent of working age Americans involved in the labor market. That's the lowest since the 1980s. That's the number, Chris, that we're talking about is the problem. It's an economy that's sidelining a bunch of people.

My big concern is a real bias I'm seeing in the economy against the long term unemployed. I'm seeing that people who are out of job for six months and longer are being told, don't bother applying for this job. You know, we only want somebody who's recently been unemployed or still has been working. That's a real problem here in this economy, in this recovery.

CUOMO: John, let's talk about this problem, the idea of leaving the labor market. Is this about losing your unemployment benefits? I mean what is this dynamic? How do we explain it?

CHALLENGER: Well, it is interesting that as the long term unemployment benefits go off, there are people who are looking for a job, counted as unemployed, just to get those benefits who may actually now start to leave and not be counted as unemployed. That may cause unemployment to drop and this labor force participation number to drop.

But the long-term unemployment issue, you know, that -- you've been out of work for more than six months. It's like you're a house on the market that nobody's buying. That is a really difficult problem and kind of, you know, result of the long recession that we still have not come to terms with.

BOLDUAN: And, Christine, this jobs report, this report that you just got in, this is the first one that would show the effect of the long term unemployment benefits running out for more than a million Americans?

ROMANS: That's right. Yes, absolutely. And so a lot of economists have told me that you've got some people in the labor market who are looking for a job because that was a requirement of getting long term unemployment - of getting those benefits, those emergency benefits. And it doesn't look like the Senate is going to pick this up. I mean this looks to me like it's dead right now in the Senate, right?


ROMANS: So you've got people who are backing out. They're backing out. They're stepping back. They're either using their 401(k). They have a spouse that they're - that they're going to - who's going to be the primary breadwinner.

BOLDUAN: So you're seeing growth - you're seeing growth and some recovery in one element of the economy and not in the other.

ROMANS: And this is what is so important. And I don't want to sound too negative because, here's the thing, there are hiring wars in some job categories. When I talk to CEOs they say, Christine, we can't get the workers with the skills we need. I could hire up right now in welding, in manufacturing, in skilled manufacturing, in STEM science technology, engineering, math. So there are places --

CUOMO: No, it speaks to the same problem though. It's not being negative, it's being objective.

ROMANS: Right.

CUOMO: There's a story behind these numbers because just because the unemployment rate goes down doesn't mean it's a good narrative. They would hire immediately if you had the workers. We're not providing the workers. We're not investing in creating those workers. So you're going to have men in the prime of their lives on the sidelines, not because they're just home taking care of kids, they can't get a job. You're going to have women who could be taking jobs who aren't trained for them, so they're not getting those jobs. That's a real problem. You know, it just is.

ROMANS: It's an education and retraining story.


ROMANS: It's a story about making sure people have the right skills for today. It's also a story about companies not demanding workers with exactly the skills they need, but investing in their workers and investing in their development.

BOLDUAN: And do you wonder if their -- how much the government has to -- is the one that should lead this. Does it come from the government? Does it come from the business side? Does it come from the people? Does it come from the government? Who's going to - who does -- how much can the government do to actually create (INAUDIBLE)?

ROMANS: If they could wave a wand and fix it, they would. They don't know how.

CHALLENGER You know, an interesting -

CUOMO: Yes, John.

CHALLENGER: You know there's an interesting fact that often gets missed. The college educated workers are -- have an unemployment rate of under 3.5 percent. So when you look at who's unemployed, it's the people without high school degrees, it's the people with high school degrees. Those people need training that used to take the manufacturing jobs or high paying jobs, middle class jobs. Those have disappeared. So the jobs that are left, you know, are the service jobs.

CUOMO: Right.

CHALLENGER: And we see growth in restaurants and hospitality -


CHALLENGER: But they just don't pay what they used to, so education is the key for those people.

CUOMO: John Challenger, Christine Romans, thank you for the story behind the numbers.

