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Scott Horsley

Updated January 14, 2022 at 9:44 AM ET

President Joe Biden announced three additional nominees for the Federal Reserve Board on Friday, rounding out the central bank's governing body as it prepares to tackle the highest inflation in nearly four decades.

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Updated January 12, 2022 at 8:37 AM ET

The latest inflation report shows what most Americans already know: Prices are still climbing rapidly.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that consumer prices in December were up 7% from a year ago — the biggest hit to family pocketbooks in about 40 years.

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Hiring slowed again last month as employers continued to struggle to find workers in an economy now confronting the full impact of the omicron variant.

U.S. employers added just 199,000 workers to payrolls in December, according to data from the Labor Department Friday. That was well below expectations of around 400,000 jobs created, marking a second consecutive month of disappointing employment growth.

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Updated December 15, 2021 at 5:33 PM ET

The Federal Reserve is paving the way for possible interest rate hikes next year, in an effort to contain stubbornly high inflation.

At the conclusion of a two-day policy meeting Wednesday, the central bank announced plans to phase out its large-scale bond-buying program faster than initially planned. The Fed started purchasing bonds during the pandemic as a way to keep borrowing costs across the economy low and to prevent any market disruptions.

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Updated December 10, 2021 at 5:28 PM ET

If you think your grocery bill has gone through the roof this year, you can appreciate what's happened to Cameron Mitchell.

Mitchell's shopping for about 60 restaurants he runs in cities across the country — from high-end steakhouses to Molly Woo's Asian Bistro and El Segundo Mexican Kitchen.

Mitchell says his cost for ingredients has soared by about $9 million. As a result, he has been forced to raise menu prices three times this year.

Updated December 3, 2021 at 12:02 PM ET

Hiring slowed dramatically last month as COVID-19 cases rose, even before the arrival of a new and and even more worrisome coronavirus variant, which could put another speed bump on the road to labor market recovery.

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Updated November 30, 2021 at 4:08 PM ET

Stocks took a big tumble on Tuesday as investors weighed the potential economic fallout from the new omicron coronavirus variant.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 652 points.

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President Biden has tapped Jerome Powell to serve a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. Fed governor Lael Brainard will serve as vice chairman.

President Biden has chosen to keep Jerome Powell in place for a second term as Federal Reserve chairman — a move that signals continuity with the central bank's policies at a time when the economy faces critical challenges, including surging inflation

Biden nominated current Fed governor Lael Brainard to serve as vice chair. Brainard had been seen as a leading contender to replace Powell.

Bernice Rink didn't need to see this week's eye-popping inflation report to know that prices are getting painfully high. She can see it every time she goes to the supermarket.

"Oh my God," says Rink, "you can hardly buy groceries."

Prices of everyday items have surged during the pandemic, thanks to a toxic combination of staffing shortages and supply chain woes. The rising prices are souring the national mood and taking a political toll on President Biden.

The busy Christmas shopping season is almost here. Unfortunately, a lot of holiday merchandise is tied up in traffic, and Bonnie Ross is starting to sweat.

"We're at the point where if you don't ship now, it's not going," says Ross, sales manager for the California-based clothing company Nothin' But Net. "The buyers are saying, 'If it's not here, I can't take it.'"

For months now, Ross has been anxiously tracking the progress of her company's Christmas clothing orders from factories in Asia to cargo terminals on the West Coast.

Updated November 10, 2021 at 9:48 AM ET

Surging prices are steadily chipping away at Americans' buying power – as well as President Biden's approval rating.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that consumer prices were 6.2% higher in October than a year ago. That's the sharpest increase since November of 1990.

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Updated November 5, 2021 at 11:46 AM ET

A strong rebound in job growth in October is raising hopes for a long-awaited recovery in the labor market. But millions of workers remain on the sidelines — and the economy needs them back.

The Labor Department reported Friday that U.S. employers added 531,000 jobs last month. Job gains for August and September were also revised upward. The unemployment rate fell to 4.6% from 4.8% in September.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Wednesday she expects inflation to come down from its three-decade highs in the second half of next year as pandemic pressures on the economy ease.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer prices in September, as measured by the Federal Reserve's preferred yardstick, were 4.4% higher than a year ago. That was the steepest increase since 1991.

Updated November 3, 2021 at 5:23 PM ET

The Federal Reserve is caught in a delicate balancing act as it tries to steer the country out of an unprecedented pandemic.

On one side, the Fed feels the economy still needs help given that the U.S. has yet to recover nearly 5 million jobs that were lost during the pandemic.

But the Fed is also facing another opposing problem: Inflation has climbed to its highest level in three decades as Americans have gone on a spending spree that has sparked widespread shortages.

Updated October 28, 2021 at 8:39 AM ET

On the Fourth of July, the U.S. economy looked ready to skyrocket.

"We're seeing record job creation and record economic growth," President Biden said then as he encouraged Americans to celebrate their newfound independence from the coronavirus pandemic.

By Labor Day, however, the economy looked more like a dud, its midsummer sparkle smothered by a wave of delta variant infections and persistent supply chain problems.

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