For the third year in a row, the nation's economic recovery has hit a springtime soft spot. Reflecting that weakness, only 1 in 4 Americans now expects his or her own financial situation to improve over the next year, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits increased just 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 352,000. The slight gain kept applications at a level consistent with solid hiring and suggests March's sluggish hiring may be temporary.
With many of the European Union's economies mired in stagnation, EU officials are seeking to emulate part of the U.S. model for creating growth and jobs by fostering more private investment in businesses.
As desperate as unemployed Americans are to find work, there are still some jobs that many would never consider applying for because they are seen as too dirty, too demanding or just plain unappealing.
A majority of Federal Reserve policymakers want to continue extraordinary bond purchases to help boost the economy at least through the middle of the year, according to minutes from the Fed's last meeting released Wednesday.