There’s a common misconception that all lucrative jobs are technical or IT-related. But the truth couldn’t be further off. While it is true that IT jobs make the most money by 2024 standards, there are other non-tech jobs as well that fetch well over six digits. Here’s what they are and what you’ll need to secure one. 10 Best Careers for Non-Technical Professionals For the sake of uniformity, the job requirements and the annual payout will be according to the US national standard. While the payout might vary across regions, the skill set and requirements remain more or less the same. PR Specialist A public relations specialist is essentially the face of any company. The primary responsibilities of a PR specialist include everything related to the customer side interactions. A PR specialist is also responsible for developing PR strategies and overseeing implementation procedures. Other key responsibilities include drafting press releases, speeches, and other communication materials. In extraordinary cases, a PR specialist is also responsible for crisis management strategies. These include avoidance of negative publicity. Read more: How to Make a Video Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide A PR specialist is expected to have degrees in public relations, communication, or other related fields. An APR certification is an added plus for a specialist role. The average salary for a PR specialist is around 60,122 USD or around 6,58,6557 BDT per year (1 USD = 109.55 BDT). Content Manager A content manager is responsible for curating and executing the content strategy of any business. Additionally, a content manager is expected to create and publish content. The medium includes social networks and media outlets. One of the key responsibilities for this position is to ensure precise consistency in brand messaging. A content manager is also responsible for analyzing different performance metrics. The position requires a bachelor's in marketing, communication, journalism, or related fields. The annual salary for the content manager position is around 60,634 USD or 6,64,2648 BDT per year. Read more: Empower Your Tech Career in 2024: Master These In-Demand Skills for Success Market Research Manager Market research managers are responsible for analyzing the market. It also encompasses the identification of relevant trends within the organization’s operating industry. The position comes with the stringent responsibility of analyzing and drawing insights from the market. The data output helps to make informed decisions. A market research manager is also expected to develop and implement new research methodologies. The goal is to cater to organizational needs and efficiency. Another key responsibility for this position is to maintain liaison with the management. A market research manager is expected to have a bachelor’s or master’s in marketing, business, statistics, or business analytics. The gross salary for this position is around 60,442 USD or 6,62,1614 BDT per year.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sounded an alarm, indicating that nearly 40% of global employment could be endangered by the burgeoning influence of artificial intelligence (AI). This stark warning, reported by CNN, underscores the seismic shifts anticipated in the global job market. IMF Chief Kristalina Georgieva, in a recent blog post, stressed the critical necessity for governments worldwide to fortify social safety nets and roll out comprehensive retraining programmes. This proactive approach aims to mitigate AI's potentially dramatic effects on employment. Davos 2024: Can AI provide solutions, as Global leaders confront $88.1 trillion debt crisis? Highlighting a key concern, Georgieva pointed out the potential for AI adoption to aggravate existing inequalities, a trend that requires immediate policy intervention to avert escalating social tensions. This issue is set to be a central theme at the upcoming annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, where AI's role in the economy will be a focal point. According to the IMF's analysis, advanced economies might witness the most significant impact, with up to 60% of jobs at risk. Although AI promises to enhance productivity in about half of these roles, the remainder faces a stark reality of diminishing demand, lowered wages, and potential unemployment as AI assumes roles traditionally held by humans. UN chief warns of risks of artificial intelligence Emerging markets and lower-income countries are not immune to these challenges. Here, 40% and 26% of jobs, respectively, may feel the impact. Georgieva raised concerns about these regions' lack of infrastructure and skilled workforces, factors that intensify the risk of AI deepening existing economic divides. Georgieva also warned of an escalating risk of social unrest, especially if younger, tech-savvy workers leverage AI for productivity gains, leaving their older counterparts struggling to adapt. China warns of artificial intelligence risks, calls for beefed-up national security measures At Davos, the implications of AI on employment are a key discussion topic. Prominent figures, including Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, and Microsoft's Satya Nadella, are slated to address the impact of generative AI technologies. Despite these challenges, Georgieva did not overlook AI's positive potentials, noting its capacity to significantly boost global output and incomes. She argued that with thoughtful planning, AI could be a transformative force for the global economy, stressing the importance of channeling its benefits for the collective good. Amidst concerns over job displacement, some economists are optimistic, suggesting that AI's widespread adoption may ultimately enhance labor productivity. This could potentially lead to a 7% annual increase in global GDP over the next decade.
