More women expected to return to US workforce, says Fed official

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A strong US job market, a service sector recovery and more fully open schools and day care are likely to bring more women back into the workforce, Federal Reserve Director Michelle Bowman said on Wednesday.

“We continue to see strong employment gains and low unemployment rates — the kind of job market that has historically attracted more workers,” Bowman said in prepared remarks for a speech to the Arkansas Women’s Commission in Russellville, Arkansas.

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“There are still many jobs available, even if we see a reduced number of open positions.”

Bowman — a strong supporter of the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes to tame inflation that runs at more than three times the US central bank’s 2% target — focused most of her comments on why workers do worse. than men during the pandemic and how prospects are shaping up for the future.

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She did not directly address monetary policy, although her view is that if more women can return to the workforce, some of the upward wage and price pressures that the Fed is trying to control could be alleviated.

There are about four million fewer people working now than before the pandemic, a factor that economists say could be contributing to inflation.

While the future of job vacancies is uncertain, Bowman said, some workers who retired early during the height of the pandemic may feel emboldened to return to the workforce because of rapidly rising prices.

Source: CNN Brasil

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