Equal­ity Starts With Full Em­ploy­ment, Yellen Says

The Bond Buyer - - Market News -

Keep­ing the U.S. econ­omy near full em­ploy­ment is lift­ing pay for un­skilled work­ers and help­ing ease in­equal­ity in the coun­try, for­mer Fed­eral Re­serve Chair Janet Yellen said.

It’s im­por­tant to see the ben­e­fits that an econ­omy op­er­at­ing at full em­ploy­ment con­fers to low-wage work­ers who are typ­i­cally the most vul­ner­a­ble, Yellen said in Sin­ga­pore on Tues­day. She cited ex­am­ples such as un­em­ploy­ment for black Amer­i­cans de­clin­ing since peak­ing in 2010 and com­pa­nies in­vest­ing in train­ing work­ers as hir­ing be­comes more dif­fi­cult.

Most of the dis­con­tent with cap­i­tal­ism in the U.S. stems from in­equal­ity and the stag­na­tion of wages, which dates back to the 1980s and can be traced broadly to au­to­ma­tion and glob­al­iza­tion, Yellen said.

“I’m tempted to say there isn’t a whole lot cen­tral banks can do” about in­equal­ity, but there are some op­tions, like fol­low­ing poli­cies to keep the econ­omy as close to full em­ploy­ment as pos­si­ble, she said.

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