Bangladesh's Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad on Sunday (June 11, 2023) said currently there is no market for unskilled labourers abroad but demand for skilled manpower has increased. He said this while addressing as the chief guest at the inaugural programme of newly built Technical Training Centre (TTC) in Raninagar upazila of Naogaon on Sunday. The minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken an initiative to set up TTCs across the country to create employment opportunities and earn foreign currencies through developing skills of people. Also Read: Italy to take skilled workers from Bangladesh, contain illegal migration He said the government has also taken measures to send skilled farmers abroad but the farmers must have certificates on their skills. As per the directive of the prime minister, such training centres are being set up and the government has a plan to establish training centres in each upazila in phases for people’s skill development, he said. The minister said the training centres will have to be taken to a stage so that trained workers can be sent abroad immediately after they get training. Also Read: Malaysia and Bangladesh discuss expansion of labour market and worker safety A total of 880 people will be able to take six-month long training on 6 trades at the Raninagar’s TTC built at the cost of Tk 34.71 crore. Chaired by Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training General Director Md Shahidul Alam, local lawmaker Md Anowar Hossain Helal, Project Director Saiful Haque Chowdhury and additional deputy commissioner Md Zakir Hossain, among others were present. Also Read: 14 dead as truck collides with pickup van carrying construction workers in Sylhet
Focus on job-oriented education for employment of graduates: President Shahabuddin urges universities
President Mohammed Shahabuddin on Monday asked the country’s universities to focus more on job-oriented education and research to cater to the need of the employment market. He said this when Jatiya Kabi Nazrul Islam University Vice-Chancellor Professor Soumitra Sekhar and acting Vice-Chancellor of BRAC University Syed Mahfuzul Aziz met with him separately at Bangabhaban. President's Press Secretary Joynal Abedin briefed reporters after the meetings. Also Read: Ensure proper spending of public money: President Shahabuddin The president said that the universities must do more on encouraging the students to take up research and innovative activities, which will be sustainable for the country. VC Soumitra Shekhar briefed the President about the academic and development activities of the Kabi Nazrul University.
Job hunting is a crucial task The traditional methods of searching job advertisements, submitting resumes, and waiting for a response can be frustrating and time-consuming. In today's digital age, AI tools are revolutionizing the job application process. As artificial intelligence technology continues to evolve, some innovative AI tools can help job seekers to analyze job postings, tailor their resumes and even conduct mock interviews. Why Should Job Seekers Use AI Tools AI tools are increasingly being used for job applications because they offer a range of benefits that make the process more efficient and effective. One of the most significant advantages of AI is its speed. These tools can quickly analyze large amounts of data and identify the most relevant job openings for a particular applicant. Additionally, AI algorithms can scan and filter resumes, highlighting relevant experience and qualifications to help applicants stand out from the competition. AI tools can also help job seekers tailor their resumes to specific job requirements, optimizing their chances of success. These tools use natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to analyze job postings and identify the key skills and qualifications required. They can then suggest changes to the applicant's resume or cover letter to better align with the job requirements. Read More: ChatGPT ‘passed’ BCS exam, according to Science Bee’s experiment Another benefit of AI tools for job applications is that they can help applicants prepare for interviews. Some AI-powered tools offer mock interviews, allowing candidates to practice their responses to common interview questions and receive feedback on their performance. Overall, the efficiency and effectiveness of AI tools make them a valuable resource for job seekers looking to navigate the complex and competitive job market. How to Get Your Next Job Utilizing Some AI Tools As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, job seekers are turning to AI tools to gain a competitive edge in their job search. From identifying job openings to optimizing resumes, these tools can help streamline the job application process and increase the chances of landing a dream job. Here are several ways to utilize AI tools for job applications: Job Searching with AI One of the most time-consuming aspects of the job search process is sifting through hundreds of job postings to find the ones that are the best