Powell: Automation may be slowing pickup in hiring

The head of the US central bank believes that automation may be responsible for a slow recovery in the job market.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said several million people may have difficulty getting hired even after the US economy improves on progress in the coronavirus-vaccination program.

He said at an online forum that the economy will be different when companies have spent a lot of time looking at ways to have more effective technology and perhaps fewer people.

Powell also noted that around 8.5 million people, mainly from the low-income population, remain out of work.

The Fed and the government have unleashed massive amounts of stimulus, helping bring down the US jobless rate to 6 percent in March. Yet the reading is still worse than the 3.5 percent before the pandemic.