Feds Harker speaking:

  • Pandemic has exasperated labor shortages for skilled labor in manufacturing and some other sectors
  • Issues with childcare is keeping some women out of the labor force
  • There is a question about whether unemployment benefits are affecting labor force. He says these factors are temporary. It is affecting some people but it's not the only factor
  • Children and elder care along with transportation are holding some workers back
  • Unemployment benefits will run off over next couple of months
  • He is more worried about giving people the sense that it's safe to return to work
  • Fed to start having conversation about tapering sooner rather than later
  • Fed needs to file the playbook of removing accommodation carefully and methodically so that it doesn't surprise the markets
  • He is looking for continued strength in labor market before the Fed starts the tapering process.
  • Need about 11 million jobs added to close jobs whole.
  • Harker wants to see the inflation averaging 2% over time
  • Putting the economy back on line after shutdowns is going to take time.
  • He is quite optimistic
  • He is concerned about rising home prices locking out low and moderate income families

Harker does not have a vote on the FOMC this year. He will be a voting member in 2023