Monday, March 10, 2014

charts now on offer track the unemployment rate

The charts now on offer track the unemployment rate--for many observers the most-important measure of job market health. The charts also follow hours worked, labor demand, labor force participation, job losses, wages, and labor market mismatches. Each category can be refined further. For example, the unemployment rate chart can be broken down by age, gender and other subdivisions of job market performance.
"Understanding the workings of the labor market requires closely following the evolution of different aspects of the labor market," the New York Fed said. The charts it is now producing offer a "complete snapshot" of the jobs market, the bank says.
The new charts show an evolving view of how the central bank looks at the jobs market. Aggressive Fed monetary policy actions over recent years have been aimed largely at boosting a jobs market hard hit by the financial crisis and recession. Much of the attention has centered on the rapid rise and more gradual decline of the unemployment rate, as the economy moved to regain its footing.
The Fed brought even more attention to the unemployment rate as a key variable when it began to say in December 2012 that it wouldn't consider raising short-term rates until the jobless rate fell under 6.5%. Since the central bank offered that threshold for potential action, the jobless rate has undergone a much more rapid decline than many had expected.
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