match. With AI-powered job search engines, job seekers can quickly find relevant job openings without spending hours scrolling through job searching websites. Read More: Top 5 AI Chatbot Platforms and Trends in 2023 One such tool is Jobscan (https://www.jobscan.co/), which uses AI to match resumes to job descriptions and identify which skills and keywords are missing. The tool also provides job seekers with a score to indicate how well their resume matches the job description. This can help applicants tailor their resumes to specific job postings and increase their chances of getting an interview. Another useful AI-powered job search tool is Monster's Power Resume Search (https://hiring.monster.com/help-center/traditional-products/power-resume-search/). This tool uses AI to scan millions of resumes and job postings to find the best matches. Job seekers can use filters such as job title, company name, and location to narrow down their search results and find the most relevant job openings. Resume Optimization with AI Crafting the perfect resume is essential to get noticed by hiring managers. AI-powered resume optimization tools can help job seekers improve their resumes and increase their chances of getting an interview. One such tool is Resume Worded (https://resumeworded.com/), which uses AI to analyze resumes and provide feedback on areas that need improvement. The tool identifies grammatical errors, recommends action verbs to use, and provides suggestions on how to make the resume more effective. Read More: Google's AI Chatbot Bard: All You Need to Know Another useful AI-powered resume optimization tool is Zety's Resume Builder (https://zety.com/lp/cv-maker). This tool uses AI to provide job seekers with personalized resume templates and suggestions on how to optimize their resumes for specific job postings. The tool also offers a range of design options and features to help job seekers stand out from the competition. Interview Preparation with AI Preparing for an interview can be nerve-wracking, but AI-powered interview preparation tools can help job seekers feel more confident and prepared. These tools can provide feedback on responses to common interview questions, help identify areas for improvement, and even conduct mock interviews. One such tool is InterviewMe (https://interviewme.tech/), which uses AI to analyze the candidate's responses and provide feedback on areas that need improvement. The tool also offers a range of interview questions and scenarios to help job seekers prepare for different types of interviews. Another useful AI-powered interview preparation tool is My Interview Simulator (http://myinterviewsimulator.com/). This tool conducts mock interviews and provides feedback on the candidate's performance, including body language, tone, and content. This can help job seekers feel more confident and prepared when going into an actual interview. Read More: ChatGPT by Open AI: All you need to know Skill Development with AI AI-powered skill development tools can help job seekers improve their skills and increase their chances of getting hired. These tools use AI to identify areas of improvement and provide personalized learning plans to help job seekers upskill and reskill. One such tool is Coursera (https://www.coursera.org/learn/building-ai-powered-chatbots), which offers online courses in a range of topics, including business, technology, and data science. The platform uses AI to analyze the learner's progress and provide personalized feedback and recommendations for further learning. Another useful AI-powered skill development tool is Udacity (https://www.udacity.com/courses/all), which offers courses in high-demand fields such as AI, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. The platform uses AI to provide personalized feedback and recommendations based on the learner's progress and areas of interest. Conclusion In today's highly competitive job market, job seekers need every advantage they can get. That's where AI tools come in. From job searching to resume optimization, and interview preparation to skill development, AI-powered tools can help streamline the job application process and increase the chances of getting hired. These tools offer personalized feedback, targeted recommendations, and invaluable insights that can help job seekers stand out from the competition. Read More: 7 Top AI Writing Tools, Software to Generate Human-Like Text
