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Know Your Rights
Source: Bloomberg
Subject: Organizing
Type: Media Coverage

Protesters Press for Diversity While New York Fed Seeks New Chief

Maria Rubio, member of Make the Road New York, speaks during a Fed Up protest outside Federal Hall in New York, U.S., on March 12, 2018.
Photographer: Holly Pickett/Bloomberg

Advocates for more diversity atop the U.S. central bank took to Wall Street on Monday to press their message on the doorstep of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which is in the process of picking a new chief.

“Fed up, we can’t take it no more!” chanted a group of about 50 green shirt-clad members of Fed Up, a grass-roots advocacy campaign that has received backing from Facebook billionaire Dustin Moskovitz. Fed Up is pushing central bankers to keep focused on creating more jobs.

America’s unemployment rate is at its lowest since late 2000. But when Fed Up’s members look at the labor market, they see the people that they say the central bank has overlooked. That’s why they and other progressives, including Democratic lawmakers, are pressing the New York Fed to consider a diverse slate of candidates as it weighs replacements for its president, William Dudley, who plans to step down this year.

“Even though the headline unemployment figure is showing some really encouraging signs, we know there are a lot of stories that have gotten lost,” said Jordan Haedtler, campaign manager for Fed Up.

Here are three charts that help to explain what brought people out onto the streets:

Room to Grow

U.S. labor force participation, which measures workers who are in jobs or actively looking for employment, has not fully recovered to pre-recession levels.

February’s job report showed labor force participation rose to the highest since September, suggesting the job market isn’t as tight as policy makers may have thought.

Record Borrowing

U.S. household debt has skyrocketed, reaching an all-time high of $13 trillion in 2017. At the same time, household income growth has remained lackluster, making it harder for Americans to pay back their debt. One of the areas of household debt that’s picked up in recent years is student loans.

Unemployment by Race

Unemployment in the Latino and black community has fallen steeply since the recession ended in 2009 and is now near record lows, but remains higher than the jobless rate in the white population.