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WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is making modest progress in its push to reduce the unemployment rate. But that is not the jobs goal that Congress actually established for the Fed. The central bank is supposed to be maximizing employment. And on that front, it is not making progress.
The share of US adults with jobs has hovered at about 58.5 percent for more than three years, about 5 percentage points below its prerecession peak. Job creation has merely kept pace with population growth. The unemployment rate, now 7.6 percent, has fallen mostly because people stopped looking for work.
There is little sign, however, that Fed officials are considering an expansion of their stimulus campaign as the Fed’s policy making committee plans to convene Tuesday and Wednesday.