Fed’s Bullard Says Improved Labor Market Vital for U.S. Economy

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said improvement in the labor market and small-business development are “central to a better future” for the world’s largest economy.

The Fed should help families recover from the longest recession since the Great Depression by promoting “financial inclusion” and supporting both neighborhood revitalization and household financial stability, Bullard said today at the Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference in Washington.

“Better results on inclusion may ultimately create an economy that makes the fullest possible use of its rich array of available talent,” Bullard said in his prepared remarks. He did not comment on interest rates or the economic outlook.

High-quality economic research can play a main role in designing “wise policies” and avoiding policy mistakes that “undoubtedly contributed to the housing bubble and the resulting recession.”

Bullard, 52, joined the St. Louis Fed’s research department in 1990 and became president of the regional bank in 2008. His district includes Arkansas and parts of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

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