The financial institution division (FID), a wing of the Ministry of Finance is formulating 'The Employment, Promotion and Posting Policy-2023' for the appointment and promotion of senior officers of state-owned commercial banks of Bangladesh. A committee led by the finance minister will appoint and promote people to these posts based on the basis of 100 marks in 8 categories, a source of the ministry told UNB on Sunday. Apart from this, the candidates will be scrutinized before the appointment. A committee of 6 members will be formed, led by the finance minister. Read: Investors’ financial literacy must to boost capital market: Commerce Minister According to the sources, contractual recruitment and posting for a maximum of three years will be made for the posts of Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) through selection from among the Managing Directors working in state-owned commercial banks, specialized banks, and financial institutions or through promotion from Deputy Managing Directors (DMDs). Sources of FID said recommendations will be made by the selection committee following the seniority, experience, report of the NSI and Anti-Corruption Commission, and the circular issued by Bangladesh Bank from time to time. Contractual appointments will be made to the posts of Managing Director and CEO with the recommendation of the committee with the approval of the Prime Minister. Read: Bangladesh earned $27.22b from exports in July-Dec amid new records A senior official of FID said apart from this, promotion, appointment, posting and inter-bank transfers to the post of Deputy Managing Director in specialized banks and financial institutions will be restricted to specialized banks and financial institutions. However, in the interest of the state, posting and inter-bank transfer can be made from among the deputy managing directors of state-owned commercial banks to the post of deputy managing directors in specialized banks and financial institutions. As per the policy, in the case of promotion, the candidates eligible for promotion-educational qualification mark 15, length of service in a bank or financial institution -5, banking diploma-5, professional degree-5, professional publications -5, employment record 5, annual confidential application -40 and interview -15), etc will be selected by the committee on the basis of their mark out of a total 100 marks. Read More: Govt to save Tk10,000 cr annually from importing edible oil: Agri Minister.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (December 06, 2022) officially opened Bangladesh Special Economic Zone (widely known as the “Japanese Economic Zone”) at Araihazar in Narayanganj. She joined the event virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban in Dhaka. According to Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), the Japanese Economic Zone would draw USD 1.5 billion investment and create more than one lakh jobs. Forty foreign companies, including 30 Japanese, have expressed interest to invest there, BEZA said. Noting that an excellent investment climate prevails in Bangladesh, PM Hasina said, “I think Bangladesh is the most attractive destination for investment. We are offering the highest (investment) opportunities and facilities.” Read: Women entrepreneurs can avail special opportunities in economic zones: PM She also said that women entrepreneurs can avail special opportunities at the country’s economic zones. “If women entrepreneurs come forward, we will give them special opportunities. Separate plots will be provided for them.” Sheikh Hasina said her government has been working for the overall development of the nation through planned industrialization, while protecting arable land and the environment. The PM said foreign entrepreneurs are also expressing interest to make investments in the country. “In terms of geographic location, Bangladesh is perfectly positioned to be a bridge between the East and the West,” she said. Read: Stop arms race, use resources for health, education: PM to global leaders Sheikh Hasina said her government has been strengthening connectivity with South Asia and Southeast Asia – two most densely populated regions with a large market of 300 crore people. Besides, the government has increased the purchasing power of people – a market of 17 crore people, she added. The PM said the government is also offering special facilities for young entrepreneurs so that they can make investments in the economic zones. She opened the commercial operation of the Japanese Economic Zone, being developed on 1000 acres of land under the joint venture of Bangladesh and Japan. Executive Chairman of BEZA, Shaikh Yusuf Harun, in his welcome speech, said the inauguration of Bangladesh Special Economic Zone would open a new era for attracting Japanese and other foreign investments to Bangladesh. Read: Bangladesh a role model for women's participation in UN peacekeeping: PM Hasina He said Singer, a renowned company, has already started the construction of its factory in the economic zone. Harun also said two Japanese companies were going to sign agreements after the opening ceremony to set up their factories in the economic zone. Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki and President of Sumitomo Corporation Masayuki Hyodo also spoke on the occasion. BEZA and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation are jointly working to develop the economic zone. The process of the joint venture started with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Japan in 2014. Read: Karnaphuli Tunnel first such project in South Asia: PM Hasina
