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Mounting Full-Time Employment Shows Less Slack for Yellen’s Fed

Bloomberg (10/14/15) Jeanna Smialek; Steve Matthews

The number of Americans working part-time for economic reasons fell by 447,000 in September from August to 6.04 million, the fewest since August 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The underemployment rate also fell in September to a more than seven-year low of 10.0% from 10.3% in August. The rate has dropped by 1.7 percentage points over the last 12 months.

Fewer workers are having to settle for less than a full workday as Fed members debate whether the economy is strong enough to raise interest rates. Yellen and the Fed continue to put “a lot of emphasis” on part-time work as a measure of slack, says Omair Sharif, rates sales strategist at SG Americas Securities LLC.