Fed’s Fischer: Jobs report pretty close to ‘Goldilocks’ number

Job fair, employment, unemployment

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Friday that the September jobs report was “pretty close” to a “Goldilocks” number.

The U.S. economy created 156,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment edged higher to 5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. The report missed economist projections for 176,000 new jobs and the jobless rate to hold at 4.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters.

Despite the jobs data coming in below expectations, Fischer said the numbers are “fully consistent” with a declining trend in unemployment. He said the economy has been remarkably successful in reducing joblessness.

“Unemployment is somewhere very close to the natural rate. I think we’re close to full employment,” Fischer said at the Institute of International Finance’s annual membership meeting in Washington, D.C.

Fischer said there continues to be low investment because of both an “air of uncertainty” and declines in oil prices. “People aren’t excited about growth prospects,” he said.

The Fed vice chairman said he feels productivity growth will improve “at some point,” but it isn’t clear how strong that recovery will be.