Senate Selects New Fed Chairman
December 06, 2017
Senate panel approves Jay Powell to serve as chairman of Federal Reserve; U.S. labor productivity increases 3.0% in Q3 2017; Private sector employers added 190,000 jobs in November.
- Senate panel approves Jay Powell to serve as chairman of Federal Reserve. The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday approved the nomination of Jay Powell to serve as the chairman of the Federal Reserve. The panel voted 22-1 to recommend Powell, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) being the only vote against Powell, who will likely be confirmed by the full Senate with wide bipartisan approval. Powell has supported keeping most of the Dodd-Frank Act intact despite widespread opposition to the law from most other Republicans. He has said parts of the act should be scaled back, and endorsed the general principles of a bipartisan deal released earlier this month. He also commented that the Volcker Rule banning banks from investing their own assets in certain risky trades should not apply to banks worth less than $10 billion, and banks worth less than $100 billion should be exempt from federal stress tests. [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- U.S. labor productivity increases 3.0% in Q3 2017. According to the Labor Department on Wednesday, labor productivity in the U.S. saw a 3.0 percent growth rate in the third quarter of 2017, unchanged from the previously estimate. Economists had expected the increase in productivity to be revised upward to 3.3 percent. The spike in productivity, a measure of output per hour, came as output increased by 4.1 percent compared to a 1.1 percent increase in hours worked. The drop in unit labor costs came as the growth in productivity more than offset a 2.7 percent increase in hourly compensation. The real hourly compensation rate, which takes into account consumer prices, rose by 0.7 percent. Compared to the same quarter in 2016, productivity was up by 1.5 percent in the third quarter, as output climbed by 3.0 percent and hours worked grew by 1.5 percent. [NASDAQ]
- Private sector employers added 190,000 jobs in November. A private survey conducted by payroll processor ADP indicated that U.S. businesses added a robust 190,000 jobs in November, with the job market maintaining a solid pace of growth amid tightening labor conditions. The pace of hiring last month slowed from October’s 235,000 jobs after a surge of activity followed the aftermath of the hurricanes in Texas and Florida. The biggest potential change to the labor market’s consistent growth is the prospect that Congress will pass tax legislation this year, which could result in a modest increase in economic growth and an even stronger expansion of the labor market in 2018, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics who works with ADP to analyze the data. [The Hill]