Fed chair warns US economic recovery ‘uneven and far from complete’

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The US economic recovery “remains uneven and far from complete,” Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell told a committee of US senators Tuesday.

In his semi-annual update on monetary policy, his first delivered under Joe Biden’s presidency, Powell indicated the Fed would not be changing monetary policy any time soon, given the slow recovery in the labor market.

Powell told the Senate banking committee of his concern that millions of Americans are out of work, particularly those who are already members of vulnerable communities.

“The economic downturn has not fallen equally on all Americans, and those least able to shoulder the burden have been hardest hit,” Powell said.

“The job losses were heavily concentrated on public-facing, service-sector jobs. Those tend to be more skewed towards lower-paid, and in many cases, minorities and women.”

He noted that job losses seem to be “somehow precisely aimed at those people, and we’re well aware of that”.

The chairman echoed concerns raised by treasury secretary Janet Yellen that labor participation rates are lower than pre-pandemic levels…

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