The number of Americans signing up for unemployment compensation rose last week, while the number of laid-off workers collecting long-term aid hit a record high for the 15th week in a row.
Thursday's report from the Labor Department said new initial claims surged 637,000 for the week, while the number of continuing claims rose to just under 6.6 million.
A separate study of prices at the wholesales level showed an increase of three-tenths of a percent in April, driven by a hike in food prices.
While prices rose in April, they were down 3.7 percent from the same time one year ago. That is the steepest price decline since 1950.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.