We're going to take a break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, Jay Leno now a part of "Tonight Show" history. We're going to look at his emotional good-bye and talk with a former band leader, Kevin Eubanks, and the head writer who worked with him for 20 years. Stay with us.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: How about that? A star studded finish to a terrific run as the late night ratings king Jay Leno saying good-bye to his "Tonight Show" audience, this time for good. And, boy, he got a little emotional. Take a look.


JAY LENO, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": I want to thank you, the audience. You folks have been just incredibly loyal. This is tricky. We wouldn't be on the air without you people.

Secondly, this has been the greatest 22 years of my life. I am the luckiest guy in the world. I got to meet presidents, astronauts, movie stars. It's just been incredible. I got to work with lighting people, who made me look better than I really am. I got to work with audio people that made me sound better than I really do. And I got to work with producers and writers. And just all kinds of talented people who make me look a lot smarter than I really am.

I'll tell you something. The first year of this show I lost my mom. The second year I lost my dad. Then my brother died. And after that, I was pretty much out of family. And the folks here became my family. Consequently, when they went through rough times, I tried to be there for them. And I'm real excited for Jimmy Fallon.

You know it's fun to kind of be the old guy and sit back here and see where the next generation takes this great institution, and it really is. It's been a great institution for 60 years. I am so glad I got to be a part of it. But it really is time to go. Hand it off to the next guy. It really is.

And in closing, I want to quote from Johnny Carson, who was the greatest guy to ever do this job. And he said, I bid you all a heartfelt good-bye (ph). Now that I brought the room down, hey, Garth, you got anything to liven this party up?


PEREIRA: And with true fashion, he says good-bye in such a classic way. And talking so eloquently about what his colleagues turning into family meant to him. Well, we've invited some of his family members here today. Leno's long time head writer Joe Medeiros and Kevin Eubanks, former leader of "The Tonight Show" band. Kevin joins us live via Skype from Luxembourg and, Joe, you're there in L.A. And, of course, our entertainment correspondent Nischelle Turner is here.


PEREIRA: Let's start with Kevin first because we know Skype can kind of be our friend, sometimes.

Let's talk about your memories of your time with -


PEREIRA: Let's talk about your memories with - of your time with Jay. What - who's the Jay you knew?

EUBANKS: Well, the Jay I knew became this very sensitive person and a person that cared about the people on the show and what we were going through. If we were going through personal problems, at the top of the show you - you know, he talked about he lost his mom and his dad and his brother in all this. So whenever he felt that people on his staff were going through things, Jay was always there. And that's probably a sensitive part of Jay that the general public doesn't really know about. He always kept that away from doing his job.

TURNER: You know, Kevin -

EUBANKS: So he just became a -- we just became good friends like any good friend would, you know.

TURNER: Yes, I know that you said you guys have definitely kept in touch since you left the show. Jay gave you a shout-out last night saying, if everybody's wondering where Kevin is, he's on tour. I know you wanted to be there last night with him, but what did you think about his good-bye?

EUBANKS: Well, it's funny, watching it is one thing. But when you just played that all I could hear was the audio and I could really hear in his voice that all that was -- there was so much emotion in there that it really, you know, just really touched me when I just listened to that because I could really hear -- Joe could probably hear it too because he knows Jay very well, you know, that it really - I mean it was just such an emotional moment for him. Wow, it was just -- I really wish I was there.

CUOMO: Joe Medeiros -


CUOMO: Tell us, what do you think it is that makes Jay Leno one of the best? What is it that's unique to him?

MEDEIROS: Well, I mean, first of all, he's a great comic. I mean his sense of timing, his way of reworking the material that the writers sent him. I can't tell you how many times, you know, I wrote a joke for Jay and he crafted it in a way it's like, oh, gees, I should have written it that way. That's much better.

But I think it's a common touch he has. He's the every man. You know, he's very approachable. He's very open. He's very friendly. You know, he's - you know, the Hollywood star of the highest caliber, but he's very approachable to the average person.

BOLDUAN: And I think that genuine - how genuine he was in his good-bye I think speaks to just that.


