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Tom Keene Talks to UBS's Maury Harris

Where do you see the jobless rate in the short term?
I expect the next monthly payroll numbers to be up enough to keep unemployment flat.

Nine percent.
Better flat than going up.

Where is the jobless rate going to be by election time?
Probably around 8.5 percent.

What is the character of our labor economy today?
You have an unusually high number of people who have been out of work for more than six months. Some are people whose skills are no longer required. And then some are getting extended unemployment insurance and probably find that a better deal than going back to a low-pay job.

Do we have too many college graduates?
There is a disconnect between the American dream of being a college grad and where job needs are.

What would you like to see from our politicians?
I would like to see a focus on the short run, where we need fiscal stimulus, the extension of Social Security tax cuts, and the extension of unemployment benefits to keep this economy moving forward when there are more headwinds coming out of Europe. Longer term, we have to see deficit reduction. But this isn’t anything that we need to get started on until maybe 2014.

Keene hosts Bloomberg Surveillance 7-10 a.m. ET on 1130 AM in the New York metro area and nationally on SiriusXM 113.

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