US Fed Chief Highlights “Brightened” Prospects for Darkening Inequality | Business and economic news


U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said labor force participation fell by 4 percentage points for black and Hispanic women, compared with 1 percentage point for white women and around 2 percentage points for all the men.

US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the economic outlook has “improved markedly” in the United States, but the recovery remains too uneven, with low-income groups lagging behind.

In a speech on Monday, Powell cited a number of reasons why the growth outlook in the United States has improved.

“We’re not out of the woods yet, but I’m happy to say we’re now making real progress,” Powell said in a remarks to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, citing rising immunization levels, increased support from the government and more business reopenings across the country.

But, he said, “the economic downturn has not fallen evenly on all Americans and those least able to bear the burden have been hit hardest.”

Powell said new statistics showed 20% of workers in the lowest earning fifth were unemployed in February this year, compared to 6% of workers in the highest earning fifth who were still unemployed.

Powell said labor force participation fell by 4 percentage points for black and Hispanic women, compared with 1 percentage point for white women and about 2 percentage points for all men.

Powell said the Fed is focusing on these long-standing disparities because they weigh on the country’s production capacity.

“We will only reach our full potential when everyone can contribute and share in the benefits of prosperity,” said Powell.

Powell reiterated the Fed’s promise to use its power to control interest rates to keep rates at the current ultra-low levels until it hits maximum employment targets and inflation falls. increases for a time above the Fed’s 2% target, a target the Fed has failed to meet for 20 years.

“We see maximum employment as a broad and inclusive goal,” said Powell. “Those who have always been left behind have the best chance of prospering in a strong economy with many job opportunities. Our recent history highlights both the benefits of a strong economy and the high costs of a weak economy. “





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