WASHINGTON — Comfortable talking with economic teachers, Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben Bernanke was frank in his assessment of the economy Wednesday, saying the Fed had done quite a bit to help the recovery but that it is important that the central bank continues its efforts to lower the unemployment rate.

"As you know my term comes to an end in a few months, and I wish I was leaving with the unemployment rate at 5% instead of 7%," Bernanke said while answering questions from teachers in Washington and via a webcast. The unemployment rate in October was 7.3% down from more than 10% at the height of the recession.

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