Fed Chair discusses state of U.S. labor market

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday painted a bleak picture on the state of U.S. employment. Powell said aggressive policy support is needed to fix the myriad of issues still facing workers. (Feb. 10)

Video Transcript

JEROME POWELL: A strong labor market that is sustained for an extended period can deliver substantial economic and social benefits, including higher employment and income levels, improved and expanded job opportunities, narrower economic disparities, and healing of the entrenched damage inflicted by past recessions on individuals' economic and personal well-being.

At present, we are a long way from such a labor market. Fully realizing the benefits of a strong labor market will take continued support from both near-term policy and longer-run investments so that all those seeking jobs have the skills and opportunities that will enable them to contribute to and share in the benefits of prosperity.

Experience tells us that getting to and staying at full employment will not be easy. In the near term, policies that bring the pandemic to an end as soon as possible are paramount.