On Friday July 25, 2014 at 11 a.m. ET, Harvard economist Lawrence Katz and Economic Policy Institute Research and Policy Director Josh Bivens will discuss the ample economic evidence indicating that the U.S. economy (and labor market in particular) remains far from fully recovered from the damage done by the Great Recession. In light of this evidence, members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) at the Federal Reserve should continue to prioritize a return to full employment in the U.S. labor market as indicated by wages growing faster than productivity. Efforts to slow the recovery prematurely will leave large segments of the workforce and many communities behind and prevent them from benefiting from the recovery.
Bivens and Katz will highlight evidence indicating that inflationary pressures—particularly wages—remain extraordinarily subdued. This indicates that the FOMC members should not predetermine an unemployment target at which they will reverse monetary stimulus, but should continue prioritizing boosting economic activity and employment until economic data show healthy wage increases. They will argue that lowering the overall unemployment rate quickly and to the greatest sustainable extent is essential for allowing an economic recovery to reach disadvantaged communities.
They will be joined by Reverend Reuben Eckles, a pastor in Wichita, KS, and Kendra Brooks, a worker and community leader in Philadelphia, who will provide firsthand knowledge of on–the-ground labor market conditions in two key Federal Reserve markets and what the failure to achieve full employment means for their communities.
Lawrence Katz, Elisabeth Allison Professor of Economics at Harvard University
Josh Bivens, Research and Policy Director of the Economic Policy Institute
Kendra Brooks, a worker leader from Action United in Philadelphia
Rev. Reuben Eckels, Deputy Director of Sunflower Community Action in Wichita, KS
Media teleconference with workers and economists to urge the FOMC to focus on economic growth and employment and not on inflation, organized by the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Popular Democracy.
When: Friday July 25, 11 a.m. ET
Call: 800 351 4898
Listen to the call | Download MP3