Bernanke said the number of employees out of work for more than six months was particularly worrisome as it could mean their skill levels are stagnating while the skills needed for workers grows more sophisticated over time.
In addition, he said, weak demand was weighing on the market and showing fewer signs of improvement than are needed to bring the unemployment rate down.
"Consequently, the Federal Reserve's accommodative monetary policies, by providing support for demand and for the recovery, should help, over time, to reduce long-term unemployment as well," Bernanke said at the National Association of Business Economics Annual Convention in Washington.
Bernanke said the number of jobs created each month has picked up recently, averaging 250,000 per month for the past three months.The average for the past 12 months was 190,000.
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