msnbc | November 24, 2012
>>> the u.s. economy is showing signs of life with stock markets up the day after thanksgiving and shoppers were out buying holiday gifts in stores that started opening on thanksgiving night. so joining me now, cnbc contributor with a good morning to you.
>> good morning. happy holidays.
>> and to you. what about unemployment?
>> well, unemployment, alex, is actually improving moderately around the country. we're still stuck at levels that no one's satisfied with. but if you look underneath the hood of the economy with real estate rebounding, manufacturing coming home , the energy boom, conventional energy boom going on. there's a lot to expect in 2013 . assuming politicians don't take us over the fiscal cliff, this economy looks like it's gaining rather than losing momentum going into 2013 .
>> that's good. you see that housing has turned a corner.
>> but then look overseas. all the possibilities of fiscal cliffdom over there.
>> yeah, multiple cliffs. actually, britain's not involved in this, interestingly. the sovereign debt crisis there is being worked out slowly, painfully, if they did go through a shock where greek suddenly exited the eurozone or we had spain or italy default, that would be a major game-changer because it would really impair european banks and touch off another financial crisis . that does not seem to be on the horizon. china, which was experiencing something of a hard landing earlier this year is now starting to stimulate its economy again. and looks like china and the u.s. can be barbells in a kind of two-pronged advance in the economy next year. so i think there is reason to be optimistic. people are far too downbeat at this point for the prospect of things here at home.
>> in terms of the average american , how are they doing? sometimes in washington and the media we're not really touching the pulse of that.
>> depends where you are. if you work in technology, in health care , a variety of different industries, manufacturing coming back, one statistic that not often talked about, there are 3 1/2 million manufacturing jobs available. and we have a bit of a skills mismatch. it's hard for an unemployed construction worker to go to that factory where they rely on robotics and things like that and make that shift. but if you look at the composition of the economy, it's better. once real estate turns and auto manufacturing is picked up rather dramatically over the last couple of yooers, you have two engines of growth in the u.s. economy that are typically strong. you get three more ancillary jobs for every job in real estate . in construction, additional work, as well. so that could be a big tail wind for the economy next year rather than a head wind.
>> thank you very much for sharing.