CHICAGO (WBBM) — A couple of new economic reports Wednesday suggest a stronger job market but increased concerns about inflation.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the monthly job cuts report by Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas finds a 12 percent drop in downsizing in April.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

Chief executive officer John Challenger says the 36,490 planned job cuts announced last month, represent the lowest total so far this year, and the third lowest in the past 16 months.

“Companies are now moving into the hiring mode,” Challenger said. “They’ve created jobs – over 200,000-plus jobs, in fact – in the private sector over the last two months. They’re holding onto the people they have.”

But while the job market is improving, inflation may be rearing its ugly head. A survey Midwest corporate financial officers by Grant Thornton finds more than half – 57 percent – say their companies plan to raise prices because of the higher prices they’re paying for raw materials.

Seventy-five percent of the financial officers are also worried about pricing pressure from employee benefits such as health care and pensions.

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