(Updates with more details on Kashkari's comments)
By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON, Aug 1 (Reuters) - Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari said on Sunday that concerns about the spread of the contagious Delta variant could slow the U.S. labor market recovery.
"It's really creating a bunch of caution," he told CBS' "Face the Nation", noting that between seven and nine million Americans are still out of work likely due to anxiety about the coronavirus.
Kashkari added he had been "optimistic" before that many would be returning to work and while that is still his "base case scenario," he said that "if people are nervous about the Delta variant, that could slow some of that labor market recovery."
"The sooner we can get people vaccinated, the sooner we can get Delta under control, the better off our economy is going to be." (Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; additional reporting by Ann Saphir in San Francisco; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Daniel Wallis)