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Powell’s Labor Market Worries Find Plenty of Support in the Data

  • Opioids, education and globalization make his list of concerns
  • New research underlines how people and places get left behind
Inside Mulhern Belting Inc. Facility Ahead of Empire Manufacturing Figures

Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Jerome Powell says America’s workforce faces serious challenges. Education levels are climbing only slowly, and both globalization and drug addiction are taking a toll on the labor market.

“When you have people who are not taking part in the economic life of a country in a meaningful way, who don’t have the skills and aptitudes to play a role or who are not doing so because they’re addicted to drugs, or in jail, then in a sense they are being left behind,” the Federal Reserve chairman told CBS News’ “60 Minutes” in an interview aired Sunday.