US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke called the US economic situation unsatisfactory but offered no new promises of central bank intervention Friday.
But he confirmed that the Fed would move "if economic conditions warrant," as he labeled the labor market stagnation "a grave concern."
"The economic situation is obviously far from satisfactory," he told a conference of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
"The stagnation of the labor market in particular is a grave concern not only because of the enormous suffering and waste of human talent it entails, but also because persistently high levels of unemployment will wreak structural damage on our economy that could last for many years."
"Taking due account of the uncertainties and limits of its policy tools, the Federal Reserve will provide additional policy accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability."