Fed's super-easy policy likely to stick after weak jobs report

May 8, 2021

WASHINGTON (May 8) - The 266,000 jobs that U.S. firms added in April were "nowhere near"" what was expected, a Federal Reserve official said Friday, adding little to the "substantial further progress"" officials want to see before considering changes to monetary policy.

"I hoped to see a stronger report today,"" Richmond Federal Reserve president Thomas Barkin said in webcast comments to a West Virginia business group.

Barkin said he thought the results were largely driven by labor supply issues and "frictional"" barriers such as mismatches between available workers and job skills, and workers still facing child care and other constraints. Many, he said, flush with savings and with enhanced unemployment benefits still available, have the "wherewithal"" to wait to return to work and may be doing so.

Still, it gives Fed policymakers little reason to do anything but keep the monetary policy tap wide open until it is clear the economy is on a path back to full employment.


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