Skanda Amarnath

Executive Director, Employ America

New York, NY



  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • MKP Capital Management


  • Macroeconomic policy
  • Labor and workforce dynamics
  • Inflation and the Federal Reserve


  • Columbia University, J.D., B.S., B.A.

Recent Coverage

Nov 28, 2023

Associated Press | Fed’s Waller: Interest rates are likely high enough to bring inflation back to 2% target

Skanda Amarnath, executive director at Employ America, an advocacy group, and a former Fed economist, said the Fed will be particularly attentive to inflation data at the beginning of 2024, because prices spiked in the first couple of months of the year in 2022 and 2023.

 “If we get through the (first quarter) of this upcoming calendar year and inflation has not reared its head in quite the same ugly way we saw the previous few ones, I think the Fed will have a lot more confidence,” Amarnath said, which could “also mean the Fed is interested in possibly lowering interest rates.”

Nov 6, 2023

Axios | Why higher U.S. unemployment is a worry

Yes, but: “Once unemployment rates rise beyond a certain point, they tend to snowball and policymakers are playing a dangerous game of catch-up,” said Skanda Amarnath with Employ America. “For that reason, even if it proves to be a partial data irregularity, the Fed should be far more cautious now than they have shown thus far,” he added.

Oct 31, 2023

Washington Post | Facing a strong economy, Fed puzzles over how to slow it down

“That’s the high-stakes thing about this: If growth is strong, do [they] have to be extra tight?” said Skanda Amarnath, executive director of Employ America, a think tank that pushes for the economy to run hot. “That’s been the narrative. The question is, ‘What goes against that?’”

Oct 25, 2023

MarketWatch | Payment company Worldline’s shares dive after profit warning as Germany deteriorates

 Skanda Amarnath, executive director of Employ America, said Worldline’s profit warning fits with the depressed reading of eurozone consumer confidence that also was released this week. He says it suggests the U.S. economy will decelerate after a strong third quarter.

Oct 12, 2023

New York Times | September Inflation Report: Inflation Holds Steady

 “It’s a bumpy process,” said Skanda Amarnath, a former analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the executive director at Employ America, a research firm. “The lags here are indeed long and somewhat variable.”

OCT 6, 2023

Barrons | Why September’s Jobs Report Means Fed May Hold Rates Steady

Skanda Amarnath, executive director at Employ America, says September’s report could show some “idiosyncratic snapback” as the impact of the Yellow bankruptcy—which held down employment growth in August—fades.

SEP 13, 2023

Washington Post | Inflation nudged up again in August, as gas prices rose rapidly

Experts say the Fed is unlikely to change course because of the August data. But the door is open for another hike later this year, and next week’s meeting will illuminate how officials think their inflation fight will unfold. “It’s a little hot, but I don’t think it’s an inflection point,” said Skanda Amarnath, executive director of Employ America, a liberal think tank pushing for the economy to run hot. “It’s information that tells you the process is going to take some time. Don’t expect inflation to fall overnight.”

JULY 12, 2023

NBC News | A year out from peak inflation, travel and leisure (mostly) cost less

Consumer Price Index figures released Wednesday morning showed airfares down 19% in June from last year and car rental rates down 12%, for their fifth consecutive month of declines… “It’s the consumer getting to the end of their ‘revenge spending,’” said Skanda Amarnath, the executive director of the macroeconomic policy group Employ America.

OCT 20, 2022

Vox | Skanda Amarnath is figuring out how to fight inflation while keeping people employed

All this news also represents a major triumph for Amarnath and Employ America, which launched only three years ago. Most of the group’s work focuses on the Federal Reserve, pushing for the institution to prioritize job creation ahead of a narrow focus on preventing inflation. And Employ America and its allies essentially won that fight, as the Jay Powell-led Fed bumped trillions into the economy in 2020 and effected, by far, the fastest fall in the unemployment rate the US had ever seen. Amarnath became a ubiquitous presence in business media, pushing on a staid audience of financiers the notion that sustaining a high-employment economy is not only possible, but desirable.

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About Skanda

Skanda Amarnath is the Executive Director of Employ America, a policy research organization focused on monetary, fiscal, and industrial-level policies for advancing full employment outcomes and addressing business cycle risks. He leads the organization’s work to design new industrial policy tools to fight inflation, including the successful revision of federal regulation to use existing statutory authorities for stockpile acquisition to flexibly support supply-side responses. Before leading the organization, Amarnath served as Employ America’s Director of Research & Analysis, where he focused primarily on Federal Reserve policy.

Before joining Employ America, Amarnath was Vice President at MKP Capital Management, a multi-billion, global macro hedge fund, where he served as an interest rate strategist and chief economist responsible for covering North American markets and economies. At MKP, he developed trading models and views based on macroeconomic data, risk assessments, and central bank analysis. Previously, Amarnath worked as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, with a focus on macroeconomic and asset pricing research.
Amarnath’s work and perspectives on the economy have been featured by Bloomberg TV, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Washington Post, Politico, Associated Press, and Vox.
Amarnath earned undergraduate degrees in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Columbia University and a JD from Columbia Law School.