His comments come ahead of a speech Friday from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke at the Kansas City Fed's annual gathering of policy makers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. That speech will be closely watched in Washington as well as by the financial markets. The economy is central to the 2012 election cycle and any move by Bernanke could trigger a furious backlash from Republican critics.
After its last meeting the Fed signaled it was increasingly concerned about the apparent slowdown in the U.S. recovery. Strong jobs growth over the winter collapsed in the spring. It has since recovered but remains historically weak compared to the job growth after previous recessions.
Next Friday the Labor Department will release non-farm payroll figures for August – the closely watched monthly survey of U.S. employment. Last month the U.S. added 163,000 new jobs, higher than the 100,000 gain expected by economists but not enough to bring down the unemployment rate.
The Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee, which sets Fed policy, meets after the release of those figures on September 12 and 13. That meeting is seen by economists as the last before the election at which the Fed in likely to act.
Intellpuke: You can read this article by Guardian U.S. Business Correspondent Dominic Rushe, reporting from New York City, N.Y., in context here: www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/aug/27/federal-reserve-offical-us-unemployment