Jerome H Powell: Challenges for monetary policy

Remarks by Mr Jerome H Powell, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, at "Challenges for Monetary Policy", a symposium sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 23 August 2019.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
23 August 2019

This year's symposium topic is "Challenges for Monetary Policy," and for the Federal Reserve those challenges flow from our mandate to foster maximum employment and price stability. From this perspective, our economy is now in a favorable place, and I will describe how we are working to sustain these conditions in the face of significant risks we have been monitoring.

The current U.S. expansion has entered its 11th year and is now the longest on record. The unemployment rate has fallen steadily throughout the expansion and has been near half-century lows since early 2018. But that rate alone does not fully capture the benefits of this historically strong job market. Labor force participation by people in their prime working years has been rising. While unemployment for minorities generallyremains higher than for the workforce as a whole, the rate for African Americans, at 6 percent, is the lowest since the government began tracking it in 1972.