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Fed's Mester says US job growth not as bad as it looks

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President and Chief Executive Officer Loretta Mester is seen during the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's annual Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Aug 29, 2015.

[NEW YORK] The US economy only needs to add between 70,000 and 120,000 jobs per month to keep the unemployment rate steady at 5.1 percent, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on Thursday, defending her preference to raise interest rates.

Job growth slowed sharply in August and September to a monthly average of 139,000.

"I don't think job growth was as weak as some people think it was," Ms Mester told reporters at New York University. To keep the unemployment rate steady "it's probably now 70,000 to 120,000 depending on what model you have. "We shouldn't be expecting to see 250,000 jobs a month," she added. "As the economy has improved we growth to slow."


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