BOLDUAN: There was a moment I thought was really touching, when he was giving all his thanks, Joe, when he took a moment to say, he wanted to thank his producers and his writers and he got really choked up to say that you made him -


BOLDUAN: That you made him smarter than he really was. Do you have a moment that you'll always remember from working with Jay?

MEDEIROS: Oh, gees. I mean there have been so many moments. I mean the moment that I really remember is actually the first moment. You know, I was in advertising. I was writing jokes on the side. I heard that Jay was buying jokes for his act. And I wrote up a bunch. He was coming to Philadelphia, where I lived, and where Kevin's from too, and my wife drove it out to the box office of the theater where he was performing and 12:30 in the morning the phone rings.

And, of course, you jump up going, oh, you know, who's in the hospital, who's by the side of the road dead in a car. But, you know, it was - it was Jay. And he called me up and he said, "Oh, I like your stuff" and, "Please, write for me." And, to me, that - you know, I'll never forget that.

You know, I was with him 22 years. Ironically, I started four years before the show when he was guest hosting and I left in 2010. So our tenures were exactly the same except, you know, he went on a little longer. But, you know, those were the best 22 years of my life as well.

PEREIRA: Well look, this is certainly not the last we're going to hear of Jay Leno. Obviously, there's a lot a head of him. We know he's going to still do some stand ups. He's got some dates -- some touring dates.

I want to ask both of you, both Kevin and Joe -- after 22 years was it time for him to pass the microphone? Was it time for him to hang it up?

MEDEIROS: Kevin, you can go first.

EUBANKS: I don't know if that would be the case. I just -- I think Jay would just keep going on and on and on. I mean he loved his job. It's kind of (inaudible) I mean he'll never stop being a --

PEREIRA: We're having a hard time hearing Kevin. This is where Skype fails us. Joe, go ahead real quick.

MEDEIROS: What Kevin just said was -- you know, in television what lasts 22 years? You're lucky your show lasts 22 minutes. But for Jay to be on that long and to have that kind of track record and to be number one for such a long time. It's really, you know, a gift that the audience will stay with you for that length of time.

Jay like Kevin said, Jay would continue to do it forever but, you know, that's not the business. Jay, you know, is going on as gracefully as Jay would.

PEREIRA: Yes. These things often get decided by people other than ourselves. Right -- isn't that truth. Joe Medeiros and Kevin Eubanks, what a delight to have two voices that were alongside and with Jay Leno for a long time -- thanks so much. From Luxembourg and Los Angeles.

MEDEIRO: You're welcome.

BOLDUAN: Two very different parts of the world coming together on NEW DAY.

PEREIRA: I love that. What a tremendous, tremendous --

TURNER: You know, the last time I talked to Joe one thing he said to me was Jay knows how to take a punch. The guy can take a punch and he'll just keep going.


BOLDUAN: We can all learn a little bit from that, I think -- right.

PEREIRA: Can't we.

CUOMO: One of the most incredible comebacks in entertainment history.

TURNER: Absolutely.

CUOMO: You know.

PEREIRA: We didn't even talk about the car collection. That's for another time.

CUOMO: We'll hear about it going forward. It's part of his future, that's for sure.

PEREIRA: Oh yes.

BOLDUAN: Let's take a break. But coming up next on NEW DAY did you notice we might all be wearing color coordinated today. Today is National Wear Red Day a day dedicated to fighting heart disease.

The one, the only Star Jones is joining us to talk about why this is not just a campaign. This is a personal campaign and journey for her.


PEREIRA: Welcome back. It's time this morning for "Impact Your World". Today as you can tell by us here it is National Wear Red Day, a day dedicated to the fight against heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of women. Most women don't even recognize the symptoms.

Somebody who did -- attorney Star Jones, a national volunteer for the American Heart Association and a heart disease survivor. Good morning, beautiful.

STAR JONES, ATTORNEY: Good morning. It is so good to be alive and so good to be heart healthy.

PEREIRA: So good to see you. I was thinking when I was considering your visit here today you're a triple threat. You're African- American. You're American. You're a woman. It makes you a number one target.

