Ben Bernanke Says It Could Be 5 Years Before Unemployment Goes Back to Normal

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday that the country won’t see “sustained declines in the unemployment rate” with the current rate of job creation, AP reports.

Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee that a “self-sustaining” economic recovery seems to be taking hold, but that it could take four to five years for joblessness to return to the historically normal rate of 6 percent.

U.S. employers created 103,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent partly because people gave up searching for jobs.

Bernanke said the Fed’s $600 billion Treasury bond-buying program is still necessary to get the economy back on track by lowering interest rates and bolstering stock prices.

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