Ben Bernanke: "Considerable Time" Needed for Job Market to Recover

Ben Bernanke Testimony
Ben Bernanke Testimony

Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, is upbeat about most factors in the economy. However, in his testimony to the U.S. Senate Budget Committee today, he predicted that it could take "considerable time" for the job market to recover.

Specifically, Bernanke said:

"A number of indicators of job openings and hiring plans have looked stronger in recent months, and the initial claims for unemployment insurance declined through November and December. Not withstanding these hopeful signs, with output growth likely to be moderate in the next few quarters and employers reportedly still reluctant to add to payrolls, considerable time will be required before the unemployment rate has returned to a more normal level."

Bernanke views the recovery as "self sustaining" because of consumer and business spending. He noted that real consumer spending rose at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the third quarter of 2010.