The U.S. Federal Reserve should move forward with a plan to trim its massive pandemic stimulus program despite a slowdown in job growth last month, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said in an interview with the Financial Times.
Bullard dismissed concerns that the labor market recovery was faltering even as the U.S. economy created the fewest jobs in seven months in August after hiring in the leisure and hospitality sector stalled amid a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.
"There is plenty of demand for workers and there are more job openings than there are unemployed workers," Bullard said in the interview published on Wednesday.
"If we can get the workers matched up and bring the pandemic under better control, it certainly looks like we'll have a very strong labor market going into next year," he told the newspaper.
Bullard said in late August that he would like the central bank to start reducing its asset purchases soon and finish winding down those purchases by the first quarter of next year.
"The big picture is that the taper will get going this year and will end sometime by the first half of next year," he told the Financial Times.
(Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Kim Coghill)