Interest rates were supposed to be kept low by the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program. Ben Bernanke will meet with the press on Wednesday, and investors will listen for clues about when the Fed might change its policy with interest rates.
At 8.9 percent, unemployment is still high. But in some industries, jobs are available with no skilled workers to fill them.
The Federal Reserve is expected to approve a program of quantitative easing at a meeting next week. Experts on monetary policy are divided over whether the plan will work buoy the economy.