JONES: Number one killer of all Americans, all African-Americans and all women. And heart disease, when it comes to women and African- Americans, beats the next four causes of death combined. That means all forms of cancer. One in 26 women will die from breast cancer. One in three women will die from heart disease.

BOLDUAN: When you say that, Star, and you really changed my perspective. You had me over lunch and we talked about this. And it really opened my eyes because I had the same assumption that many women have that this is a male disease. Why do we still hold that? Because it's not true.

JONES: That's what we usually see on television. It's only in the last two to three years that you've started to see the face of heart disease change. It could be any one of us sitting at this table.

Heart disease does not know race, it does not know age, it does not know gender. And it's not an old white guy's disease as I like to say all time. You think of a picture of an old white guy smoking a cigar, eating a steak in midtown Manhattan, keeling over having a heart attack. No. It can be very subtle.

I had extreme fatigue. I had intense heart palpitations. I would get light headed. I would get a little short of breath. And this is after I lost all the weight. So I was trying to figure out what was that about instead of thinking these are classic symptoms of heart disease.

Then I go into the hospital to be checked. And I did preventative medicine which a lot of women don't do. Diagnosed with heart disease, I had elective open heart surgery for all practical purposes to save my own life.

CUOMO: What did it save in terms of how you live your life? JONES: It changed my lifestyle. You know, after I lost all the weight I had to weight lost surgery meaning you have to make a lifestyle change if you want to maintain it. I've maintained the weight loss over ten years. So that is a feat in and of itself.

CUOMO: Yes, it is.

BOLDUAN: I've seen you working hard. I see you working hard to --

JONES: You know what -- if you want to live then you have to do what you have to do. You have to eat less and you have to move more Chris really is what it comes down to and for me making exercise a part of my every day life. That's what I say to women as national volunteer for the American Heart Association.

This is really about us taking care of our own lives. When you're on a plane, they always ask you, the instructions put your own oxygen mask on first before you attempt to help others.

Women are natural caregivers. We take care of our spouses, we take care of our children, we do all of the things for our family. We're the hedge of protection. When it comes to our own health it's not a front burner issue. My job is to change that.

PEREIRA: You know, it's interesting. Today there's a major news about the fact that some new guidelines for the prevention of stroke in women. It's really interesting. You talk about this with women. We tend to be caring about everybody else.

What advice can you give women who are saying it's just not practical in my life? I have to take care of the home. I have to take care of work et cetera. How can you help them change that mindset?

JONES: Well, think about it this way. If mama isn't healthy nobody is healthy. Because if mama can't take care of everything in the house and the house falls apart what are you going to do then?

BOLDUAN: It's really wake up and pay attention.

JONES: It is. Pay attention. This is really an awareness campaign and an action campaign. My job is to talk to you about what issues are but what we want to you do is take action and then tell five more friends.

PEREIRA: Can I just tell you? She's wearing red for 28 days of February. All red all the time. If you want more information on the beautiful, beautiful story of Star Jones' recovery from surgery and everything,; there's a whole article there about your very brave and bold fight against heart disease.

Thanks for sharing this with us.

JONES: Thanks. Let's go red.

CUOMO: Intelligence and passion. You got the combination.

JONES: You know what? I like you.

PEREIRA: All right. Coming up --

BOLDUAN: You're one of the few. I'm kidding.

PEREIRA: -- right here on NEW DAY, we're going to take a short break. More on the breaking January jobs report. Back in a moment.


CUOMO: In advance we hope you have a great weekend. We're going to send you to the "NEWSROOM" today to Carol Costello right now. We did you a big favor because Kate gave you a big piece of the news today -- Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: She did. She did. And she will be joining us as well you in just moments. Thanks to all of you. "NEWSROOM" starts now.

Happening now in the "NEWSROOM" breaking right now a new look at America's economy. Who is hiring and where?

Also security in Sochi -- threats of violence as the opening ceremonies just two hours away. Anxiety running high as the world's eye turns to Russia.

Straight ahead, how safe is the American team?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our job here is to just focus on what we can control.