U.S. worker productivity grew a modest amount from January through March after having declined in the previous quarter. Weak productivity growth could boost hiring if consumers and businesses spend more.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 354,000, a sign layoffs have increased. Still, the level of applications is consistent with steady hiring.
U.S. home prices jumped 10.9 percent in March compared with a year ago, the most since April 2006. A growing number of buyers are bidding on a tight supply of homes, driving prices higher and helping the housing market recover.
U.S. employers added 165,000 jobs in April, and hiring was much stronger in the previous two months than the government first estimated. The job increases helped reduce the unemployment rate from 7.6 percent to a four-year low of 7.5 percent.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, the second-lowest level in more than five years. The decline suggests hiring is improving from last month's sluggish pace.