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US Unemployment Rate Falls to January 2009 Level; Labor Secretary Responds to Accusations of Fixing Jobless Numbers; Presidential Candidates Respond; Jobs and the Election; Wall Street Reaction; EADS-BAE Merger Still Facing Government Resistance; European Markets Rise; Iran's Currency Crisis; Euro Up, Pound Flat; A Profitable 50 Years for James Bond

Aired October 5, 2012 - 14:00   ET


RICHARD QUEST, HOST: A sharp fall in US unemployment makes some cry foul. Tonight, the US Labor Secretary tells me it's a cheap shot.


HILDA SOLIS, US SECRETARY OF LABOR: It is insulting when you hear people just cavalierly say that somehow we are manipulating numbers. I find that very insulting.


QUEST: Double-oh-tension. The James Bond franchise turns 50. Don't we all?

And cozy, compact, and costly. I explore the apartment so small it could fit in this studio.

I'm Richard Quest. It may be Friday, but of course, I still mean business.

Good evening. Tonight, a turning point for the US economy and possibly game-changer for the US election. The unemployment rate in September fell. If you join me in the library, you'll see exactly the numbers we're talking about.

These are the two surveys we are talking about. September's unemployment rate fell unexpectedly from 8.1 to 7.8 percent. The jobless picture has come full circle for President Obama. That rate is now the same as when he took office in January 09.

Now, that is one survey, but there's a household survey over here which showed US business added 114,000 jobs in September. I beg your pardon. That's the household. That's the employer's survey that showed 114,000 jobs added in September. Figures for July and August were revised upwards, 86,000 new posts were added.

So, these two surveys, particularly this one, has been a source of great optimism during the course of the day and controversy for one reason: the former chief exec of General Electric, Jack Welch, accused the government of faking the numbers.

Welch tweeted, "Unbelievable, these Chicago guys" -- a reference to the Obama administration -- "will do anything. Can't debate so change the numbers." Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric.

The US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis told me she found that accusation insulting.


SOLIS: Well, it's unfortunate, because to be sure, I have the highest regard for our professional staff at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Highly trained, highly skilled, PhDs, economists, statisticians, folks that have been working in this area for many years. And this is a methodology that's been used for decades.

And it is insulting when you hear people just cavalierly say that somehow we are manipulating numbers. I find that very insulting.

But let's be sure what we're really talking about here. We're talking about a growth -- a number that is changed from the last month. But I have to look at what's happened, the trends for the last couple of years and months, and we saw revisions. That's what's going to happen when you have new, additional information coming in. That's somewhat expected.

We saw it for July and August, 86,000 additional jobs added. But that isn't the story. The real story is that we have 5.2 million private sector jobs. We still have to do more --

QUEST: Right.

SOLIS: There's no doubt in my mind that we need to do more to create more jobs.

QUEST: To the criticism that the unemployment rate has fallen because more people are leaving the -- they're not looking for jobs. That's the other big criticism.

SOLIS: Well, that's not accurate, because what this report tells us is that there's actually more people that have found employment and that's why the number has ticked down. And you have to look at the fact that there are two reports, two surveys. One is the payroll and one is the household.

The household includes individuals that are self-employed and are in start-up industries. The payroll is based more on receipts. So, when those two are married, and that's what this is about, then you see these numbers coming together.

But they -- these are numbers that have gone through this process now. There's nothing that has changed that should be different. I would say that consumer confidence is up, considering where we were in the past few years, and I think that we know things have been changing.

Professions and business, health care, areas where there's requiring more skills, obviously, have done better. That's why I want to say that we have to do more in education and training to get people with that one-year or two-year certificate at a community college in licensing or certificate.

QUEST: Is it, though, a fear that there is a hardcore level of unemployment of people who will find it extremely difficult to get new jobs? There is a -- I mean, we are going to have to get used to an unemployment rate that has been higher than it was, say, at the height of the boom, which we now know was artificial.

SOLIS: Well, what I would say is that there are a lot of people that have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Many of them are going to require additional training. They're still young enough to be able to work in the workforce, and we want to see them attached.

So, people that stay attached to the workforce, get additional training, or get into, say, one of our one-stop centers, as they're known here, they have a better likelihood of finding employment.

