Bernanke: ‘A Long Way to Go’ Before Full Jobs Recovery

By Matt Cover | February 7, 2012 | 10:39 AM EST

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2012 file photo, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke takes part in a news conference at the William McChesney Martin Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington. Bernanke will likely tell members of Congress on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, that the slowly improving economy may need more help from the Fed and that cutting the deficit too fast could backfire. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

( – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told the Senate Budget Committee that the country still had “a long way to go” before the jobs market fully recovers.

Bernanke, in prepared remarks delivered at a Senate Budget Committee hearing Tuesday, said that the results of massive long-term unemployment and a sluggish recovery were a jobs market that would take a long time to recover fully.

“[A]s shown by indicators like the rate of unemployment and the ratio of employment to population, we still have a long way to go before the labor market can be said to be operating normally,” Bernanke said.

“Particularly troubling is the unusually high level of long-term unemployment: More than 40 percent of the unemployed have been jobless for more than six months, roughly double the fraction during the economic expansion of the previous decade.”