U.S. economy strong, risk-taking under control: Fed's Williams

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A struggle by employers to fill jobs shows the U.S. economy is strong, and the rise in housing and stock prices is not a sign of a risky build-up in leverage in the financial system, the head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank said on Wednesday.

“Employers are now struggling to fill job openings,” said New York Fed President John Williams, calling it a sign of an “overall strong economy...and a great time for businesses to step up” with internships, training programs and school partnerships.

Even so, “We’re not seeing the kind of build-up in leverage in the financial system that was pretty obvious in the mid-2000s,” said Williams, who became chief of the New York Fed less than a month ago. “We’re not seeing that kind of risk-taking in the financial system right now, but we are watching very carefully,” he added.

Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Leslie Adler