COLUMBUS, Ohio — The economy isn’t growing fast enough to significantly reduce unemployment and low consumer confidence remains a barrier to a faster recovery, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday at an event at Ohio State University.

Bernanke said the economy needs growth of 2 percent to 2.5 percent just to create enough jobs to accommodate new people looking for work.

“With the pace of growth we’re seeing, we’re not growing fast enough to materially reduce the unemployment rate,” he said.

The Fed chairman expressed worries that households don’t have enough confidence yet to make purchases or consider changing jobs or locations.

Bernanke also voiced concern about the 6.2 million people unemployed for more than six months, who amount to 42 percent of all unemployed Americans.

“Their skills tend to erode, they lose attachment to the labor force, firms become more skeptical about them, you know, ‘Why were you out of work for so long?”‘ he said.