NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Right now, the federal government does not have the definition for a green job. In fact, it doesn’t even count them. So why does he keep talking about them?
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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is where the jobs of the future are in.
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OBAMA: Clean energy technology is what is going to help spur job creation and economic growth for years to come.
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CAVUTO: Well, the president keeping it clean on the very day we learn there are 244,000 new jobs. He is talking about green jobs. But, Diana Furchtgott-Roth says the president needs to stop playing favorites here and just focus on all jobs, any jobs. She is, of course, the former chief economist of the U.S. Labor Department. But we do play favorites, don’t we, Diana?
DIANA FURCHTGOTT-ROTH, FMR. CHIEF ECONOMIST, U.S. LABOR DEPARTMENT: We absolutely do. We subsidize wind, solar, biofuels. One would think that with gasoline at about $4 a gallon and going up, we wouldn’t have to subsidize these alternative fuels, they could stand on their own.
But today President Obama proposed $7,500 tax credit for people who buy electric cars. Imagine that. Gasoline at $4 a gallon and we still need subsidies to buy electric cars. That is because they’re just not worthwhile and not cost efficient.
CAVUTO: There has got to be a method to this. The president is not, you know, an idiot. I mean, if you keep talking –
FURCHTGOTT-ROTH: Well, no. Right, right.
CAVUTO: . talking about technologies. So, you know, hope springs eternal as I always say that this will eventually be the technology of tomorrow. He is spearheading that effort. Once it takes off, baby watch out. What do you make of that?
FURCHTGOTT-ROTH: Well, first of all these new technologies, many of them are made offshore. So we have wind turbines and solar panels from Japan and China. We have rail made in Japan and railroad cars made in Japan.
But meanwhile, the kind of jobs here, right in the United States, for oil and natural gas exploration, coal, those are just being suffocated. Which is one reason we only have 535,000 more payroll jobs today than we did in June 2009 when the recovery began. We’ve only created –
CAVUTO: The White House has been saying, you know, consistently that the trend is our friend. We’re improving. The job pickup is improving and month by month it is getting better and better and better. The last two months –
FURCHTGOTT-ROTH: Well, we still have nine percent unemployment.
CAVUTO: I (INAUDIBLE) I’m just telling you what they’re saying.
CAVUTO: And the 47,000 net new jobs from what we originally reported from the last two months is a sign that they’re right. What do you say? FURCHGOTT-ROTH: Well, I mean, of course, they’re saying that because they want to put on the best spin on it possible. But we still have nine percent unemployment. We have created very few jobs. We had a deficit 1.6 trillion. And part of that is for all these subsidies for alternative energy.
If we took away these subsidies. If we allowed more oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore. More natural gas development, we have 200 years worth of natural gas. And that is a clean technology. We could have our cars run on natural gas.
But no, he is talking about electric cars which needs massive subsidies. They’re very expensive and people don’t want to drive them, even with gasoline at $4 a gallon.
CAVUTO: A wildcard development though this may be, Diana, how much was this report affected by McDonald’s hiring all those folks?
FURCHTGOTT-ROTH: McDonald’s did hire approximately 61,000 employees and so that is made, it is made a little bit higher, yes. It could possibly be a statistical anomaly because this report is going to be corrected three more times before it’s final but I think that we do have job growth but not enough. We have a labor force are participation rate that is equal to the summer of 1984, before the time that millions of American women went into the labor force.
So by no means is our job market doing well. People thought the unemployment rate would go up because the labor force participation rate would go up but it didn’t go up. It stayed the same, low at 1984 levels for four months in a row.