Steady Job Growth Could Push The Fed To Raise Interest Rates

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The nation is nearing full employment, but a rate hike could still hurt many workers

March 10, 2017

The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building. Photo: AgnosticPreachersKid/Wikimedia Commons

With employment figures up, the time may be right for the Federal Reserve to enact another interest rate hike.

The New York Times reports that payroll employment rose by 235,000 in February, and monthly job growth has averaged 209,000 since December. The jobless rate fell to 4.7 percent, which is near what the central bank considers full employment.

With the job market thriving, the Fed awaits the right time to raise rates. The board’s members want to cut off incipient inflation without negatively impacting job hiring.

Cautioning the Fed against moving too quickly with a rate increase, Elise Gould, an economist at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, noted: “Workers throughout the economy, including young workers, workers of color, and low-wage workers, need a chance to make up lost ground on wage growth. To that end, the Federal Reserve needs to keep their foot off the brakes and let the labor market reach full employment.”

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