Fed's Kaplan says immigration, trade are opportunities for faster growth

Jan 15 (Reuters) - The growth of the U.S. workforce is declining and new immigration policies are needed for the economy to grow at a faster rate, Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan said Wednesday in New York.

An aging population is shrinking the workforce and putting a drag on GDP growth, Kaplan said at an event organized by the Economic Club of New York. “Unless we change policies, it is our view that workforce growth is going to be sluggish,” Kaplan said, adding that immigration, trade and globalization are opportunities for faster growth.

Fed officials voted unanimously to keep key U.S. interest rates steady at their December meeting and signaled the central bank’s target range of 1.5% to 1.75% is likely to stay put for the time being. Kaplan became a voting member for monetary policy decisions this year as part of the Fed’s rotation.

Reporting by Jonnelle Marte Editing by Chizu Nomiyama