By Marketplace

Every weekday, host Kai Ryssdal helps you make sense of the day’s business and economic news — no econ degree or finance background required. “Marketplace” takes you beyond the numbers, bringing you context. Our team of reporters all over the world speak with CEOs, policymakers and regular people just trying to get by.


Are developed countries pulling their weight in the climate crisis?

The United Nations General Assembly is meeting this week, and climate change is high on the docket. More than a decade ago, the U.S. and other developed countries pledged to gather $100 billion annually by 2020 to assist in climate adaptation and resilience for developing countries. Despite bearing most of the responsibility for emissions and having the most resources to adapt, pledge countries are falling short of their promised amounts. Also on today’s program, we’ll examine London’s financial services post-Brexit, how disaster aid became coupled with budget bills and why you should care about the Fed’s tapering of bond-buying.
22/09/2126m 43s

How one massive Chinese company rattled the U.S. stock market

Anxiety over Evergrande, a behemoth property developer in China, and its $300 billion debt sent stock markets around the globe tumbling on Monday. The situation is spotlighting precarity in China’s real estate sector and the country’s economy as a whole; some fear a Lehman Brothers-style crisis. The uncertain future of Evergrande, coupled with supply chain and inflation woes, could continue to stoke market jitters. Plus: Location-based setbacks for new houses, high-frequency data hints about the labor market and mixed business is dished up for New York’s lunch spots.
21/09/2126m 33s

How vaccines for younger children could boost economic recovery

Pfizer announced today that a smaller dose of its COVID-19 vaccine is proving safe and effective for children ages 5 to 11. If FDA emergency approval goes as planned, kids could be getting their shots by Halloween. This could, among other things, help moms get back to work. And later: how the weather affects what we buy; an Afghan American humanitarian reflects on the recent upheaval; and a look at what corporate pledges actually accomplish.
20/09/2127m 52s

What can the Fed do about climate change?

Progressive Democrats are pushing President Joe Biden to appoint a Federal Reserve chair who will be more proactive about climate change than Jerome Powell. Before the Fed could act more rigorously, however, Congress would need to direct it to. Claudia Sahm, a former Federal Reserve economist, joins us to discuss. Plus: The Weekly Wrap, some background on that pesky computer chip shortage and the building buzz around drive-thru coffee shops.
17/09/2126m 14s

Could the housing market maybe be going back to normal?

Competition for homebuyers is finally easing up a bit. There are more new listings, houses are staying on the market longer and there are fewer bidding wars. Though buyers may revel in a return to seasonal expectations for the housing market, real estate experts still think a return to “normal” may be a ways off. Later in the show, we’ll look also into the rise of Portland’s “placeless” restaurants, how Lebanon’s economic crisis came to be and why homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage.
16/09/2126m 43s

America’s child care system is failing families. Just ask the Treasury Department.

The Treasury Department decided not to mince words about the state of child care in the U.S. in a new report, calling it “unworkable” and in a state of market failure. As the Biden administration continues to push for investment in human infrastructure and the care economy, the report makes the case for universal preschool and extended tax credits for parents. Plus: how Germany may struggle with its green ambitions, what import and export prices can tell us about inflation and a chat about continued shipping container consternation.
15/09/2126m 46s

Poverty dipped in 2020 as the government boosted aid

The U.S. Census Bureau released poverty rates for 2020 today. While the official poverty rate went up slightly, the supplemental poverty rate — which experts say gives a more accurate picture — went down to its lowest in census measurement because of expanded pandemic relief for millions. But with many of those government programs expired or ending in a pandemic economy, the future of the American poverty rate looks uncertain. Also on today’s show: Small businesses look to up prices amid supply chain woes, a look back at the Occupy movement 10 years on and the creators of “South Park” hope to revive the wonderland-meets-restaurant, Casa Bonita.
14/09/2125m 17s

