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Klobuchar to Yellen: Keep Fighting to Reduce Long Term Unemployment

May 07 2014

In first JEC hearing with new Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Klobuchar urges the Fed to combat long-term unemployment by maintaining dual focus on employment and price stability

Klobuchar says Congress must also do its part, calling on her colleagues to advance bipartisan policies that promote growth while responsibly reducing the deficit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), today discussed the current state of the U.S. economy in the JEC’s first hearing with new Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Citing Chair Yellen’s past statements on long-term unemployment, Klobuchar urged the Fed Chair to continue efforts to promote job creation and economic growth, including the Fed’s twin objectives of promoting maximum employment and price stability. Klobuchar called on her colleagues in Congress to come together on legislative proposals that would reduce the deficit and unleash innovation, such as comprehensive immigration reform and an overhaul of the U.S. tax code.

“The unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in five and a half years, but there are still millions of Americans looking for work, and now is not the time for the Fed to take its eye off job creation,” Klobuchar said. “Congress needs to do its part as well, by stepping up to advance common-sense bills that would boost our economy and help more Americans get ahead, from streamlining our outdated tax code to reforming our broken immigration system.”

During the hearing, Klobuchar asked Chair Yellen to discuss the advantages and limitations of monetary policy in encouraging economic growth, as well as the Fed’s efforts to address the ongoing challenge of long-term unemployment. While the overall unemployment rate is now close to what is was before the recession, the long-term unemployment rate remains at 2.2 percent – well more than double its pre-recession levels. Klobuchar recently met with the President of the Federal Reserve Banks of Minneapolis to discuss ideas for reducing long-term unemployment in Minnesota.

In her role as Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, Klobuchar has been focused on ways to address long-term unemployment. She was a co-sponsor of recently passed legislation that would restore federal unemployment benefits to 2.8 million job seekers, and has worked to advance policies that would help more Americans get back to work by strengthening skills training programs, investing in STEM education, boosting manufacturing and increasing exports.


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