And we do have a lot of things that we can pull out of our toolbox to assist in that way, by also creating incentives for people who are unemployed to get experience on the job, so perhaps we can get an employer to utilize our UI fund --

QUEST: Right.

SOLIS: -- in a different way, to allow for people to get that experience on the job, and then be offered the job after, maybe, a six- month period.

QUEST: As I look at the numbers this morning, and I looked at -- and I compared -- reelections with unemployments. You know the numbers better than me. For the president, the odds are going to be difficult. There's only one reelection where unemployment has been over 7 percent in recent times, that was Ronald Reagan. Otherwise, the incumbent goes down.

SOLIS: Well, my job is really just to report on what the figures are for unemployment each month, and my job is to work alongside this president and with those other individuals in our cabinet and out there, our stakeholders, business owners, folks that are looking for work, to see that we can push ahead and make sure that we can find adequate career paths for them, get them the training, and make sure that we help support those individuals that would like to find employment.

I can't really opine on what's happening in the political process. My job is to help move forward on the safety and security of workers and workforce training.


QUEST: US Labor Secretary, there. She may not opine, but the politicians in office and otherwise said. President Obama called it the nation moving forward, but there's still work to be done, and he's the man.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today's news certainly is not an excuse to try and talk down the economy to score a few political points. It's a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now.



QUEST: The opponent, Mitt Romney, downplayed the numbers. He said the unemployment rate is coming down for all the wrong reasons.


MITT ROMNEY (R), US PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The unemployment rate, as you noted this year, has come down very, very slowly. But it's come down nonetheless. The reason it's come down this year is primarily due to the fact that more and more people have just stopped looking for work.

And if you just drop out of the workforce, if you just give up and say, look, I can't go back to work, I'm just going to stay home. If you just drop out altogether, why, you're no longer part of the employment statistics. So, it looks like unemployment's getting better.

But the truth is, if the same share of people were participating in the workforce today as on the day the president got elected, our unemployment rate would be around 11 percent.


QUEST: This is a dispute over numbers, and this is the rate of unemployment, the jobless rate, at each election since 1972. Now, there have been four elections since 1972 where the rate of unemployment has been over 7 percent. In three of them, the incumbent lost.

In 78, it was Gerald Ford who lost, also because of Watergate. In 80, Carter lost. And indeed, in 92, Bush lost. The only case in recent time where an incumbent has won with an unemployment rate over 7 percent was in 1970 -- was in 1984, and it was Ronald Reagan, and he won reelection.

So, that is the one that Barack Obama is going to be hoping is repeated and not the other three that clearly militate against him. Maggie Lake is in New York. Maggie, the figures -- it's stark, isn't it? By the historical data, he should lose, but we're in very different times.

MAGGIE LAKE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, Richard, and that's the point I've been making. We only have to look at the last four years to know that we've thrown out every history book in every other aspect of the economy.

But listen, the fact that there is so much information, there is so much controversy surrounding these numbers really underscores what a very, very tight race we were in.

And I'm always thinking in these moments that, just like in sports, in the final minutes of the match, in the playoff, a lot of time it is momentum that matters, and that could very much be at play here, especially because the unemployment drop this time around, despite the controversy, seems to be based not on a shrinking labor force, which economists are saying makes it seem like a more significant turning point.

The issue is, how do voters feel about it? Are they feeling this big drop, and is that momentum shift, if it's real, going to come in time for the election and, more importantly, for President Obama? We've been getting the pulse of people here on the street to see what they think of it after the number came out, and a lot of it was mixed. Have a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm extremely encouraged by the clear signs of improvement with unemployment since August, and I think it just points to the fact that many of the policies that have been put in place are starting to work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's excellent news for Obama, and hopefully it will change the tone of this debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel like a lot more can be done. I personally know a lot of people who are struggling to find jobs right now, and it took me a long time to get a job.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's still had, sweetie. It's very hard. This is ridiculous. I have five friends right now unemployed.


LAKE: -- for Obama Richard, is -- the challenge for Obama is to convince people that this is what it's going to look like in the future. Remember two very important things: it's the undecideds he has to convince, that's a very small portion of the population right now, that's what this election is riding on.

And the other very important thing is, this drop in unemployment, this switch of momentum in the -- in the employment picture comes along with a recovering housing market and an improved stock market. Those are critical for consumer balance sheets.

