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Washington (AFP) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Monday that the U.S. economy still needs the Fed’s extraordinary support measures, noting that the falling jobless rate masks weaknesses in the jobs market.

In a speech in Chicago highlighting slack in the labor market, Yellen said the economy remains “still considerably short” of the Fed’s goals of maximum sustainable employment and stable inflation.

While the official unemployment rate has fallen quickly over the past two years to 6.7 percent, she said that level remains deceptive.

She especially pointed to the high level of people unemployed for a long term, despite the economy’s rebound from the Great Recession.

“While there has been steady progress, there is also no doubt that the economy and the job market are not back to normal health,” she said. “The recovery still feels like a recession to many Americans, and it also looks that way in some economic statistics.”

“In some ways, the job market is tougher now than in any recession. The numbers of people who have been trying to find work for more than six months or more than a year are much higher today than they ever were since records began decades ago,” she added.

Yellen emphasized that even though the Fed has begun ratcheting down its huge bond purchase program, that the economy still needs its support, in the way of ultra-low interest rates and Fed program for low-income communities.

AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski

Outside the Supreme Court in Washington after Ruth Bader Ginsburg's passing

Photo by ehpien / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Of course we're crying. A woman who held us all up for so, so long has finally laid down her burden after the literal fight of a lifetime. We're hurting. We're afraid. We miss her already.

But Republicans are already celebrating the death of pioneering Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as an opportunity. Donald Trump is calling on Republicans to act quickly to confirm whatever nominee he puts forward. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is contemplating whether a no-witnesses impeachment can be topped with a no-hearings confirmation. Ted Cruz is thinking about nothing except what he won't be wearing under that black robe. Tom Cotton is speeding through his collection of KKK-approved all-white handkerchiefs mopping up all of the drool. And Josh Hawley is … probably shooting something.

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