WASHINGTON — While financial markets, and the Obama administration, were buoyed by the decline in the U.S. unemployment rate in January to its lowest level in three years, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke Tuesday cautioned that the drop to 8.3% “understates” the continued weakness of the jobs market.

“Our estimate of long-run employment of 5.2% to 6% is still quite far below 8.3%, of course,” Bernanke said during testimony before the Senate Budget Committee.

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