Fed officials say employment is down significantly, businesses reluctant to hire

Federal Reserve Board building on Constitution Avenue is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

June 24 (Reuters) – The U.S. economy is rebounding rapidly from last year’s decline, but much improvement is needed in the labor market, two Federal Reserve officials said on Thursday.

U.S. economic growth “has come roaring back” and some metrics including consumption, housing, and manufacturing are now “extremely healthy,” Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker said during a virtual event as part of the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum.

“But even as GDP has almost entirely recouped its losses from last year, employment remains down significantly,” Harker said.

While some workers are seeing their incomes rise, there are still nearly 7.6 million fewer people working than before the pandemic, he said. The jobs hole grows to 10.6 million jobs if you factor in the job growth taking place before the…

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