ST. LOUIS — Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis president James Bullard said Thursday that unemployment is “unusually high and persistent” in the wake of the financial crisis and recession.

Bullard, a voting member of the Fed’s policymaking Federal Open Market Committee, did not draw any monetary policy implications as he opened a St. Louis Fed conference. But the conference theme was timely as the FOMC prepares to meet in less than two weeks to decide whether or not to provide additional monetary stimulus.

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