Facebook parent Meta is laying off 11,000 people, about 13% of its workforce, as it contends with faltering revenue and broader tech industry woes, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a letter to employees Wednesday. The job cuts come just a week after widespread layoffs at Twitter under its new owner, billionaire Elon Musk. There have been numerous job cuts at other tech companies that hired rapidly during the pandemic. Zuckerberg said that he had made the decision to hire aggressively, anticipating rapid growth even after the pandemic lockdowns ended. “Unfortunately, this did not play out the way I expected,” Zuckerberg said in a statement. “Not only has online commerce returned to prior trends, but the macroeconomic downturn, increased competition, and ads signal loss have caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.” Meta, like other social media companies, enjoyed a financial boost during the pandemic lockdown era because more people stayed home and scrolled on their phones and computers. But as the lockdowns ended and people started going outside again, revenue growth began to falter. Also read: Competition with TikTok: Facebook parent Meta reports revenue down Of particular concern to investors, Meta poured over $10 billion a year into the “metaverse” as it shifts its focus away from social media. Zuckerberg predicts the metaverse, an immersive digital universe, will eventually replace smartphones as the primary way people use technology. Spooked investors have sent company shares tumbling more than 71% since the beginning of the year and the stock now trades at levels last seen in 2015. An economic slowdown and a grim outlook for online advertising — by far Meta’s biggest revenue source — have contributed to Meta's woes as well. This summer, the company posted its first quarterly revenue decline in history, followed by another, bigger decline in the fall. Some of the pain is company-specific, while some is tied to broader economic and technological forces. Last week, Twitter laid off about half of its 7,500 employees, part of a chaotic overhaul as Musk took the helm. He tweeted that there was no choice but to cut the jobs “when the company is losing over $4M/day," though did not provide details about the losses. Snap, the owner of Snapchat, also recently laid off 1,000 workers and online real estate broker Redfin said Wednesday it is cutting 862 employees. Meta and its advertisers are bracing for a potential recession. There’s also the challenge of Apple's privacy tools, which make it more difficult for social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snap to track people without their consent and target ads to them. Although Meta has been hurt by broader economic trends that have curtailed spending on digital ads, the company’s challenges have been compounded by the rise of TikTok at the same time Zuckerberg is pouring billions into a metaverse that so far seems like a distant mirage, said Forrester Research analyst J.P. Gownder. “They are making a big bet on something that may not happen for another five to 10 years,” Gownder said. “What they need to be doing is trying to solve some of their fundamental business problems. This (mass layoff) is only a stopgap.” Zuckerberg said Meta is cutting costs across its business, but he added that this alone won't big costs in line with its revenue growth. In addition to the layoffs, a hiring freeze at the company will be extended through the first quarter of 2023, Zuckerberg said. The company has also slashed its real estate footprint and he said that with so many employees working outside of the office, the company will transition to desk sharing for those that remain. More cost cuts at Meta will be rolled out in coming months, Zuckerberg said. Zuckerberg told employees Wednesday that they will receive an email letting them know if they are among those being let go. Access to most company systems will be cut off for people losing their jobs, he said, due to the sensitive nature of that information. “We’re keeping email addresses active throughout the day so everyone can say farewell,” Zuckerberg said. Former employees will receive 16 weeks of base pay, plus two additional weeks for every year with the company, Zuckerberg said. Health insurance for those employees and their families will continue for six months. Even with Wednesday's reductions, Meta still has more than 75,000 workers around the globe. In fact, the company had 71,970 workers at the end of 2021, and less than 59,000 at the end of 2020. Brad Gerstner, the CEO of Meta shareholder Altimeter Capital, wrote an open letter to Zuckerberg last month urging him to tighten Meta's belt. “Meta has drifted into the land of excess — too many people, too many ideas, too little urgency,” Gerstner wrote. “This lack of focus and fitness is obscured when growth is easy but deadly when growth slows and technology changes.” Gerstner urged Zuckerberg to streamline costs and focus the company in an open letter posted on Medium. His suggestions include cutting 20% of the company’s workforce — which still would only set Meta back to 2021 levels of staffing, backing Gerstner’s point that the company has become bigger than it needs to be. Meta's