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The Chair of the Federal Open Market Committee, Janet Yellen, addressed economic highbrows in Jackson Hole this morning.  The photo-illustration of the double barrel shotgun represents the Fed’s two part mission: maintain price stability and maximum employment. Price stability will be more of a challenge as interest rates start to rise, but right now I’d like to share data of the employment trend over the last five years.  Note that the Unemployment Rate has dropped in the last three years, but so has the Labor Participation Rate (percentage of the population that are actually working).

It is also to see how our collective paychecks have fared over the same period:

And the number of part-time workers skyrocketed as the housing crisis unfolded:

I sympathize with the tasks that the Federal Reserve is commissioned to undertake and think that it’s useful that they have access to firepower