Money in a Minute: Headlines From Around the Web

In today’s news: The U.S. was “only” $40.5 billion in the red last month, March was the second straight month with more jobs, Chrysler is coming back strong, health care costs are still climbing, and the world is wasting a billion tons of food each year.

FEDERAL DEBT: U.S. budget deficit narrowed to $40.5 billion in April as revenue climbed

Only in America can more than a $40 billion deficit be good news. “The U.S. government’s monthly budget deficit narrowed to $40.5 billion in April,” Bloomberg reports. “Last month’s figure compares with a shortfall of $82.7 billion in April 2010.”

JOBS: Job openings rise to highest level since September 2008

The latest figures are out, and the news is good: “Job openings rose by 99,000 to 3.1 million in March,” USA Today reports. “That’s the highest level of openings since September 2008 and the second straight monthly increase.”

CARS: Chrysler may hire more than 3,000 workers

Speaking of new jobs, only a few days after GM announced it was going on a hiring spree, Chrysler said the same. “Chrysler may hire more than 3,000 workers and add production shifts at plants in Michigan and Illinois in coming months to increase sales of some of its most popular vehicles,” Bloomberg reports.

HEALTH CARE: Your family’s health care costs: $19,393

Alas, it’s not all good news today. “American families who are insured through their jobs average health care costs of $19,393 this year,” CNN reports, “up 7.3 percent, or $1,319 from last year.”

FOOD: World wastes 1.3 billion tons of food a year

If you think you’re being green, think again. According to the United Nations, food waste – defined as food that is literally thrown away – tops 1.3 billion tons per year, and “consumers in rich nations waste a combined 222 million tons a year,” CNN reports. “That’s almost as much as all the food produced in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Stacy Johnson

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