With President Donald Trump preparing to nominate the next head of the U.S. Federal Reserve, it’s worth recognizing how far the economy has come under current Chair Janet Yellen. The latest jobs data offer an excellent opportunity.
The Fed has two main goals: Get unemployment as low as it can be, and keep prices rising at a steady, sustainable pace. When Yellen took office in February 2014, the economy was still far from both as it struggled to recover from the deep recession of 2007 to 2009. The unemployment rate stood at 6.7 percent, more than 2 percentage points higher than its pre-recession level. Annual wage growth was running at an anemic 2.2 percent, and consumer-price inflation was well below the central bank's 2 percent target.