QUEST: Maggie Lake in New York for us tonight. Investors, Wall Street, they welcome the data. Not hugely, just up 42 points, a gain of a third at 13,106 -- 13,618, that's where it stands tonight.

In a moment, Iran's collapsing currency. The rial has more than halved this week. We will talk about whether it could halve again.


QUEST: The plan to join EADS to BAE Systems, the defense and airline merger, is mired in trouble. France, Germany, and the UK are said to be in disagreement over the deal, according to Reuters, which says French government sources -- and we've had no official word on that.

The French president, Francois Hollande, says both companies must take each country's position into account during negotiations. That, of course, assumes they can all agree.

In the UK, conservative lawmakers have written to the prime minister, David Cameron, saying the deal won't be in the British interests without, their words, "vital safeguards." A mess, indeed.

EADS finished more than 2 percent higher in Paris on a strong day for European stocks. Green arrows all around. Markets took their cues from the US jobs report and pushed higher after lunch. Best results were, of course, were from Paris and from the DAX. They all finish up for the week as a whole.

Iran's currency remains in free fall. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad now says "the enemy's sanctions" -- "the enemy's sanctions" -- are to blame, which is, perhaps, the first time that he has ever admitted the sanctions were having real effect. We're hearing rumors the EU and US are considering a broader trade embargo, and that would make life even harder.

This is how the system works for Iran at the moment. Quite complicated, this. The central bank obtains US dollars from oil revenues, which it keeps in reserves. Now, that in itself is quite difficult to do because of sanctions of selling the oil, and the bank transactions that the central bank has to do to convert the money. It sells official -- it sells at the official rate of 12,500.

In late September, the government launched a foreign exchange center. Now, the idea was to ration the currency, giving it and ensuring those businesses that need the money have it, a sign that reserves, perhaps, are wearing thin.

Parallel to that, you have the unofficial market, the informal market, where the rial has plummeted sharply. And some believe -- somebody who -- it was because this (indicating "Dollars Rationed") -- started the whole panic off. When they introduced that, people got worried.

And now, of course, it's difficult to calculate the value. The money changers in Tehran -- that's the official rate (indicating "USD = 12,500 rials"), but actually, the real rate is the best part of 40,000 for a dollar in mid-week. It's a slide of some 40 or 60 percent in just a week.

So, some perspective. What is actually going on? Gary Hufbauer is a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute. He's also a former deputy assistant of Secretary of State for International Trade. Joining me from Washington, he was quite clear, life's going to get worse for Iran.


GARY HUFBAUER, PETERSON INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMICS: Well, I think that's about right. It's like any other financial crisis. Things were kind of OK in 2008 until they weren't OK, and Lehman went down. And then there was a complete collapse of the market.

So, here you've got a different market, which is the market for the Iranian rial, and I would guess that most upper-class and middle-upper- class people in Iran do not believe that the banks are any good anymore. They probably think that money's going to be devalued, now at about 35,000, 40,000. It could go down to 100,000 to the dollar.

QUEST: The sanctions as such -- sanctions are a blunt instrument that have been ineffective over many different disputes. But is it your view that sanctions are working here?

HUFBAUER: Well, they're working in two senses. One sense is they are putting a lot of punishment on the Iranian economy. I think life for ordinary Iranians is miserable, and even for upper-class Iranians is probably getting pretty difficult. Can't replace their car parts, anything.

The other way sanctions are working is that there has been a lot of covert action on -- Stuxnet and Flame, and such like, and that has really delayed the Iranian nuclear project. So, in those two senses, they are working.

But are they changing the intentions of the inner circle -- that's the top 30 people or so -- in the Iranian government? That we don't know. There's no evidence that those intentions have been changed. And that's the big question mark right there.

QUEST: And that really brings us to our final point, doesn't it? Are we looking at an economic blip, or are we looking at the beginning of a process which could see fundamental change in Iran?

HUFBAUER: Well, I think it's almost equally balanced, but I think it's the latter, because these sanctions are really squeezing, and I think there will be some people in the top councils of the government who say enough is enough, let's buy some time, let's give in, at least to a measured extent, on the UN policies and inspections.


QUEST: Gary Hufbauer there in Washington on the situation of the currency. We'll follow that closely in the weeks ahead.

