The three big questions for the FOMC, says Janet Yellen are 1) Is there still significant slack in the labor market 2) Is inflation moving back toward 2% 3) What factors may push the recovery off track?
As for labor, the Fed's baseline projection is more than another two years until full employment (defined as headline UE of 5.2-5.6%) is reached. She notes wage pressures are a good signal of a tightening labor market and signs of acceleration are difficult to find.
Addressing the FOMC's dropping of guidance being steered by the headline UE rate, Yellen says it may have changed, but the goal of guidance - that the FOMC will maintain ZIRP for some time - hasn't. "Decisions about liftoff (in the Fed Funds rate) should not be based on any one indicator, but that it will take into account a wide range of information on the labor market, inflation, and financial developments."