New York Times (03/31/14) Binyamin Appelbaum
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen continues to focus central bank attention on unemployment, and she is hopeful that the Fed has the power to help. Some economists have said that the central bank has reached the limits of its ability to improve the labor market, and some Fed officials have indicated that the central bank could be winding down its economic stimulus campaign faster. Yellen has said that the Fed’s commitment to economic stimulus is “strong.”
Although the unemployment rate has fallen, the figure represents only those people looking for work and does not include those who have given up the search. Some economists say that structural unemployment following the recession is marked by a number of people without the skills to find new jobs, and Yellen indicated that the share of workers quitting jobs remains unusually low, signaling a dearth of better opportunities. Moreover, the share of workers with part-time jobs is unusually high, and wages for all workers are rising very slowly because of the abundant supply of labor.