A Currency Conundrum for you, now in a very different direction. It'll all become clear why we've chosen this, but the new James Bond film, "Skyfall," cost $150 million or so to make. But the first Bond adventure, "Dr. No," had a budget of a mere $1 million.

Adjusted for inflation, what is "Dr. No" in today's money? $63 million, $8 million, or $283 million? How much would that be in today's money?

A fall in the US jobless market -- rate makes investors breathe a little easier. They're turning away from the safe haven currencies. The euro's up, the pound is flat. These are the rates --


QUEST: -- this is the break.


QUEST: Carnaby Street in central London. This was where the swinging 60s began, Mary Quant miniskirts and all that. 1962, for instance -- it was a good year. It saw the creation of James Bond, the Beatles, and me.

Today in 1962 was the release of the Beatles' first song, "Love Me, Do." It was also the premier of the first James Bond movie. Who knew it would all be so big and so profitable?


JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The James Bond franchise has grossed more than $5 billion in ticket sales over the past 50 years, second only to the franchise of Harry Potter. But when adjusted for inflation, the Bond franchise has grossed more than $13 billion.

About ten years ago, Ford Motors had all their cars in "Die Another Day," the Bond film. This one, we have James Bond drinking a Heineken. Does product placement become that important for these films that are being made these days?

CHRISTINE CORNER, MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT, GRANT THORNTON: There's two types of product placement. First of all, where people put their products into films free. And then there are brands that pay to have their products, like Heineken, in the film. But obviously, that helps towards financing a film.

BOULDEN: We're sitting her in this beautiful old cinema theater, the Troxy in East London, and I keep reading that maybe there's fewer people going to the cinema now, but that's not necessarily the case in the UK.

CORNER: No. The UK box office has held up fantastically well in terms of box office admissions. But also in take into the box office. A lot of that has been dependent on the 3D with the premium prices. But box offices are doing very well in the UK.

People really want to go and see the films in a big cinema with an audience. You look at films like "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," that got out the older population. So, there are good examples of where you can actually entice people just on the basis of having a good film.

BOULDEN: Is it fair to say most films lose money?



CORNER: Most films lose money.

BOULDEN: Why would people invest in them?

CORNER: People invest because they want to, at the dinner table, talk to their friends about the film they've been in. They want to go to the set. People are attracted to -- rich individuals are attracted to film as a trendy talking point, maybe.

BOULDEN: So, maybe I can invest in the next James Bond?

CORNER: Maybe.


QUEST: Invest in the next James Bond? Jim Boulden.

When we come back, to America's heartland, and we're looking for a job.



QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. More QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment. This is CNN, and on this network, the news always comes first.

A Syrian opposition group says rebel fighters have shot down a Syrian helicopter gunship in Damascus countryside. Activists say the helicopter was bombing the eastern Ghouta area before it was shot down.

And activists in Syria say government forces are subjecting the city of Homs to its worse bombardment in five months. The opposition says the neighborhood of Khaldiyeh, a rebel stronghold, came under fire from Syrian warplanes and artillery. Activists say violence across the country has killed at least 55 people today.

The world's biggest platinum producer, Anglo-American, has fired 12,000 striking South African miners. It's part of an attempt to stop a wave of wildcat strikes over wages. Angloplat says the strike has cost 39,000 ounces in output. That's around $81 million in value.

The radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri has lost his eight-year legal battle to avoid being extradited to the United States, along with four other terror suspects. A British court issued the ruling a few hours ago, indicating there were no more grounds for further appeals. It's not clear how soon the extraditions will take place.

The unemployment rate is below 8 percent for the first time since early 2009 in the United States, 7.8 percent, according to new government report that also showed 114,000 jobs added last month. In addition, there were revised reports for July and August showing more jobs added than initially reported.


QUEST: Every state in the United States has an unemployment story to tell. The highest in the union is Nevada at 11.2 percent. The lowest is North Dakota, we've discovered, which is just 3 percent. So let's choose one in the middle, roughly 31st out of 51, Indiana.

Indiana, good place for us to go and also a potential swing state in the election. Bring the Indiana story home to you and the employment situation, this is the Greensburg (ph) "Daily News" in Indiana. It's this morning edition of it. You can see local news writ large. But our look tonight is for U.S. job seekers.

