Bernanke tilts debate on key roots of unemployment
POSTED: Friday, October 15, 2010 - 6:10pm
UPDATED: Saturday, October 16, 2010 - 2:30pm
WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
(bur-NANG'-kee) says the high unemployment rate is tied more to a
weak economy, rather than workers lacking skills for available
It's an important distinction to make. The Fed can take action
to boost an ailing economy, but if it's a case of mismatched skills
or other "structural reasons," there's less policymakers can do.
Not everyone agrees with Bernanke. The president of the Federal
Reserve Bank of Minneapolis has said job openings have increased
steadily in the past year, but the unemployment rate hasn't come
down. He said a mismatch between the unemployed and the available
jobs is likely the main reason.
The jobless rate is currently at
9.6 percent Bernanke says the Fed is prepared to take further steps to
rejuvenate the economy by buying Treasury bonds but is wrestling
with how big the program should be.