U.S. economic growth will remain moderate, which will keep jobless rates high, Federal Reserve Board vice chairman Donald Kohn said late Thursday.

"If labor-productivity growth slows to a more normal rate of increase, then further increases in demand and production should lead to additional increases in hiring," Kohn told an audience in San Francisco, according to prepared text released by the Fed.

"However, if economic growth remains moderate, as I anticipate, employment gains are likely to lower the unemployment rate only slowly," he said.

Kohn also noted that "unemployed workers may experience unusual difficulties" because continued long periods of unemployment "could erode worker skills and decrease re-employment probabilities."

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