So on page 3 of the paper -- page 8 -- you will see the job that are under the "Help Wanted." And right into the bottom of it, you will find we've checked some of them out. An ad for an industrial election. Need a minimum of five years' experience. We've called up five years' experience; must be able to travel. Call for an application. They've had five emails -- only five emails this week.

And we checked on the other ones and, frankly, none of them have been inundated with job seekers. It tells you jobs are being created. There are new employment. One factory a short distance from Greensburg (ph) also managed to add jobs. Ted Rowlands is in Indiana.

Ted, what we've seen from the Greensburg (ph) newspaper and what you're talking to us about tonight is that things are improving.

TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Richard. In manufacturing, we're at Wieland Designs, and this is a company that makes a number of things. They make airline seat covers, seat covers for automobiles, high-end furniture. They ship it all around the world. And they have openings. They've added 70 jobs in the past year and they're trying to add more.

And you can see there are some empty sewing machines here which they would love to fill up. But they're having a tough time getting those positions filled. Kip Wieland is the CEO and this has been an issue for you. You guys are doing well and would like to expand, like to bring in more folks. Tell us about what you have available and the difficulty you've had filling those spots.

KIP WIELAND, CEO, WIELAND DESIGNS: Well, as you had mentioned, we're up about 70 people from a year ago. The immediate need is for an additional 15-20 people here on the shop floor. And we're looking for about 4-5 folks that are more professional folks in the engineering areas and product specialists to add to a staff, a current staff of about 45 people.

And I think we have plans conceived that could grow that number even more, I think, over the next two years.

ROWLANDS: Yes, if you could find the workers.

Richard, one of the things -- this is fascinating -- is part of the equation here, I mean, you would think with an 8 percent unemployment rate in this county, people would be beating the door down.

We're talking about jobs with a decent wage, full benefits. But what they're finding here is people that are on the unemployment doles would rather stay on unemployment then come back to work, because they can make about 70 percent of their salary and do nothing. That has been a hurdle for you, according to the folks that are helping you try to fill your sewing machines.

WIELAND: Yes, that's true. Now this is a -- there's great people in this part of the -- part of the U.S. and very hardworking. Our population's actually down in this area. We just don't have enough people.

ROWLANDS: It's fascinating, all the things that, Richard, go into the problem, a great problem to have in the U.S., considering where this county was, at 18 percent unemployment just a couple of years ago. But now they have problems filling these positions.

QUEST: A quick question to you, Ted. Is it likely that this final -- this unemployment number plays into the election much more than we've already seen? Is it -- how does it play out for where you are in America, do you think?

ROWLANDS: Well, it depends on who you're talking to, of course. You can spin this either way. Romney today talked, well, it's a 7.8; yes, the unemployment rate's gone down, but that's because people are so frustrated they're not even looking for jobs. The White House is spinning a positive take on it.

In this county, in this state, there is absolute improvement. In terms of the job front, manufacturing is up on recreational vehicles, boats which are made in this county and here, with all the things that are made here. Absolutely, unequivocally, if you want a job and you're living in this part of the state of Indiana, you can get one.

QUEST: Ted Rowlands joining us there from Indiana.

When we come back in a moment, would you like to live in a house or an apartment just this size? There's not even enough room to swing a cat. And an elephant is the price tag -- in a moment.





QUEST (voice-over): The answer to today's "Currency Conundrum," "Dr. No," the Bond movie, cost $1 million in 1962. How much would that be in today's money?

The answer, $8 million. That's something like 140 million less than the new Bond film, "Skyfall." So not only that -- not only are films more expensive, they're even more expensive in inflation adjusted terms.


QUEST: It has been described as a small well-located studio apartment, right in the heart of West London. It doesn't tell the whole story about the little flat in Princes Court (ph). This is roughly the size of it, and the desk that I normally sit in wouldn't even fit in. So if you think small is cheap, I promise you, think again.


QUEST (voice-over): Some are compact, others bijoux. There are pied- a-terres and studios. Then there's flat 8F.


QUEST: Nothing quite prepares you for something so small. This is it. All of it. There is no more -- 10'4" by 8'4".

I can touch from one side to the other without hitting the wall. I am 6'1" tall and this is the length of the flat.

QUEST (voice-over): The apartment is a converted porter's toilet and cloak room. It tasks even the estate agent's vocabulary.

