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Yellen’s Labor Gauges Support an ‘Easier-for-Longer’ Policy

Bloomberg (11/18/13) Michelle Jamrisko

Janet Yellen, vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve and nominee to succeed Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman, likely will support an easier-for-longer policy when it comes to the central bank’s asset purchase program, given that over half the gauges used to track the U.S. labor market are below prerecession levels. Unemployment, labor force participation, hiring rates, and voluntary quits are worse than when the recession began in December 2007, even though payrolls have increased and firings have slowed since then.

Yellen does not want monetary stimulus removed too soon, noting that unemployment is “still too high, reflecting a labor market and economy performing far short of their potential.” Yellen says the overall pace of spending and growth in the economy is considered along with the labor-market measures to gauge the outlook for jobs.