Wednesday layoffs, while historic for the company, breaks no tech industry records. Hewlett Packard let go about 2/3 of its workforce between 2010 and 2021, going from 324,600 employees to 111,000 as of Oct. 31, 2021 for HP Inc. and HP Enterprises, which had been one company back in 2010. And its peak in 1986, IBM had about 400,000 employees worldwide. At the end of last year, IBM had about 282,000 full-time workers. It's not yet clear if Meta — and the social media economy — is on a similar trajectory. A decade ago, Facebook successfully pivoted its business from running a website on desktop computers to an app — then multiple apps — on smartphones. While it is possible that it will be able to make the switch again to a new communications platform in the metaverse, the world — and the company — have changed tremendously. “Meta has three huge problems to overcome: It is no longer an innovative groundbreaker; its grip on market domination is dwindling; and the promise of the metaverse, the centerpiece of Zuckerberg’s vision for the future of his company, has been diminished by a combination of consumer apathy, business skepticism, and the realities of a sinking worldwide economy,” Gerstner wrote. Shares of Meta Platforms Inc. added $5, or 5.2% to close at $101.47 on Wednesday.
President Joe Biden has notched an envious record on jobs, with 10.3 million gained during his tenure. But voters in Tuesday’s midterm elections are far more focused on inflation hovering near 40-year highs. That’s left the president trying to convince the public that the job gains mean better days are ahead, even as fears of a recession build. Presidents have long trusted that voters would reward them for strong economic growth, but inflation has thrown a monkey wrench into the already difficult probability of Democrats’ retaining control of the House and Senate. Economic anxieties have compounded as the Federal Reserve has repeatedly hiked its benchmark interest rates to lower inflation and possibly raise unemployment. Mortgage costs have shot upwards, while the S&P 500 stock index has dropped more than 20% so far this year as the world braces for a possible downturn. Biden is asking voters to look beyond the current financial pain, saying that what matters are the job gains that he believes his policies are fostering. The government reported Friday that employers added 261,000 jobs in October as the unemployment rate bumped up to 3.7%. Roughly 740,000 manufacturing jobs have been added since the start of Biden’s presidency, a figure that the president says will keep rising because of his funding for infrastructure projects, the production of computer chips and the switch to clean energy sources. “America is reasserting itself — it’s as simple as that,” Biden said in a Friday speech. “We also know folks are still struggling with inflation. It’s our number one priority.” Yet the president is also warning that a Republican majority in Congress could make inflation worse by seeking to undo his programs and treating payments on the federal debt as a bargaining chip instead of an obligation to honor. Read: Bangladesh an important country: US President His challenge is that the party in power generally faces skeptical voters in U.S. midterms and inflation looms over the public mindset more than job growth. “If you have a job, it’s small comfort to know that the job market is strong if at the same time you feel like every paycheck is worth less and less anyway,” said pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson. “Inflation is such political poison because voters are reminded every day whenever they spend money that it is a problem we are experiencing.” As Biden tries to fend off fears that inflation is causing the country to slide into a recession, his chief evidence of the economy’s resilience is the continued job growth. “As we see the economy as a whole, we do not see it going into a recession,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters in anticipation of the latest jobs report. Going into the election, Biden and Democrats are already at a disadvantage. Voters generally favor the party out of the White House in midterms, giving Republicans an automatic leg up. When Yale University economist Ray Fair looked at past elections, his model forecast that Democrats would get just 46.4% of the national vote largely because Biden was in the Oval Office. Fair’s analysis suggests that inflation basically erased the political boost that Democrats could have gotten from strong economic growth during three quarters in 2021. Even if the economy is top of mind for many voters, the conflicting forces of past growth and high inflation cancel out each other. This makes the Democrats’ vote share roughly the same as suggested by the historical trend, Fair concluded. Read: Record inflation puts the squeeze on Eurozone economies But inflation compounds the obstacles for a president who has tried to convey optimism as he tours the country in the run-up to the elections. Research in social psychology and behavioral economics generally shows that people