The Federal Reserve should keep on with its current round of asset purchases until U.S. monthly jobs growth tops 200,000 for a couple of quarters, Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said on Wednesday.
The Fed earlier this month said it would buy $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities each month and keep on buying for as long as it takes to achieve substantial improvement in the labor market, but it did not specify exactly what milestones it would be watching for.
Evans, one of the central bank's most aggressive doves, said he would look for a "couple of quarters" in which U.S. employers add at least 200,000 jobs, and perhaps even 250,000 jobs, each month before he would consider the labor market substantially better. Unemployment, he added, would also need to be well below 8 percent, perhaps as low as 7.5 percent.
U.S. unemployment has been above 8 percent for more than three years.
(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)