MATTHEW FINE, DIRECTOR, HUNTERS ESTATE AGENTS: Unusual, unique, interesting marketing opportunity. I would point out the high ceiling. I would point out the natural light coming through. I would point out the potential refurbishment, the location.

QUEST: The original asking price of $145,000 has been well exceeded. The current top offer's believed to be around $280,000 for one simple reason: the old rule, location, location, location. This tiny apartment is in the best part of London and next to the top people's department store, Harrods.

FINE: You've got Harrods (inaudible) kitchen with this (inaudible) you're going to get a hell of a lot of interest.

QUEST (voice-over): The demand for this unique property has been intense. More than 100 viewings, a dozen offers. Ironically, the winner is likely to be an investor from Greece.


QUEST: And this is actually the real floor plan of the apartment, 10' x 8' x 8' square. And apparently there are four types of people that would be interested in this. The first is the people who already live in the building who want a room, an extra room in the summer for their maid and their chauffeur.

There is those who would like a pied-a-terre so when they're in town. And what about those investors looking to rent out for several hundred dollars a week? But here's the clever one. You -- with this apartment, you would also get the right to have a parking space in Knightsbridge in London and that parking space alone could be worth several hundred thousand dollars.

So it's small, it's compact, you get a good night's sleep. Just hand over the money.

Jenny Harrison is at the World Weather Center for us tonight.

Jenny, I've put your name down. Just send the details and the check.

JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, no, (inaudible). I tell you what, Richard, actually, seriously, I would love to see when it's full what someone does to it, because somebody clever with a good eye, an architecture, you know, whatever, it would be fascinating, wouldn't it?

QUEST: What they said is -- what the guy said was what you need is a perhaps somebody a caravan designer or a boat interior designer to sort of have things coming down and things coming off. You know, you get the idea.

HARRISON: Yes, I get the idea.

QUEST: What have we got lined up?

HARRISON: Well, nice weather for doing a bit of home refurbishment, not without in northern Europe but across the south certainly. You can see it's the usual story. It is that time of year. We've got system after system, blustery conditions, wet weather, quite heavy rain at times coming across southern regions of the U.K. and then continuing on through the Low Countries and Germany.

But it's moving fairly swiftly as that low and that front sweep through, but across the south, look at this. It is glorious. High pressure in control, temperatures a little bit above the average, hardly any wind and just some lovely sunshine for the next few days. And I wanted to show you something a little bit different.

It is that time of year. People go traveling all over, different parts of whichever country they live in or maybe to a different continent to look at this. And it's the autumn leaves. So this is actually eastern Siberia. We don't often look at eastern Siberia. That was before the leaves changed.

This is what it looks like from the air on the 1st of October. It really did change very, very quickly in that particular area.

So here are some. An iReporter sent us some pictures. Richard Gough here in London sent this in from Victoria Park, all the beautiful leaves, of course, on the ground, particularly those blustery conditions are then over in the U.S., Kentucky, this from Fareed Khan, again, just beautiful pictures.

So we still would explain to you perhaps why do the leaves change? We're so used to seeing the colors. We love it; we know that it is actually weather related. But basically it's the chlorophyll in the leaves that turns it that green. That is what we see, the green.

Now it needs a lot of sunlight, good temperatures to stay that lovely green. And as the leaves turn red and yellow and brown, that is because they are losing the chlorophyll. And in fact, as the green falls away, these other pigments that are there, they just actually show up, the carotenoids, they're the ones that make it look yellow.

And then we have the anthocyanins; they're the ones that make it look red. And the weather does play a part, because when you have dry, sunny weather by day, cool and dry at night, that is when you get the best colors.

When you get winds like this, the chances are those leaves are going to come down pretty quickly, bit of a shot of cold air coming through over the weekend across northern Europe.

The rain continuing to speed in from the west, but all of it is fairly swift moving and your temperatures not bad really, 16 in London, 15 in Paris. That's the best sunshine in the south, 24 in Rome and 27 in Athens, Richard.

QUEST: We thank you for that, Jenny Harrison. Have a lovely weekend. Come back to us unbesmirched next week.

And you can come back to us, of course, at any stage, when you and I can have a nice dialogue on Twitter @richardquest, where you and I can talk over the world's events that take place in the business world.

And thank you for joining us for our nightly digest of business and economics, because that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Richard Quest. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable.


