JACKSON HOLE, Wyo.—Chairman Ben Bernanke says high U.S. unemployment is a “grave concern” and the Federal Reserve will provide more help if the economy doesn’t improve.
Bernanke stopped short of committing the Fed to any specific move, such as another round of bond purchases to lower long-term interest rates.
But in a speech in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Bernanke suggested the Fed will consider further steps to boost the economy, which he describes as “far from satisfactory.”
He noted further action carries risks but says the Fed can manage them.
The Fed “should not rule out” new policies to improve the job market, Bernanke says.
Bernanke defended Fed actions so far to stimulate the economy.
He cites studies showing the Fed’s first two rounds of bond purchases created at least two-million jobs.