The Fed looks at unemployment and inflation, trying to balance the two to keep the economy humming. But does that mean it ignores other economic metrics that affect Americans, including income inequality and housing affordability?
That's what CNN Business' Anneken Tappe asked Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, and he agreed that the Fed should address those to the best of its ability -- without overstepping and getting in Congress' way.
"The relative stagnation of incomes for people at the lower end of the income spectrum and also lower mobility ... are things that hold back our economy. They are," Powell said. "The thing is, we don't really have the tools to address those. The we have interest rates and bank supervision and financial stability policy and things like that, but we can't get at those things through our tools."
Powell noted, however, that elected officials can -- and should address them.
"We need that prosperity to be very broadly spread," he said. "So, the high unemployment in a particular racial group like African Americans when, you know, we would look at that as we think about whether we're really at maximum employment."
But, ultimately, he noted, "these are issues for elected representatives."