March 1, 2012
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated his concern Thursday that chronic long-term unemployment threatens to reduce the nation’s supply of skilled workers.
In a second day of congressional testimony, Bernanke noted that the economic recovery has been slower than normal. But he said he doubts that the Great Recession permanently reduced the economy’s growth potential.
Bernanke said he did worry that more than 40 percent of America’s unemployed â€” 5.5 million people â€” have been out of work for more than six months. He said that if the problem persists, more of the long-term unemployed will lose job skills and struggle to regain them.