The U.S. unemployment rate in September was 9.1%, a terrible statistic and a symptom of a profoundly damaged economy. Anticipating Friday's jobs report, CNBC Squawk Box co-host and New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin wondered whether the bad economic news had already reached a point where it would be "almost impossible" for President Obama to be re-elected.

"Remember when people used to say for Obama to win, this was a year or two ago, it [the unemployment rate] had to be under 8%," Sorkin recalled. "For him to get unemployment, from now until the elections, under 8%, you have to create something on the order of 400,000 jobs a month.... which is, obviously, almost impossible."



Jim Cramer, a Democrat and Wall Street insider, made a statement on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Friday morning that most definitely turned heads in the White House.

Speaking about the disappointing data released by the Conference Board, Cramer said that traders hate President Obama "like Jimmy Carter was hated" because they believe he's "destroying this country" (video follows with transcript and commentary):



Ahead of the Sept. 2 release of the August jobs report, surveys had indicated the economy had added anywhere from 75,000 to 100,000 jobs that month. But those estimates turned out to be very wrong. Just minutes ahead of the release, CNBC’s Rick Santelli went out on a limb predicting that no jobs had been added in August.

Santelli was right about that number. As CNBC reported just minutes later, not a single job was added overall to the payroll numbers and the unemployment rate stayed at 9.1 percent. The previous two months were revised downward to show an additional 58,000 jobs lost.



Banking analyst Meredith Whitney made a big mistake on CNBC Wednesday calling Tea Party members "freaked out white men who are unemployed" when Rick Santelli was about to come on the program.

Not surprisingly, Santelli after his pre-market interview with Steve Liesman went right after Whitney's foolish comments even making it personal (video follows with transcript and commentary):



CNBC panelists and guests always make predictions in the minutes leading up to the Labor Department's release of the jobs report and June 3 was no exception.

While economists Diane Swonk and Mark Zandi and CNBC's own Steve Liesman all made predictions of job gains between 100,000 and 150,000 - Rick Santelli threw his own lower prediction in just seconds before the announcement: 55,000. (Video available here)



MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Thursday got a much-needed economics lesson from CNBC's Joe Kernen.

In the midst of a discussion about the economy and how it's going to impact the 2012 elections, the "Hardball" host bragged about having studied economics in grad school leading Kernen to marvelously ask, "You studied economics?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):



Perhaps using a preemptive strike to help combat the May jobs report to be released on Friday, MSNBC has already found an excuse for lost jobs, and an increased unemployment rate – storms, tornadoes and flooding.  According to a business report:

“…homes or places of business have been destroyed in this year's wave of storms, tornadoes and flooding. That means thousands of workers in the South and Midwest could be out of work for some time, potentially pushing up the nation's jobless rate and further taxing financially strapped state unemployment funds.”

Yet in 2004, when reporting on an October jobs report in which hiring had increased at the fastest pace in seven months, MSNBC somehow managed to find analysts who said the jump in hiring was due mainly to another form of natural disaster – hurricanes.  The business report at that time read:

“Some analysts were skeptical about the latest surge of hiring, pointing out that much of the unusually large jump in October stemmed from cleanup and rebuilding in Florida and other states that were ravaged by four hurricanes…”

That assessment is buoyed by an accompanying CNBC video (seen below) in which Senior Economics Reporter, Steve Liesman, asks President Bush’s economic advisor, Gregory Mankiw, about the ‘Hurricane Effect’ on a jobs report.



In a moment of respite from its typically liberal proclivities, MSNBC's "Morning Joe" tuned in to "Squawk Box" on May 12 to chat with the 11-year-old daughter of a CNBC anchor who co-authored a book about "defending our kids from the liberal assault on capitalism."

"Although I am an environmentalist, in this argument I support the business side," wrote Blake Kernen, daughter of CNBC's Joe Kernen, in response to a question on a homework assignment that Blake said was biased against the free market. "I agree that limiting the amount of emissions a company can release would hurt a business ... If a company was told to limit its production, it would make less goods, reducing the money it makes. If a company cannot make money, it cannot employ a lot of workers!"

 



On Thursday morning's "Squawk Box," CNBC's on-air editor Rick Santelli sounded off against raising the debt ceiling, the Democrat-controlled congress' failure to pass a budget last year, and "spendthrift" politicians. The rant echoed his famous 2009 diatribe where he called for a Chicago "Tea Party."

"It's a matter of principle. If we can't do the discretionary spending now, what chance do the conservatives have to tackle everything we know?" he said of more budget cuts.  

"But you turn on certain channels that are supposed to be news, and they vilify anything to get it under control. They say we're going to kill kids? You know, we will have problems with children if the whole damn country goes bankrupt. Wake up!"

(Video below the break.)



On MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" today, Steve Liesman robustly defended raising gasoline taxes as a way to address rising oil prices.

The CNBC senior economics reporter minced no words to show his support for hiking the unpopular consumption tax in the midst of a sluggish economic recovery: "I want to offer that one of the real solutions here is a gas tax."

After positing that the problem with oil prices "is not that they're high, it's how they oscillate," Liesman claimed higher gas taxes "would accomplish two things: one, it would create incentives to use less of it and two, create a little more certainty around the price, which by the way is one of the things making gasoline a bad fuel for the economy."



Jobs are heading up and down at the same time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the morning of Feb. 4 that only 36,000 jobs were added in the month of January, but the unemployment rate dropped from 9.4 percent to 9.0 percent.

The mainstream news media will likely latch on to the dropping unemployment rate, despite job gains that were less than one-fourth of the consensus estimate of 148,000 jobs added. One of the CNBC panelists noted that the increase was "way below consensus."

CNBC's Rick Santelli even lashed out at some of the CNBC "Squawk Box" panel that were discussing the latest jobs report. (VIDEO BELOW FOLD)



A sharp drop in the unemployment rate from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent "surprised" analysts on Jan. 7, but Mesirow Financial's chief economist Diane Swonk warned CNBC viewers that it was an "anomaly."

The drop in unemployment rate confused some because in the same report the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported only 103,000 overall nonfarm payroll gains in December 2010.

CNBC's "Squawk Box" panel reacted to the falling unemployment rate by calling it "sort of a fluke," an "anomaly" and predicting it would rise again. CNBC's Rick Santelli suggested the rate dropped "because people are disenchanted' and dropping out of the labor force."