Equality Starts With Full Employment, Yellen Says
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.