often focus on the negatives and can block out the positives. “People pay more attention to bad news than to good news and are more likely to retain and recall bad news,” said Matthew Incantalupo, a political scientist at Yeshiva University. Incantalupo’s research looks at how voters absorb economic news. When unemployment is low, as it is now, he said, voters generally think about jobs as a personal issue — rather than a systemic one involving government policies. But most think about inflation as a social problem beyond any person’s control, unless that individual happens to run the Fed. “When it is high, everyone experiences it at least a little bit, and there really is no individual way to avoid it,” Incantalupo said. “Voters are going to look to government for remedies under those circumstances, and in many cases that will result in them punishing incumbents, even in the presence of other positive news about the economy.” Republican candidates have specifically said Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package last year overheated the economy, causing prices to rise alongside the job gains that they claim would have happened anyway as the pandemic receded. They have also said that Biden should have loosened restrictions on oil production, in order to increase domestic output and lower gasoline prices. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy — who could become speaker if the GOP wins a House majority — has hammered Biden on high prices. As Biden has warned that Republicans who deny the outcome of the 2020 election are a threat to democracy, the California congressman countered that what voters care about are the costs of gas and groceries. Read: Inflation: UN expert for increasing benefits, wages or lives will be lost “President Biden is trying to divide and deflect at a time when America needs to unite — because he can’t talk about his policies that have driven up the cost of living,” McCarthy tweeted this past week. “The American people aren’t buying it.” Still, inflation is not solely a domestic issue. After Russia invaded Ukraine, energy and food costs rose and suddenly flipped the global dynamics as inflation rose faster in parts of the world with less aggressive coronavirus relief than the U.S. Annual inflation in the euro zone is a record 10.7%, much higher than the 8.2% in the U.S. Meanwhile, growth has slowed in China, the pace of world trade is slipping and Saudi Arabia-led OPEC+ has cut oil production in order to prop up prices. And because the Fed is raising rates to lower domestic inflation, the dollar has increased in value and essentially exported higher prices to the rest of the world. This has left U.S. voters in the curious position of not necessarily blaming the president for inflation, even as they disapprove of his economic leadership. An October poll by AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs captured this split. More than half of voters say that prices are higher because of factors beyond Biden’s control. But just 36% approve of his economic leadership.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell delivered a stark warning Friday about the Fed’s determination to fight inflation with more sharp interest rate hikes: It will likely cause pain for Americans in the form of a weaker economy and job losses. The message landed with a thud on Wall Street, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 1,000 points for the day. “These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation,” Powell said in a high-profile speech at the Fed’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole. “But a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain.” Investors had been hoping for a signal from Powell that the Fed might soon moderate its rate increases later this year if inflation were to show further signs of easing. But the Fed chair indicated that that time may not be near, and stocks tumbled in response. Runaway price increases have soured most Americans on the economy, even as the unemployment rate has fallen to a half-century low of 3.5%. It has also created political risks for President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats in this fall’s elections, with Republicans denouncing Biden’s $1.9 trillion financial support package, approved last year, as having fueled inflation. The Dow Jones average finished down 3% on Friday, its worst day in three months. