Fed may keep low rates even after jobs pick up


WASHINGTON — Janet Yellin, Federal Reserve vice chairman, says the central bank may keep its key short-term interest rate at a record low even after unemployment falls to a more normal level.

The Fed has said it would hold its benchmark rate near zero as long as unemployment is above 6.5 percent and inflation forecasts are below 2.5 percent. Unemployment is 7.9 percent.

She made her comments Monday in a speech to the AFL-CIO. In December, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed might keep stimulating the economy even after the jobless rate falls below 6.5 percent.