4:15pm

Thu November 17, 2011
Business and the Economy

Economic Recovery "Years Away"

One expert who helps develop America’s Monetary policy believes full economic recovery is still ‘years away.’  Sandra Pianalto brought her message today to Lexington Rotarians.  Pianalto, who’s President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, admits the economic recovery has been ‘frustratingly slow.’  She says nine million jobs were lost with only one million back restored.  Pianalto says some economists fear ‘structural un-employment’ is here to stay.

“Some people think that our labor markets have been impaired..and that we’re just gonna have to accept on a permanent basis..this very high level of unemployment,” said Pianalto.

The Federal Reserve member says a depressed housing market, cuts in government spending, and European economic uncertainty are all factors.  But Pianalto’s been told by business leaders that consumer demand remains weak.

“Businesses tell me the number one factor holding back their hiring and investment decisions is the lack of demand…the very weak demand that we see in our economy,” added Pianalto.

When consumerism picks up, she says buyers will need products to purchase.  So, over the long haul, the nation should better train its workforce and modernize.

“And the top two factors have never changed over a 75 year period..the top two factors are the skill level of the workforce and innovation,” explained Pianalto.

During her visit to Kentucky, Pianalto also stopped at Lawrenceburg’s General Cable plant.  As one of the most efficient plants of its kind in the work, she says it’s a success story in the midst of tough economic times.