Marketplace® is the leading business news program in the nation. Host Kai Ryssdal and our team of reporters bring you clear explorations of how economic news affects you, through stories, conversations, newsworthy numbers and more. Airing each weekday evening on your local public radio station or on…
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The economy seems full of contradictions right now. The threat of a recession looms and inflation is rampant, but consumers are still spending. Economists often look to history when making predictions, but the past offers little guidance to make sense of our current economic moment. Plus, the challenges of moving to more storm-resilient infrastructure and the toll of rising energy costs on U.K. businesses.
Last year, dozens of container ships waited off the Californian coast — some for weeks — to dock and unload all the goods consumers were demanding. But those backlogs have eased substantially. Today, we’ll take a trip to the Marine Exchange of Southern California to hear what’s changed since and what hasn’t. Plus, why jobless claims are dipping and what Hurricane Ian means for Florida’s fragile insurance industry.
The U.S. dollar has been appreciating this year as investors take advantage of climbing interest rates. But the value of the dollar is forcing economies around the globe to pay the price. Today, we’ll delve into how a strong dollar is affecting imports, exports and the debts of foreign countries. Plus, the Bank of England makes a drastic move, and Hurricane Ian highlights power grid resilience.
Plenty of folks who began working from home during the pandemic are still there. Today, we’ll take a look at how much that WFH reality may be pushing up housing costs and what it means for the Federal Reserve’s inflation fight. Plus, how portfolio dips affect your spending, how women’s colleges are responding to financial pressures and what Gallup’s CEO thinks about happiness and work.
The stock market is not the economy. But financial markets around the world are looking at economic conditions right now and not liking what they're seeing. Today, we’ll unpack the threats to global economic growth, which experts warn won’t let up anytime soon. Also, investors bail on British bonds, HIPAA excludes health apps and workers who cleaned a coal ash spill fight for compensation — and their lives.
The soft landing the Federal Reserve hopes for the economy appears increasingly out of reach. Stocks tumbled this week and fears of a global recession loom, but Fed Chair Jerome Powell isn’t looking to back off his inflation fight. Today, we’ll try to chart the rocky path ahead. Plus, a look at natural gas reserves, a check-in with publishers and booksellers, and a taste of the nonalcoholic beverage industry.
Around this time of year, companies begin hiring seasonal workers. Yet some large companies are planning on fewer hires. Despite a tight labor market, companies are uncertain whether consumer spending will remain strong through the holidays and are anxious about a recession. Plus, the Bank of Japan tries to prop up the yen, school districts call for cybersecurity funding and U.S. oil reserves reach a four-decade low.
That is how Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell characterized price stability while discussing the central bank’s interest rate hike Wednesday. The move pushes its benchmark rate to 3% or higher from zero in just six months. Today, we’ll explain what the Fed will be looking for to show that inflation is under control. Plus, what corporate layoffs tell us about the economy and how Germany is responding to its energy crisis.
In anticipation of more rate hikes by the Federal Reserve this week, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note finished at the highest it's been in more than a decade. In today’s episode, we’ll break down what a higher interest rate on the government’s debt means for everyday Americans, from higher rates on personal loans to a potential hiring slowdown. Plus, home prices still won’t come down, and many Puerto Ricans are without flood insurance.
The Federal Reserve is all but guaranteed to raise interest rates this week. We’ll spend some time on today’s show talking about “soft landings,” and why hard landings are more common. Plus: Puerto Rico's grid, the school band economy and retail shrinkage.
The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates yet again next week as it looks to double down on inflation. Even with all the rate hikes, interest rates on savings accounts are still lagging. Today, we’ll explore how supply and demand play a role. Plus, a data deep dive in the Weekly Wrap, an anticipated shipping downturn and a costly cleanup for the San Francisco Bay.
Last year, the IRS only answered about 1 in 10 taxpayer calls, and the average wait time was 30 minutes. Thanks to new funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, the agency is set to hire 5,000 new customer service agents. On today’s show, we’ll look at why that hiring spree is easier said than done. Plus, retail sales send mixed signals, ethereum gets a major update, and Arizona juggles population growth with a limited water supply.
The August consumer price index shows that the cost of food at home was up 13.5% over the same period last year. That’s the largest annual increase since 1979, and higher energy prices, drought and the war in Ukraine all factor in. Also on today’s show: mortgage boycotts in China, stagnant household income in the U.S. and the tech that’s replacing business cards.
Almost everything became more expensive in August. We’ll discuss key items in the consumer price index and look at one number that dropped — the Census Bureau’s measure of child poverty rates. Plus, the U.S. enters a sorta trade agreement, a real estate agent talks housing market trends and researchers analyze plants to forecast wildfires.
