Driven in part by more layoffs at Chrysler, jobless claims rose more than expected during the second week of May.
Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits increased 32,000 to a seasonally adjusted 637,000 the week ended May 9, according to Labor Department statistics.
Economists are hopeful, however, that jobless claims will drop after a stabilization in the auto industry.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the U.S. was 8.9 percent at the end of April, up from 8.5 percent the prior month and from 5 percent a year earlier, according to
Labor Department statistics.
In a report released May 14, the Labor Department said the producer price index climbed 0.3 percent in April, larger than the 0.1 percent analysts expected, due to higher food prices.
Prices of consumer food rose 1.5 percent in April, the biggest jump in food costs in more than a year. This uptick follows a decline of 0.7 percent in food prices in March.
The costs of eggs soared by 43.7 percent, the largest monthly gain in records going back 17 years, with beef, pork and vegetable prices also up sharply, said the Associated Press.
Energy prices were down 0.1 percent in April, following a 5.5-percent decline in March, said the report.
From year to year, the producer price index declined 3.7 percent, the biggest 12-month
drop since 1950.
Most economists believe inflation will remain in check, because businesses are wary to raise prices in the face of decreased demand for products.
This article was submitted by Katie Kapler, Director of Online Strategy for Biz2Credit. Biz2Credit is a small business marketplace that connects entrepreneurs with financing options and advice to grow their business. Send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.