Fed's Bernanke repeats labor market improving

RICHMOND, Virginia Wed Jun 9, 2010 4:07pm EDT

RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday there would be no easy resolution to the challenge of restoring lost U.S. jobs, even though the labor market was showing modest improvement.

Speaking to a forum on workforce development, Bernanke repeated comments made earlier in the day that it would be a long time before the 8-1/2 millions jobs lost during the 2008-2009 recession would be regained.

"We will have no easy resolution to the challenges we face in restoring jobs and strengthening the economy," he said in remarks prepared for delivery. "Effort will be required on many fronts."

He said workforce development programs at community colleges could help workers adapt as the job market changes.

"As the labor market recovers, innovative workforce development programs can play important roles in anticipating future job market demands and by helping workers improve their skills to meet the requirements of businesses as they adopt more advanced technologies," Bernanke said.

As he had earlier before the House of Representatives Budget Committee, Bernanke said the average growth in nonfarm payrolls of 140,000 jobs per month over the past three months was a welcome sign of labor market recovery.

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