Unemployment Claims Increased While Companies Withhold Hiring

Jobless number climbed 12,000 to 472,000 last week says the US Labor Department. This comes after three-week of declines. The unemployment numbers hover around 450,000 since January.

The news comes as new homes sales plunged in May after home buyer tax credits expired on April 30th.  This calls in question the strength of the US recovery:

If layoffs persist, there’s a concern that the June employment numbers may show a decline in private-sector jobs after five straight months of gains, said Jennifer Lee, an economist with BMO Capital Markets.

“We’ve definitely seen the economic recovery hit a wall,” Lee said.

The four-week unemployment average has dropped by 3,750 to 463,500.  Experts were expecting the jobless number to continue to fall:

Kevin Logan, an economist with HSBC Securities, said many economists have been expecting claims to fall below 450,000 for several weeks now. “The wait is getting longer and longer,” said Logan. “As each week goes by, doubts about the underlying strength of the economic expansion grow.”

A second report also released by Labor Department  show that consumer prices falling .02 percent. This was a result of falling energy prices. The price of gasoline fell 5.2%

When food and energy prices subtracted the consumer price rose 0.1 percent.

AP via Yahoo News has more.

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