9:18 AM » Fed's Bullard: Labor market slack is not significant
JACKSON HOLE (MarketWatch) - St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said Friday he argued against adding the word "significant" to describe labor market underutilization in the central bank's latest policy statement. The Fed's policy statement said that "a range of labor market indicators suggests that there remains significant underutilization of labor resources." In an interview with CNBC, Bullard said that that there is some slack in the labor market but it is not significant. He said the low unemployment rate and strong nonfarm payroll growth send clear signals about the state of the labor market and other, more specialized measures, like labor market participation rate, don't add much information and have historically been considered outside the purview of monetary policy. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen has been pointing to a dashboard of labor market indicators pointing to significant slack in the jobs market. Bullard, who is not a voting member of the Fed policy committee this year, said that he was sticking with his forecast that economic conditions will call for the first Fed rate hike in March 2015, a few months sooner than the majority of his colleagues.