For restaurants, fall 2021 brings with it a strong sense of deja vu

Indoor dining is closed in some places, restaurants are requesting federal aid and, for many businesses, fall 2021 is already looking a lot like fall 2020. On today’s show, we’ll look at where things stand. Plus: GDP growth, retail spending in China and the history behind power grid problems in Texas.
13/09/2127m 48s

Uncertainty is the economic legacy of 9/11

It’s been 20 years Saturday since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York, Washington and the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. It was the first of many, many “uncertainty shocks” this country and this economy have seen. On today’s show, we’ll take some time to reflect on that legacy. But first, we’ll get the view on the ground in New Orleans, examine how OSHA makes its rules and recap the week in economic news.
10/09/2126m 15s

A hot labor market won’t close the gaps in this economy

First-time jobless claims dropped to their lowest point since March of last year. But with many industries still seeing labor shortages, what do the numbers really say about the state of the economic recovery? And how can we build back a more equitable labor market, closing racial unemployment gaps? That’s where we’re starting off on today’s show. Plus: Airline earnings, Biden’s vaccine mandates and a legacy of 9/11 at work you probably don’t even notice.
09/09/2125m 32s

How will New York City enforce its vaccine mandate?

Starting next week, New York City will begin enforcing a requirement of at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot for entrance to businesses like restaurants, bars, museums, theaters and gyms. That’s easier said than done, however, as customers struggle to navigate apps and business owners attempt to verify vaccine statuses and enforce the mandate. Plus: Record-number job openings are met with a “meh” number of hires, how North Dakota is aiming to distribute rent relief and more Americans look to retire at a younger age.
08/09/2125m 54s

Traveling nurses and short-staffed hospitals are in a vicious cycle

Traveling nurses have always earned more than their full-time counterparts at hospitals. With high demand for nurses in intensive care units, especially in the undervaccinated South, traveling nurses can now earn more than $10,000 per week. Eyeing the higher pay, some regularly employed nurses are leaving their jobs to travel — which further exacerbates staffing challenges and pushes up costs. Also on today’s program: how eco-friendly products are causing aluminum prices to soar, retailers struggle to stock up for holiday shopping and how working women can apply Machiavelli’s teachings.
07/09/2125m 45s

As pandemic benefits end, unemployment for Black workers is on the rise

Though the unemployment rate dipped in August, it rose for a single racial or ethnic group: Black workers. Job growth has been slow to rebound in industries like child care and leisure and hospitality — all of which are major employers of Black women. The employment rate for Black workers is trending in the wrong direction as the federal unemployment benefits that extended relief for millions of Americans expired on Monday. Later on in the show: rural vaccination rates are on the rise, what it means when Bansky takes a “spray-cation” and labor shortages hit school cafeterias.
06/09/2126m 50s

Not a great jobs report. Should we have seen it coming?

“There was a lot of gasping going on,” was how Heather Long of The Washington Post described the reception this morning to August’s disappointing, very-big-miss jobs report. Given that the delta variant is still very much at large, have economists and labor market analysts been too optimistic about job creation? Also on today’s show: the costly steps to securing a more resilient New York subway system and some background on why Apple is relaxing its app store rules.
03/09/2125m 45s

When the effects of the climate crisis hit home

The devastation inflicted on parts of the East Coast by the remnants of Hurricane Ida tells us that climate change is well and truly here — and that much of America’s housing stock is nowhere near up to weathering its effects. Also on today’s show: In the aftermath of OnlyFans’ reversal of its decision to ban sexually explicit content, sex workers and their allies are continuing to protest what they consider business discrimination against legal sex work. And we’ll hear about fierce competition for the stock ticker MEME (among others).
02/09/2126m 10s

Power shifts to workers

In anticipation of the holiday season, Walmart plans to hire 20,000 distribution and fulfillment center workers. Getting to that number might be a long shot. According to a recent survey of major retailers by the consulting firm Korn Ferry, 97% said they were having “moderate” or “significant” challenges hiring such workers. Also on today’s show: Could the loss of power on the Gulf Coast have been prevented? And we’ll hear from a Pakistan-based macroeconomist about how the Taliban might run the Afghan economy.
01/09/2127m 6s

What next for the housing market?