We’ve learned just how fragile the global supply chain is the past few years, and we’re not out of the woods yet. Today, we examine two threats to the supply chain’s recovery: a potential strike of U.S. rail workers and continued lockdowns in China. We’ll also take a look at a new merchant code used for gun sales and hear how food banks are grappling with rising food costs.
A new report says restaurant bookings are back to pre-COVID-19 levels, which should be good news, but profitability in the industry is down. We’ll talk to some restauranteurs about menu changes, customer attitudes and fears around raising prices. Plus, “The Big Bang Theory” vs. Chinese censors, a new “affordable” Chevy EV, and the Fed chair’s recent remarks about “economic pain.”
Queen Elizabeth II was a symbol of stability for many, and her death comes at a turbulent time for the United Kingdom. Marketplace’s London bureau chief tells us about the mood of the country amid decades-high inflation and a transfer of power at 10 Downing Street. Plus, the strong dollar weighs down foreign economies and the European Central Bank unleashes an aggressive rate hike.
Amid an inventory glut and flagging profits, Target said its 63-year-old CEO will stay on for three more years, even though he was mandated to retire in two. The retailer joins a growing list of companies to nix age limits in the C-suite. Today, we’ll dig into why the rule exists but is falling out of fashion. Plus, an equal pay win for the U.S. women’s soccer team and a TikToker who makes monetary policy fun.
Russia said Friday it would not resume pumping natural gas to Europe through the Nord Stream pipeline. By Monday, one gas benchmark had shot up 30%. Governments are spending big to keep utility companies afloat, which could be pushing some countries to the brink of financial crisis. We’ll talk about it, plus energy news stateside and a sobering look at problem gambling as legal sports betting expands.
Today, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law aimed at improving wages and working conditions for fast food workers in the state. It’s an industrywide victory for the labor movement in a year that’s seen plenty of union wins. In today’s show, we’ll check the pulse of labor organizing in the U.S. Plus, a change to questions asked in federal labor surveys and a celebrity's crusade for child literacy.
Today, we’ll unpack the August national jobs report, which shows job growth as not too hot, not too cold. We’ll also look into who shoulders the burden of the employment slowdown most and who’s coming in off the sidelines of the labor market. Plus, inflation hits rural America harder, and a union representing musicians takes aim at streaming services.
There’s promise and peril on the For You page. On today’s show, we’ll look at how companies cash in or miss out on the big TikTok trends — and why some of those viral fads aren’t as spontaneous as they look. But first: the dust-up over chip exports to China, the Volatility Index and the latest productivity numbers.
Congress hasn't approved new COVID funding for about a year and a half, and there's not a whole lot of money left. With the FDA approving new boosters today, we’ll look at what happens when the cash runs out. Plus: A new way to track employment, a portrait of precarity in the restaurant business and a temp check on the American consumer.
In the current inflation-whipped economy, it can feel like everything is going up. But a figure economists didn’t expect to increase was job openings. Today, we’ll dig into what that means for the labor market as the central bank tries to tap the brakes on the economy. Later, Russian pipeline repairs stoke anxiety in Europe, and rent caps come with a tricky balancing act.
At first glance, the U.S. economy is in kind of a weird place right now. Inflation remains high and the Fed isn’t backing down from interest rate hikes. But today we’ll take a closer look at two economic bright spots: the strength of the U.S. dollar and the surplus of job openings. Plus, a hurdle for Manhattan’s return-to-office plans and home flippers’ impact on design trends.
From Starbucks to REI, Chipotle and Trader Joe’s, unionization efforts are gaining momentum — particularly at individual stores with relatively small numbers of employees. Today, we’ll take a look at why the labor movement is seeing big wins on smaller scales. We’ll also unpack Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium and travel to a coastal New York town weighing difficult choices in adapting to climate change.
Gross domestic product and gross domestic income are two ways of measuring the economy that are usually like two sides of the same coin. All that spending and all that income should be roughly the same, but right now they’re totally different. Today, we’ll examine why that gap exists and why it matters so much. Also on the program: Supply chain bottlenecks drive rising prices, and inflation comes to the classroom.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine six months ago today, the ruble has cratered and rebounded and sanctions by Western governments have isolated the country. Today, we’ll look at how the war has scarred Russia’s economy and consider how it may fare in the months ahead. Plus, we’ll dig into why a college education is so pricey and hear how some small business owners are dealing with a glut of inventory.