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite shed nearly 4%. Shorter-term Treasury yields climbed as traders built up bets for the Fed to stay aggressive with rates. Some on Wall Street expect the economy to fall into recession later this year or early next year, after which they expect the Fed to reverse itself and reduce rates. A number of Fed officials, though, have pushed back against that notion. Powell’s remarks suggested that the Fed is aiming to raise its benchmark rate — to about 3.75% to 4% by next year — yet not so high as to tank the economy, in hopes of slowing growth long enough to conquer high inflation. “The idea they are trying to hammer into the market’s head is that their approach makes a rapid pivot to (rate cuts) unlikely,” said Eric Winograd, an economist at asset manager AllianceBernstein. “They are going to stay tight even when it hurts.” After raising its key short-term rate by a steep three-quarters of a point at each of its past two meetings — part of the Fed’s fastest series of hikes since the early 1980s — Powell said the Fed might ease up on that pace “at some point,” suggesting that any such slowing isn’t near. Powell said the size of the Fed’s rate increase at its next meeting in late September — whether one-half or three-quarters of a percentage point — will depend on inflation and jobs data. An increase of either size, though, would exceed the Fed’s traditional quarter-point hike, a reflection of how severe inflation has become. Read: US inflation will likely stay high even as gas prices fall The Fed chair said that while lower inflation readings that have been reported for July have been “welcome,” he added that, “a single month’s improvement falls far short of what (Fed policymakers) will need to see before we are confident that inflation is moving down.” On Friday, an inflation gauge that is closely monitored by the Fed showed that prices actually declined 0.1% from June to July. Though prices did jump 6.3% in July from 12 months earlier, that was down from a 6.8% year-over-year jump in June, which had been the highest since 1982. The drop largely reflected lower gas prices. In his speech Friday, Powell noted that the history of high inflation in the 1970s, when the central bank sought to counter high prices with only intermittent rate hikes, shows that the Fed must stay focused. “The historical record cautions strongly against prematurely” lowering interest rates, he said. “We must keep at it until the job is done.” What particularly worries Powell and other Fed officials is the prospect that inflation would become entrenched, leading consumers and businesses to change their behavior in ways that would perpetuate higher prices. If, for example, workers began demanding higher pay to match higher inflation, many employers would then pass on those higher labor costs to consumers in the form of higher prices. Many analysts speculate that Fed officials want to see roughly six months or so of lower monthly inflation readings, similar to July’s, before stopping their rate hikes. Powell’s speech was the marquee event of the the Fed’s annual economic symposium at Jackson Hole, the first time the conference of central bankers is being held in person since 2019, after it went virtual for two years during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March, the Fed has implemented its fastest pace of rate increases in decades to try to curb inflation, which has punished households with soaring costs for food, gas, rent and other necessities. The central bank has lifted its benchmark rate by 2 full percentage points in just four meetings, to a range of 2.25% to 2.5%. Those hikes have led to higher costs for mortgages, car loans and other consumer and business borrowing. Home sales have been plunging since the Fed first signaled it would raise borrowing costs. In June, the Fed’s policymakers signaled that they expected their key rate to end 2022 in a range of 3.25% to 3.5% and then to rise further next year to between 3.75% and 4%. If rates reached their projected level at the end of this year, they would be at the highest point since 2008. Powell is betting that he can engineer a high-risk outcome: Slow the economy enough to ease inflation pressures yet not so much as to trigger a recession. His task has been complicated by the economy’s cloudy picture: On Thursday, the government said the economy shrank at a 0.6% annual rate in the April-June period, the second straight quarter of contraction. Yet employers are still hiring rapidly, and the number of people seeking unemployment aid, a measure of layoffs, remains relatively low. At its meeting in July, Fed policymakers expressed two competing concerns that highlighted their delicate task. Read: US inflation jumped 7.5% in the past year, a 40-year high According to minutes from that meeting, the officials — who aren’t identified by name — have prioritized their inflation fight. Still, some officials said there was a risk that the Fed would raise borrowing costs more than necessary, risking a recession. If inflation were to fall closer to the Fed’s 2% target and the economy weakened further, those diverging views could become hard to reconcile. At last year’s Jackson Hole symposium, Powell listed five reasons why he thought inflation would be “transitory.” Yet instead it has persisted, and many economists have noted that those remarks haven’t aged well. Powell indirectly acknowledged that history at the outset of his remarks Friday, when he said that, “at past Jackson Hole conferences, I have discussed broad topics such as the ever-changing structure of the economy and the challenges of conducting monetary policy.” “Today,” he said, “my remarks will be shorter, my focus narrower and my message more direct.”