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Fed's Brainard says still a question if U.S. at full employment
May 23, 2017 / 12:26 AM / 6 months ago

Fed's Brainard says still a question if U.S. at full employment

(Reuters) - U.S. Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard on Monday said that it is still a “question” for her if the U.S. economy is at full employment or if there is still more slack left in the labor market.

Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard speaks at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., March 1, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The main measure of U.S. unemployment, at 4.4 percent, is below the level many Fed officials equate with full employment. Adding to evidence of a tightening labor market, several broader measures of slack, including people who are working part-time jobs but want full-time work, have also declined, Brainard said at a conference at the Minneapolis Fed.

But with fewer men aged 25-54 working than would be expected in a fully healthy economy, Brainard said, it is unclear if the labor market can be improved further.

Reporting by Ann Saphir; editing by Diane Craft

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