Fed's Brainard: Unemployment for lowest paid workers 'likely above 20 percent'

Fed's Brainard: Unemployment for lowest paid workers 'likely above 20 percent'
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Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard on Wednesday said unemployment for the lowest-paid Americans is likely above 20 percent.

Brainard stated in a speech that Fed economists have estimated that the jobless rate among groups who have already experienced challenges is “likely above 20 percent," emphasizing disproportionate economic recovery efforts.

"Federal Reserve staff analysis indicates that unemployment is likely above 20 percent for workers in the bottom wage quartile, while it has fallen below 5 percent for the top wage quartile," she stated.


Though the national unemployment rate has decreased from 14.7 percent at the height of the coronavirus pandemic to 6.7 percent, most vulnerable groups remain negatively affected, CNBC reported.

The unemployment rate among Black Americans is nearly 9.9 percent, the unemployment rate for Hispanics is 9.3 percent and the unemployment rate among whites is 6 percent.

“The damage from COVID-19 is concentrated among already challenged groups,” Brainard said. “The K-shaped recovery remains highly uneven, with certain sectors and groups experiencing substantial hardship.”

“We are strongly committed to achieving our maximum-employment and average inflation goals,” Brainard said. “It is too early to say how long it will take. The Committee has stated clearly that it needs to see substantial further progress toward our goals before adjusting purchases.”