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST: You're watching MARKETPLACE AFRICA. I'm Robyn Curnow here in Alexandra Township in Johannesburg. Now walking in these streets, it's hard to miss all the young people hanging about unemployed. In fact, half of South Africa's youth is jobless. And it's a similar story across Africa.


CURNOW (voice-over): So for this week's show, we've got Vlad Duthiers in Lagos; David McKenzie in Nairobi and Ian Lee in Cairo, who all take a look at youth unemployment across the African continent.


IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ian Lee in Egypt, where roughly 30 percent of the country's youth is unemployed. High unemployment among young people has plagued Egypt for years. But for many, the problem became worse here in Cairo's Tahrir Square.


LEE (voice-over): While the country's revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak started here and brought democratic change, it also brought instability and insecurity, keeping tourists away and investors out. Egypt's economy has yet to recover, leaving many people like aspiring singer Sherrif Mohamed with little hope for the future.

SHERRIF MOHAMED, SINGER (through translator): Those who had modest jobs, the revolution killed them completely and destroyed their lives. And now there are no jobs whatsoever.

LEE (voice-over): Mohamed met me in his Cairo neighborhood of Museradeema (ph). Ever since Mubarak stepped down 20 months ago, the 24- year old has been unable to afford university, forcing him to look for a job. In a country where more than 13 percent of the population is unemployed, finding work is hard. Finding good work is harder.

MOHAMED (through translator): I tried working in restaurants, coffee shops, clothing stores and lately work at my brother's store, who treated me in a businesslike manner with no regard for brotherhood. The wages are not sustainable at all.

LEE (voice-over): Many Egyptians like Mohamed believes it's the government's responsibility to find them work. Former minister and University of Cairo Professor Ahmed Borahi (ph) says government employment isn't the answer.

AHMED BORAHI (PH), UNIVERSITY OF CAIRO (through translator): There's a big problem in Egypt where people are employed in sectors that do not need workers. The government employs 51/2 million employees while they only need 2 million.

LEE (voice-over): Borahi (ph) believes foreign investment holds the key to solving Egypt's financial woes.

Mohamed also sees investment as the key and hopes someday someone will invest in him.

VLAD DUTHIERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa's biggest oil exporter grew at a brisk 7.4 percent last year and estimates are that this year the growth will continue between 7 percent and 8 percent.


DUTHIERS (voice-over): But Nigeria has one of the fastest growing populations in the world, which is set to double by the year 2035. And although recent data shows that 11/2 million more people entered the workforce since 2009, unemployment, especially young people, even those with college degrees, is rising.

And although more people are going to school, the unemployment rate has not dropped. Estimates are that it's around 17 percent in urban areas and close to 25 percent in rural areas.

Enter Jobberman, one of the fastest growing job search websites in Africa, and with the unemployment rate so high, needless to say, business is booming.

Jobberman has over 5,000 job listings at any given time, and CEO Ayodeji Adewunmi (ph) tells me that the site attracts 21,000 unique job seekers per month, which keeps his staff of 48 extremely busy.

AYODEJI ADEWUNMI (PH), CEO, JOBBERMAN: When we set out to do Jobberman, it was really about creating the largest catalog of jobs in Nigeria, for Nigerians, whether they're in Nigeria or outside Nigeria. From the statistics, our data, about 16 percent are median or small businesses in Nigeria. They are only able to hire 2 million people.

A lot of Nigerians are graduates, think a job is an entitlement. A job is never an entitlement. Growth has to be inclusive. Yes, Africa is growing at a very fast rate in terms of economic -- economy wise.

But when you look at Nigeria, again, from a macro level, you discover that Nigeria is really a non-diversified economy in the sense that we're very dependent on natural resources like oil. People can do a lot in terms of (inaudible) culture and the country will be able to employ not only the skilled but also the unskilled graduates in and outside of Nigeria.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm David McKenzie at the University of Nairobi. Now some of Kenyans' best and brightest graduate from here and enter the job market. When they get there, they face severe challenges. Some 40 percent of Kenyans are unemployed. Most of them are youth.


MCKENZIE (voice-over): I sat down with three promising students and found out just how hard it is to enter Kenya's job market.

MCKENZIE: And you're about to enter the job market. What is the prospect of actually getting a job?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There about 300 of us plus in the smaller classes. And the big ones, around 700. So I'm competing with around 700 people to get the same job, probably in the same place. So it's pretty thin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are so many graduates who've been through campus and still jobless and I don't think the government is doing enough to solve that situation.