Today we received record-shattering house price numbers. Although major metro housing market conditions right now are sharply reminiscent of the bubble of 2005, economists consider this a very different category of boom. Also on today’s show, how Louisianans without power or water are surviving in the late-summer heat, a stark report on racial and ethnic disparity in receiving specialty health care and a look at the businesses — 6% of borrowers — that have been asked to pay back portions of their Paycheck Protection Program loans.
31/08/2127m 55s

Infrastructure investment put to the test in Louisiana

Although about a million people in Louisiana are without power due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Ida, the investment of billions of dollars in a robust levee system means things are a lot better than they would have been. It’s a real-life examination of return on infrastructure investment. Also: Economist Mohamed A. El-Erian on why he —  still — disagrees with the policy approach taken by the Federal Reserve, how Ikea hopes to stop you from sending its wares to landfills and a marketing professor’s take on the Taliban’s association with Toyota.
30/08/2127m 49s

An eviction crisis all over again

The Supreme Court blocked the Biden administration’s most recent eviction moratorium yesterday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had extended the ban to buy more time for state and local governments to distribute aid to tenants and landlords. Though some 8 million adults in America are behind on rent, the Treasury Department said that just 11% of relief money had been paid out by the end of July. Now, housing advocates worry about a wave of evictions. Also on today’s show: the health care costs of wildfires, the economic outlook for companies that have flourished in the pandemic and examining the silver screen relationship between China and Hollywood.
27/08/2125m 40s

What will it take to diversify manufacturing?

A new report from The Century Foundation shows that the manufacturing sector will need 2 million new workers over the coming decade, as the predominately white, predominately male workforce ages into retirement. But manufacturers are struggling to recruit younger employees — and to correct racial and gender divides. Also on the program: the convenience and efficiency of curbside pickup, what a drought declaration could mean for states out West and why cybercrime groups are taking aim at supply chains.
26/08/2127m 0s

Biden looks to fill half a million cybersecurity jobs

On Wednesday, the White House held a cybersecurity summit with leaders in tech, finance and energy, calling for private industries to help bolster cyber defenses. The Commerce Department estimates that there are roughly 500,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs across the country, and that number will continue to grow — and increasingly pose a threat — unless nontraditional education pathways can be explored. Also: where wind energy stands in the U.S., a strong and steady durable goods report and a look inside the growing on-demand warehouse industry.
25/08/2127m 0s

Inequality is on the Fed’s agenda at Jackson Hole

The theme for this year’s Federal Reserve Jackson Hole Symposium is “Macroeconomic Policy in an Uneven Economy.” Wrapped up in that title is a long-running debate over the extent to which the Fed can and should play an active role in closing racial disparity in wealth, wages and unemployment rates. And later: what’s behind Walmart’s new delivery service, a shipping behemoth invests in carbon neutrality and a look at the failed U.S. effort to suppress opium in Afghanistan.
24/08/2125m 22s

Full FDA approval of Pfizer vaccine clears way for employer mandates

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for Americans 16 and older. With the first COVID-19 vaccine graduating from emergency use authorization, more companies may join the growing cohort that requires worker vaccinations, but the labor shortage may deter some employers from adopting such mandates. Later in today’s show: what General Motors’ recall of the Chevy Bolt means for the electric vehicle industry; Liverpool, England, contends with the revocation of its World Heritage designation; and a look at how the Environmental Protection Agency measures methane emissions.
23/08/2127m 0s

Aid groups are bracing for thousands of Afghan refugees

The Joe Biden administration authorized an extra $500 million for Special Immigrant Visas and other programs for those fleeing Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. On today’s show, we’ll look at what happens to refugees once they arrive stateside and the organizations trying to secure housing for them. Plus: Toys R Us is back from the dead, what copper can tell us about the economy and a look at how companies are struggling to fully embrace empathy.
20/08/2127m 0s

Goodbye Zoom calls, hello VR meetings

The pandemic has been incredibly difficult for industries like food service, hospitality and travel. But some fields have blossomed. Among them: remote-work consulting. With COVID cases surging in the U.S. and remote work looking like it could be here to stay for many white-collar workers, companies that provide personality quizzes, feng shui consultations and virtual reality meeting rooms have enjoyed a boom. But first: The clock is ticking on pandemic unemployment benefits, entrepreneurial enthusiasm is up and the Federal Reserve moves toward tapering its bond buying.
19/08/2127m 0s

Why are credits cards taking so long to modernize?

