Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks to the media after the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, had no satisfactory answer.Powell acknowledged that he couldn't say for sure why wage growth remains generally tepid.Powell didn't explain his distinction between puzzle and mystery.In 2017, as a Fed governor, Powell told CNBC that the persistence of inflation remaining below the central bank's 2 percent target after years of monetary stimulus was "kind of a mystery".Other economists have suggested answers that go beyond the Fed's mandate of using interest rates, asset purchases and public communication to stabilize prices and maximize employment.Separate research has that found higher wages are now concentrated at exceptionally profitable tech darlings like Facebook, where federal filings show median pay topped $240,000 last year.On Wednesday, Powell ended his new conference with an answer to a question about whether most workers will see significant raises, given the money that major companies are pouring into stock buybacks rather than into pay.The Fed chairman stressed that he still thought a strong job market would propel faster pay growth in time.
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