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Intellectuals and Society

Intellectuals and Society

By Thomas Sowell
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Ear to the Ground

And Now for a Little Good News About the Economy

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Posted on Jul 30, 2014

  The Federal Reserve Bank in Washington, D.C. Shutterstock

The Federal Reserve released some positive news Wednesday about the state of the U.S. economy, pointing to better figures than expected in the second quarter of 2014 while registering ongoing concern about unemployment (via USA Today):

Citing an improving economy and labor market, the Federal Reserve agreed Wednesday to continue to wind down bond purchases intended to hold down long-term interest rates and spur growth.

In a statement after its two-day meeting, the Fed acknowledged the recent rapid fall in unemployment and removed its observation that the jobless rate “remains elevated.”

But it added an emphatic note of caution.

“A range of labor market indicators suggests that there remains significant underutilization of labor resources,” the statement said.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen has noted that despite falling unemployment — now 6.1%—the ranks of the long-term unemployed and part-time workers who prefer full-time jobs remain at historically high levels.

The good parts of the Fed’s report, however, should give candidates on the 2014 campaign trail some fodder to work with. Let’s see how both sides spin it.

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

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