A swipe of the credit card and a quickly scribbled signature is a familiar gesture for many American shoppers. But Mastercard recently announced that it will phase out magnetic stripes by 2033 in favor of chips and touchless taps. Though other countries have more quickly adopted credit card technology, in the United States, back-end processing, cost and consumer muscle memory have stood in the way of progress. Plus: indicators of a summer slowdown in economic recovery, the delta variant hits Hawaii’s tourism industry and a local food delivery service competes with food delivery giants.
18/08/2127m 0s

For hospitals, COVID surges mean staff and bed shortages yet again

Hospital workers may be having a painful case of déjà vu. A growing number of hospitals across the country are running out of intensive care unit beds, dealing with staffing shortages and struggling with retention amid worker burnout. This is prolonging wait times for emergency room visits and ambulances and — in some cases — causing delays of nonessential surgeries. Plus: We’ll look at how global economies might respond to the Taliban retaking power, the reasons behind the dip in July’s retail spending and what the future might hold for vacant downtown business districts.
17/08/2127m 0s

The new reality of Afghanistan’s economy

Following the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, fell to the Taliban on Sunday. On today’s program, we take a look at the economic facets of that story, including how the Taliban is funded, how military contractors made billions in the nearly 20-year war and how humanitarian aid is responding. Plus: a crackdown on the tutoring industry in China and some California farmers shift their business models amid droughts.
16/08/2128m 34s

COVID’s resurgence slashes at consumer sentiment, especially among the vaccinated

The University of Michigan released its consumer sentiment survey on Friday, and, from the consumer’s point of view, things look bleak. Sentiment dipped 13.5% in early August to a reading below its April 2020 level. Economists say the decline has to do with inflation, unemployment and surging COVID cases and that vaccinated people are feeling more anxious than the unvaccinated. Later in the show, we’ll look at city growth in the U.S., why service workers face abuse from customers and the NCAA’s waning power.
13/08/2127m 37s

With census data comes redistricting fights — and lots of spending

The U.S. Census Bureau released numbers today many have been waiting for to draw the borders of congressional districts. Political groups are already geared up for the fight, and many have been spending money trying to shape state legislatures and educate voters about the data. Also on today’s program, we’ll dig into the president’s appeal to OPEC, the link between public health and the economy, and an entrepreneurial child’s flower business.
12/08/2128m 15s

Pandemic-induced surpluses boost school-supply drives

Back-to-school supply drives are a staple of late summer. This year, however, those events are seeing two key impacts from the pandemic: an uptick in demand for donated items and an increase in those donations from retailers looking to get rid of unsold inventory. One nonprofit has seen seven times the typical volume of donations so far in 2021. Plus: Brexit is impacting enrollment at universities in the U.K., how the bipartisan infrastructure bill aims to take on climate change and why the term “expiration date” on food labels isn’t quite accurate.
11/08/2128m 20s

Following infrastructure bill victory, Senate Dems look to universal pre-K

After the passing of the bipartisan infrastructure bill today, Senate Democrats are eyeing their next political battle: a $3.5 trillion dollar spending proposal that includes a big expansion of safety net programs, including federally funded universal prekindergarten. Despite a hefty price tag, locally funded preschool programs have shown positive impacts for enrolled children. On today’s show, we’ll also discuss wildfire prevention, a dip in optimism among small-business owners and Los Angeles’ struggle to distribute rent relief.
10/08/2127m 55s

