Obama Donor Mellody Hobson Glorifies Weak Jobs Numbers During Appearance On CBS This Morning

Mellody Hobson, the woman President Obama once described as “one of my earliest supporters” appeared on CBS This Morning on Saturday April 5 to glorify the March jobs report which showed that the economy created just 192,000 jobs. 

Co-host Anthony Mason described Hobson as a “CBS News contributor and analyst” before the Obama donor declared “The good news to me, it wasn't a disaster. It wasn't a huge fall-off. We've seen a steady uptick since December. And the other thing to keep in mind, the numbers have been revised up seven months in a row. So the February numbers were just revised up 20,000 jobs so we might still see that still happen next month.” [See video below.]  

The Obama booster went on to cheer how “private sector was the bulk of the jobs” before she lamented that “Where we didn't see as much new job growth was in the government area. So the people who want smaller government, I guess they're winning. At the same time there haven't been the jobs there that we've seen in the past.”  

CBS co-host Vinita Fair seemed to share Hobson’s sentiments and lobbied for Congress to take additional action to help the unemployed: “In January we saw more than a million people lose some of their workman’s comp. Is there a possibility that there will be some emergency actions to help those people?”  

Hobson went on to complain about Congress’ supposed inaction on extending unemployment benefits: 

We're not hearing that there's a lot of energy around this right now and it's going to be interesting to see what happens because 3.7 million people lost their unemployment insurance in January because we went from that extended unemployment insurance to 26 weeks. So that could also have an effect on the economy when those people do not have money to put into the economy. So it will be interesting to see what Washington does on that issue. And those people need some relief. 

It should come as no surprise that Ms. Hobson would do everything in her power to promote the latest jobs numbers, given her history of raising money for President Obama. In 2008 she donated $28,500 to his campaign and in 2013 she was a bundler for the Democrat, raising $131,200 for Obama. 

See relevant transcript below. 


CBS 

CBS This Morning: Saturday

April 5, 2014 

8:12 a.m. Eastern

ANTHONY MASON: The Labor Department says U.S. employers picked up the hiring pace in March. Last month they added 192,000 jobs, leaving the national unemployment rate unchanged at 6.7%. The good news is that half a million Americans started looking for work in March and most found jobs. Let's take a closer look at what this means with Mellody Hobson, CBS News contributor and analyst. Mellody, good morning. 

MELLODY HOBSON: Good morning. 

MASON: Pretty good number. But I think after a lot of people after the winter weather expected a boost in hiring. But we didn't get as much as we thought, right? 

HOBSON: Well, that was the bad news. So the number came in at 192,000. Economists were somewhere expecting between 195,000 and 200,000. But the good news to me, it wasn't a disaster. It wasn't a huge fall-off. We've seen a steady uptick since December. And the other thing to keep in mind, the numbers have been revised up seven months in a row. So the February numbers were just revised up 20,000 jobs so we might still see that still happen next month. 

VINITA NAIR: We consistently hear that where jobs are at is really important and it's interesting because in this report we saw that it was temporary workers and health care workers and another section really didn't have a lot of jobs as we thought had traditionally been added. 

HOBSON: So private sector was the bulk of the jobs, which is actually very, very good. They tended to be more in the area of salaried jobs and higher pay. So business and professional services, health care added 19,000 jobs in the month. So that was good. That was a big shift from last year at this time where we saw more hourly workers, restaurant, retail, in terms of where the jobs were higher. Where we didn't see as much new job growth was in the government area. So the people who want smaller government, I guess they're winning. At the same time there haven't been the jobs there that we've seen in the past. 

MASON: And we should note that in March private employment finally surpassed the peak it set right before the recession. So it's taken all this time to get back to where we were back in about 2008. 

HOBSON: That’s exactly right. Again, it's taken a long time. But I wore my turtles today because it's been slow, slower than we all want, but steady growth. It really has been.

NAIR: In January we saw more than a million people lose some of their workman’s comp. Is there a possibility that there will be some emergency actions to help those people? 

HOBSON: Well, that's the big question. We're not hearing that there's a lot of energy around this right now and it's going to be interesting to see what happens because 3.7 million people lost their unemployment insurance in January because we went from that extended unemployment insurance to 26 weeks. So that could also have an effect on the economy when those people do not have money to put into the economy. So it will be interesting to see what Washington does on that issue. And those people need some relief. 

MASON: We mentioned that a lot of people rejoined the work force in March. That also means, though, isn't it, that the unemployment rate now is not going to go down as quickly, correct? 

HOBSON: So that's something that, you know, keeps the unemployment rate higher than maybe we would all like to see. People say, well, if you just pick up the pace of adding jobs, that's the story. It's not. This labor participation rate, that's something people are spending a lot of time thinking about. It's at a 3 1/2 decade low. Meaning right now 63% of adults are participating in this work force. Some have dropped out and stopped looking for a job because they're just so discouraged. When they see that the unemployment rate is dropping, they go back ad look for a job and they're considered unemployed again and that keeps the unemployment rate higher than we might think.

MASON: On the other hand its good news that they think the market is getting better and they're coming back. 

HOBSON: That’s exactly right. It’s an encouraging sign. 

NAIR: It's always good to have you and Mellody explain business to the rest of us. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.