Geithner said that even as the nation recovers from a recession, millions of Americans will still feel the pinch of the downturn because hiring tends to lag behind other improvements in the economy.
Geithner made his comments in a luncheon hosted by Newsweek magazine.
He pointed to positive signs in the economy, including improvements in credit markets. But he called the recession the most challenging economic crisis that the nation has seen in generations. He predicted recovery would be bumpy.