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Bernanke: Not clear if good job trend will last

Bernanke: Not clear if good job trend will last (by Greg Robb)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The improvement in the labor market since last fall may only be a reversal of large layoffs during the recession, and further improvement may depend on faster economic growth, said Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke on Monday. "We cannot yet be sure that the recent pace of improvement in the labor market will be sustained," Bernanke said in a speech to the National Association for Business Economics. The Fed chairman said that weak demand is the primary factor behind the weak labor market, and not structural issues like lack of skills, As a result, the Fed's current ultra-low interest rate policy can help, he said. "What will lead to more hiring and, consequently, further declines in unemployment? The short answer is more-rapid economic growth," Bernanke said.