US: Federal Reserve Chairman Speech

December 19, 2016 12:30 CST

Federal Reserve Chairman

Janet Yellen is expressing confidence in the labor market and in wages, saying job prospects are "very good" right now for new graduates. Speaking at the University of Baltimore's mid-year commencement, Yellen said there "are indications that wage growth is picking up" which include strong wage gains for younger workers. She said layoffs are low, job openings are high and she highlighted the strength of the 4.6 percent unemployment rate. But she also noted that economic growth this recovery has been slow and productivity growth has been disappointing. And she warned that workers will continue to face challenges from globalization and from new technologies. Yellen made no comments on monetary policy and will not be taking questions. Demand for Treasuries is down following Yellen's speech where her confidence confirms her support, as expressed in the December FOMC decision, for further rate hikes next year.