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Issue #24 | April 16, 2019

Recently, from the Cleveland Fed

  • Who informs Fed policymaking? The answer in 30+ sketches

    Who informs Fed policymaking? The answer in 30+ sketches

    Sound monetary policy is not made in a vacuum. A new “Drawing Board” video explains who gives monetary policymakers on-the-ground anecdotes, filling out the nation’s economic picture in ways statistics just can’t capture. Watch it.

  • In the Cleveland area, payroll and productivity are up

    In the Cleveland area, payroll and productivity are up

    A recent Metro Mix shows payroll employment is up in the Cleveland metro area, particularly in two sectors. Also up is the area’s per capita real gross domestic product (or GDP), suggesting that businesses have become more productive. Nine charts compare the Cleveland metro’s performance with Ohio’s and the nation’s. See the results.

  • Updated opioids-related working paper paints a picture of widespread impacts

    Updated opioids-related working paper paints a picture of widespread impacts

    In the most current version of “Opioids and the Labor Market,” authors improved the joint measurement of labor market outcomes and prescription rates. They find that higher levels of opioid prescriptions are associated with lower employment and labor force participation rates, and that prescription opioids may account for 44 percent of the decline in the labor force participation rate of prime-age men from 2001 to 2016. Read it.

  • Cleveland Fed president takes policy message to New York

    On display soon: Original student research at the Cleveland Fed

    Know an undergraduate doing research in economics or finance? On May 3, the Undergraduate Research Poster Competition at the Cleveland Fed will give students the opportunity to talk about their work, receive feedback from economists, research analysts, finance professionals, and faculty, and network with peers. There is no entry fee, but the April 26 deadline is days away. Details here.

Ask the Expert


Why does the Cleveland Fed host a Policy Summit?


The Policy Summit is an important event for the Federal Reserve because we’re a convener, and we provide a neutral base for people to have conversations. We work with practitioners, researchers, academics, policymakers, and we’re able to bring all of those stakeholders to the table.

The Policy Summit supports the work of community development because we act on what those in attendance say they need more (and less) of. We used feedback from those at the Policy Summit in 2017 to develop this year’s agenda; for example, attendees wanted additional time built into the event, generally, and more networking opportunities so they can discuss issues with others who are grappling with the same challenges. We added those. Also this year, our program combines researchers with practitioners in breakout sessions; in years past, researchers presented certain sessions and practitioners presented others.

What hasn’t changed is our expectation that this year’s event from June 19 to June 21 will foster a robust policy discussion. An administrator from a Toledo agency told us after our last biennial event that the quantitative information he hears on an issue at the Policy Summit is enlightening. It’s evidence, he said, that is critically important for him. In his line of work, he said, he hears a lot from the heart. That doesn’t mean that our sessions dismiss the heart, but data can quantify why people need to take action.

This is the 14th convening of the Policy Summit, and I think our numbers speak for themselves. What began as a small gathering of 40 stakeholders in the Cleveland Fed auditorium has grown to an event that attracts more than 300 attendees. This year is the first time the event is being held in Cincinnati. Join us.

Bonnie Blankenship

Bonnie Blankenship

is a regional outreach manager in the Cleveland Fed’s Community Development Department. She is based at the Bank’s Cincinnati Branch and conducts research and policy analysis on current and emerging issues in community and economic development and coordinates various outreach activities in the Fourth District, which includes all of Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Graphic of the Month

Where does the FOMC get its information?

This is no ivory tower: The monetary policy decisions made by the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) in Washington DC have origins in small towns and large cities across the country. In fact, behind every Reserve Bank president are advisors who work together to create a picture of the economy in a Reserve Bank’s District.

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By the Numbers

On the Calendar

  • April 16, 2019

    Look for results from the 2018 Small Business Credit Survey, due out at 2:30 pm EST. For information about the survey and related resources, go to

  • 2019 Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference

    May 9–10, 2019

    2019 Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference (Washington DC)

  • Policy Summit 2019

    June 19–21, 2019

    Policy Summit 2019: Connecting People & Places to Opportunity (Cincinnati, OH)

From around the Federal Reserve System

The well-being of less-educated Americans has deteriorated

In a recent paper from the Minneapolis Fed-based Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute, the authors compare wages and other data of non-college-educated people born around 1940 with those of people born 20 years later in order to compare life outcomes for the two groups. They find a “profound deterioration in well-being” for those without college educations born in the 1960s.

The well-being of less-educated Americans has deteriorated

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