Fed chief Powell calls for 'society-wide' hiring push

Powell's comments were largely interpreted as further support for a large federal stimulus program to prevent the economy from retreating and to get the labor market back on its feet.

The U.S. is still roughly 10 million jobs below where it was before the health crisis began last year, and the recovery has been most sluggish for members of minority groups.

Powell stressed the need to get those individuals back to work for the good of the economy and society.