Policymaking in a Time of Uncertainty
The impact of COVID and its ongoing threat continue to disrupt and delay the full recovery of the economy. It is tempting to act now, believing that what we see today are clear signals. However, acting without clarity is risky. In the face of unprecedented uncertainty caused by the long tail of the pandemic, the best policy is recognizing the need to wait. The following is adapted from remarks by the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco to The Commonwealth Club of California on November 16.
Recent Findings on Residential Instability in Oakland
Safe, stable, and affordable housing is central to ensuring healthy, sustainable, and inclusive communities. Amid COVID-19-related economic shocks and a worsening housing crisis, residents in cities across California are struggling to keep up with the rising costs of housing. This report draws from a unique, longitudinal dataset of over 14,000 residents to examine residential instability–in the form of moving and household crowding–in the City of Oakland, California. It presents trends from the last 20 years, with an additional focus on patterns emerging during the COVID-19 pandemic.The ...
Steering Toward Sustainable Growth
The inflation outlook combined with a strong labor market leave no doubt that further monetary policy tightening is appropriate. The question is, how much and how quickly? The appropriate path of policy confronts the economic headwinds immediately ahead while also laying the groundwork for the economy we want in the future. The following is adapted from remarks by the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco to the Center for Business and Economic Research, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, on April 20.
Inflationary Effects of Fiscal Support to Households and Firms
Fiscal support measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic varied in their targeted beneficiaries. Relying on variability across 10 large economies, we study differences in the inflationary effects of fiscal support measures targeting consumers or businesses. Because conventional measures of real activity were distorted, we control for the underlying state of real economy using households sentiment data. We find that fiscal support measures to consumers, but not firms, had inflationary effects that manifested 5 weeks following the announcement and peaked at 12 weeks. The magnitude of the ...
The Role of Immigration in U.S. Labor Market Tightness
Immigrants contribute a large portion of the growth in the U.S. population and labor force. However, immigration flows into the United States slowed significantly following immigration policy changes from 2017 to 2020 and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Analysis of state-level data shows that this migration slowdown tightened local labor markets modestly, raising the ratio of job vacancies to unemployed workers 5.5 percentage points between 2017 and 2021. More recent data show immigration has rebounded strongly, helping to close the shortfall in foreign-born labor and ease tight labor ...
The Rapidly Growing Home Care Sector and Labor Force Participation
The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the growing need for home care workers, who support their elderly and disabled clients in their homes with activities of daily living, and on the challenges of recruiting and retaining workers in the industry. This brief describes the state of the home care sector and its connection to the economy. It looks at home care as a rapidly growing industry facing significant challenges and at home care’s role in enabling working-aged family members to participate in the labor force,i which supports the Federal Reserve’s maximum employment mandateThere is ...
Inflation and Wage Growth Since the Pandemic
Following the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation has surged to 1980s levels in advanced economies. Motivated by vast differences in pandemic support across countries, we investigate the subsequent response of inflation and the feedback to wages. We exploit these differences to identify the effect these programs had on inflation and to examine the link between wages and inflation. Our empirical approach is based on a novel dynamic difference-in differences method based on local projections. Our estimates suggest that an increase of 5% in direct transfers (relative to trend) peaked at ...
Housing Demand and Remote Work
What explains record U.S. house price growth since late 2019? We show that the shift to remote work explains over one half of the 23.8 percent national house price increase over this period. Using variation in remote work exposure across U.S. metropolitan areas we estimate that an additional percentage point of remote work causes a 0.93 percent increase in house prices after controlling for negative spillovers from migration. This cross-sectional estimate combined with the aggregate shift to remote work implies that remote work raised aggregate U.S. house prices by 15.1 percent. Using a model ...
Small Business Lending and the Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the PPP Liquidity Facility were launched early in the pandemic to help many small businesses survive. These programs encouraged banks to lend more extensively to small businesses over the first half of 2020. Since then, however, banks have reduced their exposure to these loans, leaving no significant changes in small business lending associated with participation in these programs over the three-year period from 2020 through 2022. This raises some doubt that emergency lending programs encourage long-term relationships that outlast the programs.
Policymaking in a Time of Uncertainty
Presentation to The Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco, CA, November 16, 2021, by Mary C. Daly, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.