MCKENZIE: What do you think needs to be done to create more jobs?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot has to be put in place to encourage the youth to engage in their passion. So much about creation of opportunity, and that's why the government comes in. Unless we get good governance in Africa, job market will not change.

MCKENZIE: You know, 2005 was sort of private sector in Kenya has really blossomed. But has it created it jobs for new graduates?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say some of the progress (inaudible) jobs. Yesterday (inaudible) graduate but the security in those private sector job is what is so wanting (ph). Given that some of the private sector, they promise you a job but it's a contract to a job.

MCKENZIE: African economies are growing quickly, but there's this unemployment. Why do we need to match the job prospects with the economic growth?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There has to be a match, because if something is beyond, for instance, if you have the market is way beyond your education level, there won't be productivity, because I wouldn't be able to survive in this, you know, this (inaudible). And inasmuch as (inaudible) really trying, yes, we have the private sector.

They still need to (inaudible) sending everything about our education system. I cannot really be going to the library and study a book that was published in 1969. We're in 2012. And in our whole 40-plus years, things are changing. Unless we put -- we have -- we have closed that gap, we will still have the same problems.


CURNOW: With so many young people desperate for jobs across the continent, what's the economic cost for Africa? Well, after the break, we speak to (inaudible).




CURNOW: More young people live in Africa than anywhere else in the world. Two-thirds of the population is under the age of 25. Now for the World Bank's chief economist on Africa, that's an opportunity. Well, I spoke to him about youth unemployment and Africa's growth rate.


CURNOW: Is all of this hype about Africa, just a bubble? Do you feel that African leaders, African businessmen are taking advantage of the opportunities that are here now?

SHANTAYANAN DEVARAJAN, CHIEF ECONOMIST, WORLD BANK AFRICA: Absolutely. I think the -- it's not hype; it's actually a sign that macroeconomic policies in Africa have improved inexorably in the last 10-15 years.

You know, we've had commodity-priced booms in the past. But those haven't translated to this kind of sustained growth before. And that means that there is hope for a better future for Africa and this is not hype. This is real.

CURNOW: What for you is the most crucial issue looking forward? Because we can talk about this and, of course, it's a fascinating story. But when I go around Africa; when I speak to people, I see a lot of young people, a lot of unemployed young people, a lot of uneducated young people. We talk about this youth bulge, but is it a good thing or a bad thing?

DEVARAJAN: Absolutely. I think the biggest challenge facing Africa is youth employment. I wouldn't say unemployment, because in low income African countries, people can't afford to be unemployed. So they're working. They're working very hard.

CURNOW: (Inaudible).

DEVARAJAN: In the informal sector with very low earnings, very low productivity. And now one reason for that low productivity, as you hinted at, is that these people have had very little education.

CURNOW: It's potentially catastrophic, because you have millions and millions of young people, who are going to become adults or just there, who are not just unemployed, they're unemployable.

DEVARAJAN: On the other hand, it's a huge opportunity because we can train them; we can improve the quality of education and, indeed, we can have better adult education for the ones who are not working.

And the other point is the rest of the world is aging. So Africa will be the place where we have the -- all the young people. And who's going to actually produce the goods? Who are going to be the workers? It's going to be the young people. So this is a huge potential.

CURNOW: So we talk about governance, the improvement of governance in Africa. When it boils down to it, it's still about leaders, in a way, choosing to keep Africans poor.

DEVARAJAN: Well, the leaders are reflective of their populations. So I think it's more than just individual leaders. We can -- it's easy to blame leaders and it's easy to give credit to good leaders, like Mandela and so on. But I think, you know, we can't invent good leaders. So it's the system that has to work in their favor.

And I think one of the reasons is that many poor people in Africa don't realize that the reason they're poor is a failure of public policy. They think it's just life is terrible, right?

The fact that there's no water coming out of the tap or the fact that their power cuts two hours a day or the fact that the teacher doesn't show up in the classroom is a fact of life rather than it's a failure of governments to hold their service providers accountable.


CURNOW: Well, that was the World Bank's chief economist for Africa.

That's it for this week's show. I'm Robyn Curnow. Remember, you can always find us online at But for me, goodbye. See you again next week.