Economic policy

Why America isn't at full employment

Data: FacetSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Fed has two jobs: Keeping inflation at 2%, and ensuring full employment. But what does full employment mean? According to Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari, we're clearly not there yet — despite the fact that the unemployment rate is at a 50-year low of 3.5%.

Why it matters: If we're not at full employment, and inflation remains below the 2% target rate (as it does), then the Fed has little choice but to step on the gas.

The Fed's September rate cut now looks even more controversial

Fed chairman Jerome Powell.
Fed chairman Jerome Powell.

Minutes from the Fed's September policy meeting were released Wednesday, showing there was likely more opposition to its rate cut than just the 2 dissenting votes that were cast.

Details: The minutes showed debate had grown about when the Fed should stop cutting rates and "several members" wanted to keep rates on hold.