“While there are still risks, there’s good reason to expect job creation to pick up in coming months,” he said.
Powell said he didn’t think the labour market would return to maximum employment in 2021.
The pandemic-damaged economy has shown pockets of strength at the start of the year. Retail sales surged in January by the most in seven months, while manufacturing expanded in February at the fastest pace in three years.
The jobs market has lagged, with claims filed for unemployment benefits stuck at historically very elevated levels. Payrolls barely rose in January, by 49,000, after a 227,000 decline in December. A new reading on the jobs market will come on Friday, with the release of the monthly employment report for February.