New home sales were down nearly 30% year over year in July. That has builders and real estate agents crying “recession,” but prices are still high and foreclosures are low. So what’s really going on? We’ll talk about it on today’s show. Plus: The Finnish prime minister and feminine power, big money in youth sports and the future of American chip manufacturing.
Supply chain issues haven’t gone away — we’ll hear from business owners about them in this episode. We’ll also hear about recent “reshoring,” which a new report says is on the rise, with 350,000 manufacturing jobs coming back to the U.S. this year. Plus, Ukrainians in the U.S. find new ways to send money home, Taiwan trade discussions progress and speed limiters gain traction.
General Motors announced that it will spend $5 billion repurchasing its shares, which companies sometimes do to boost stock prices when they have extra cash. Buybacks have a bad reputation; we’ll discuss the pros and cons on today’s show. Plus, we’ll look at the streaming industry’s growing pains and ponder peak inflation with our panel of experts.
Inflation is taking big bites out of Americans’ pay, and employers are struggling to keep costs down while trying to retain workers. Some are offering bonuses, and others are getting creative with perks. We’ll talk about it. Plus: The history of school lunch programs, stores’ ongoing inventory headaches and taxes frustrate the Texas tourism industry.
Store brands tend to thrive during times of economic stress, and they’re having a moment now. Today, we trace generic brands back to the inflation of the 1970s and hear how “private label” products have come to rival premium brands and attract devotees. Also on the program: the relevance of Federal Reserve meeting minutes, the analysts behind Wall Street expectations and the deeper digital lives of teens.
Walmart and Home Depot both reported sales were up 6.5% in the second quarter. While Walmart’s report indicates tough times for lower-income consumers, Home Depot’s shows middle to upper-income ones are feeling pretty good — even if they’re holding off on a new house. Plus: a new leader for Texas’ troubled power grid, dangerous heat for delivery drivers, and a new Florida law could make it harder for professors to retain tenure.
While it may not be the best time to be building (or purchasing) a single-family home, apartment construction has reached a 40-year high. All those new units could ease rent prices eventually, but rising labor costs and a supply chain backlog mean it won’t be soon. Plus: A look at “sticky” prices and how the oil and gas industry is betting on fracking as we try to reach net-zero carbon emissions.
The economy is a mixed bag right now. Inflation remains high but may have peaked. There’s talk of recession, but the labor market is holding up and wage growth is strong. And though consumer sentiment is relatively low, optimism appears to be rebounding. Today, we’ll read the economic tea leaves. Also: The economic case for a four-day school week, and a summer vacation in the Greek islands.
The pandemic and skyrocketing housing costs are pushing more people onto the streets. As shelters struggle to keep up, more cities and states are making it illegal to sleep outside. But housing advocates say that criminalizing homelessness is not a fix and could make it harder for people to find permanent shelter. Plus, what the producer price index tells us about inflation and how schools are dealing with chronic absenteeism.
Inflation clocked in at 8.5% annually in July, meaning that price gains have slowed but are still way up year over year. Today, we take a closer look at how gas prices can have an oversized impact on the consumer price index and why the costs of cooking at home are rising faster than your restaurant bill. Plus, the ongoing fight to expand tribal broadband access and the struggles of understaffed summer camps.
With the consumer price index for July set to be released tomorrow, economists are on the edge of their seats, waiting to see if price increases have begun to slow. Today, we’ll provide a preview of what they’ll be looking for. Plus, home sellers lament cooling demand, tourist towns near Yellowstone wrestle with flood closures, and Getty Images partners with historically Black colleges and universities to digitize archival photos.
The 755-page Inflation Reduction Act, expected to pass in the House of Representatives, will take aim at legislative priorities like taxes, the climate crisis and health care. Today, we’ll take a deeper look at two components of the bill: some big wins for Big Oil and Medicare’s ability to negotiate prescription drug prices. Plus, workers take on multiple jobs to make ends meet, and a cross-country bike trip inspires a career change.
Amid rising interest rates and falling GDP, July’s jobs report shattered expectations and brought employment back to pre-pandemic levels. On today’s show, we’ll talk with a bunch of experts about what to make of the news and where the economy is headed. Plus: Amazon is buying Roomba maker iRobot and Claire’s is going public.
During the height of the pandemic, state-run unemployment systems struggled to support applicants. Though states are investing in upgrades, benefits vary widely and the technology remains outdated. Now, as the job market cools and jobless claims rise, labor economists worry whether the unemployment system is equipped for another onslaught. Plus, Instagram’s shift to video challenges art entrepreneurs and FX’s “The Bear” aces the drama of restaurant work.