BernankeBen Bernanke, who will be replaced by Janet Yellen next year, had his last FOMC meeting of 2013 on December 18. At the press conference he gave his final remarks on unemployment and inflation. ConsulTree follows the unemployment situation closely. We believe the economy has enough ground to keep growing, but companies must keep acquiring top talent to leverage any continued upward trend.

The Federal Reserve has a target unemployment rate of 6.5%, below which it may consider increasing its federal funds rate, currently at 0.25%. The current unemployment rate, at 7%, is fast approaching this level. In the press conference it was also stressed that even when the rate gets to this level, the Fed will keep the funds rate at low levels for a longer period of time. This will add to the stability of the economy, making any decision about talent acquisition a long term “investment” in accordance with the Federal Reserve policies.

Bernanke addressed several issues concerning inflation and the asset buying program, but in terms of the employment situation he seems satisfied with the pace and goals. His last remark on the conference in his last presentation was about the decline of the labor force participation and how government can help to alleviate this phenomenon. The Chairman believes, firstly, that the lowering of the unemployment rate will come from a generation of actual job creation as opposed to people not looking for a job anymore; and, secondly and most importantly, fundamentally training our work-force to fit the needs of 21st century industry is the responsibility not only of the private sector but also of the government and educational sectors. The skill level of the workforce is one of the biggest challenges that our society faces and an issue that must be addressed to avoid seeing more and more people unemployed or underemployed.

We, [CEO’s] still have many challenges to face, making now the time to begin filtering, hiring and coaching top talent so to create even more opportunities.

Content by @patvalderrama