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BUSINESS
June 19, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve policymakers said Wednesday that they would continue the central bank's controversial bond-buying stimulus program and leave short-term interest rates near zero to help boost the economic recovery, which they said was facing fewer downside risks. Members of the Federal Open Market Committee said they were seeing some improvement in the recovery and slightly upgraded their forecast for the labor market. In Wednesday's statement , Fed policymakers said it saw "the downside risks to the outlook for the economy and labor market as having diminished since the fall.
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BUSINESS
August 2, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- A top Federal Reserve official indicated Friday that he was not prepared to start reducing the central bank's bond-buying stimulus program soon, saying policymakers needed to see more economic data before making a decision. The comments from James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, came as the government reported that job growth weakened in July. The economy added 162,000 net new jobs, down from June's revised 188,000 figure and below analyst expectations.
BUSINESS
May 23, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Initial unemployment claims dropped back to a level indicating moderate job growth last week after a spike the previous week raised alarms about the labor market recovery. The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time stood at 340,000 for the week ending Saturday, falling from a revised 363,000 the week before, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists had expected the closely watched jobless claims figure to drop last week to 345,0000.
BUSINESS
March 26, 2012 | By Don Lee
Despite the recent pickup in job gains, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke offered a cautious assessment of the labor market and suggested that he would press the Fed to continue or expand the central bank's easy-money policies to ensure further improvements in the unemployment rate.   In a speech Monday at an economics conference, Bernanke maintained that conditions in the job market remain "far from normal," with total hours of work and the number of people working still well below pre-recession levels.
BUSINESS
September 20, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez, This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.
In what can best be described as tepid, California's jobs report Friday showed the state added 29,100 net payroll jobs even as the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.9% from 8.7% the month before. Figures from the state's Employment Development Department show that California's year-over-year payroll job growth slowed to 1.5%. Earlier this year, that rate was hovering around 2%. Economists say California has lost steam partly because of the ongoing recession in Europe, the economic slowdown in China and sluggishness in the retail sector.
BUSINESS
March 20, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Wednesday that the central bank might gradually ratchet back its stimulus efforts if the labor market continues to improve, before completely pulling the plug on the unprecedented effort. The Fed has said it would continue purchasing $85 billion in bonds until there is substantial improvement in the labor market. Federal Reserve policymakers said Wednesday that moderate economic growth has returned after a slowdown at the end of last year and the employment situation has improved.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2014 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. economy should grow at a solid rate over the next few years, but the labor market will continue to recover only slowly, according to new projections by the Congressional Budget Office. In its latest budget and economic outlook Tuesday, the CBO forecasts that economic growth will rise to 3.1% this year from 1.9% last year, boosted by gains in housing construction and business investment. And growth in economic output is projected to speed up to 3.4% in both 2015 and 2016.
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