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Powell Says Fed Lacks Tools for Fighting Black Employment Gap

July 29, 2020, 8:09 PM

Fiscal, education and health-care policies in the U.S. can do more than monetary policy to combat the higher unemployment rates experienced by Black Americans, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday following the central bank’s July policy meeting.

“We don’t really have tools that can address disparate distributional outcomes,” Powell told reporters.

Economists Jared Bernstein and Janelle Jones have called on the Fed to target the African American unemployment rate when it makes policy decisions in order to better narrow the gap between White and Black unemployment. The Black jobless rate was nearly double that of White Americans’ in February,...

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