The Federal Reserve bases its policy decisions on up-to-date information and scholarly research. To ensure it has the best guidance available, the Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors employ many economists in their research departments.
The most junior members of the Fed’s “research teams” are the research assistants or research associates, who are often recent college graduates. Research assistants typically spend two to three years at the Fed before continuing their education. Many go on to obtain MBAs or PhDs in Economics or find work in private industry and finance. Working under staff economists, these assistants gain familiarity with data analysis and may provide the preliminary charts, tables and statistics used in policy-making decisions.