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Fed leaves low interest-rate policies unchanged
Employers added just 148,000 jobs in September, a steep slowdown from August. And temporary layoffs during the shutdown are expected to depress October's job gain.
Since the September meeting, mortgage rates have fallen roughly half a percentage point and remain near historically low levels. Over the summer, rates had jumped to two-year highs on speculation that the Fed might reduce the pace of its bond purchases before the end of this year.
The Fed has one more policy meeting this year in December. The subsequent meeting in January will be the last for Chairman Ben Bernanke, who is stepping down after eight years. President Barack Obama has chosen Vice Chair Janet Yellen to succeed Bernanke.
Assuming that Yellen is confirmed by the Senate, her first meeting as chairman will be in March. Many economists think no major policy changes will occur before a new chairman takes over.
AP Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber contributed to this report.
Follow Chris Rugaber on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/ChrisRugaber .