Public transit can help with climate change — if there’s buy-in

A report released by the U.N. Monday sent a stark warning about how advanced the climate crisis is — and outlined where the world is going without urgent and dramatic reforms. In the U.S., transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. While the latest infrastructure bill would invest $39 billion in public transit, experts say it will require more than that to change the country’s car-centric culture. Later on in the show, we’ll talk about a commercial real estate and shared workspace partnership, the significance of the pause in federal student loan payments and look at racial discrimination in home appraisals.
09/08/2127m 0s

When working from home means getting left behind

Though many early and mid-career workers have enjoyed the work-from-home model, the same can’t be said for all managers. Research shows that those who work at the office are more likely to be promoted. This out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality when it comes to promotions can further inhibit career climbing for parents, women and people color. But first on the show: examining July’s unchanged labor force participation, a boon for secondary markets and how homeownership can bring out the worst in people.
06/08/2128m 0s

The DL on Biden’s ambitious EV goal

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Thursday calling for half of new cars sold in the U.S. to be electric by 2030. It’s a lofty goal, given that EVs make up 2% to 3% of all cars on the road. Though carmakers seem to be on board, a lot of necessary infrastructure, like charging stations, would need to be built first. Also on today’s show: California textile mills face drought-induced setbacks, lobbyists want a slice of the infrastructure bill pie and how raising kids can be like running a small business.
05/08/2126m 0s

Is the economy on track? Freight trains might clue us in.

When searching for economic indicators, some economists look to rail traffic. Intermodal train traffic, when products travel in containers from ships or trucks onto trains, is doing especially well this year as consumers demand imported goods. But congestion in U.S. ports and surges in COVID-19 could cut freight rail traffic — and complicate economic growth. Plus, New York City’s restaurant industry responds to vaccine mandates, the drop in flood insurance and the complex legacy Enron leaves behind.
04/08/2128m 0s

Beverage companies are racing to find the next “it” drink

PepsiCo is preparing to sell Tropicana and other juices to a private equity firm for $3.3 billion. Molson Coors is going to phase out 11 of its “economy” brands. Increasingly, beverage companies are looking for the next trendy drink of choice — which means ditching investments in sugary drinks and frat party favorites in favor of seltzer, kombucha and prebiotic soda. We also discuss the very slow recovery of business travel, how California’s drought could translate into higher costs for tomato products and how businesses decide to increase prices.
03/08/2128m 0s

The infrastructure bill could create tons of jobs. But who will do them?

The $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, if passed, could create anywhere from 650,000 to 1 million new jobs, economists predict. Though the bill has substantial bipartisan support, the U.S. labor force is short on construction workers, and the government may have to invest in citizen training or issue more visas for temporary, foreign workers to fill the positions. Later in the show, we’ll also examine the business of journalism, discuss how “buy now pay later” platforms work and talk about the implications of Walmart’s (partial) employee vaccine mandate.
02/08/2128m 0s

With surge of delta variant, will downtowns become ghost towns again?

With infections by the delta coronavirus on the rise, companies including Google, Lyft, Indeed and Apple are delaying their back-to-the-office plans. That worries commercial real estate pros and businesses that depend on office workers. Also on today’s show: consumer sensitivity to price hikes, long lines in Cape Cod and how chaos in the shipping business impacts a customs broker.
30/07/2128m 0s

Why some builders are intentionally constructing fewer homes

Prices are high, inventory is low — if you’re in the market for a new home, you know this has been the reality for a while now. Something else to add to house hunters’ chagrin? According to the research firm Zonda, 85% of homebuilders are purposely building fewer houses, given shortages of land, materials and workers. But first: the year of lost GDP. Later in the show: Bars grapple with the booze supply chain, and the Crocs CEO talks about the shoe many love to hate.
29/07/2128m 0s

Millions could face eviction with the moratorium ending

More than 15 million people live in households that are behind on their rent, according to a new report from the Aspen Institute. And while Congress allocated $46 billion in federal assistance for renters during the pandemic, access to technology, language barriers and lack of information are proving to be hurdles for tenants behind on their rents. Also on today’s show: How London’s financial center is faring after Brexit, hints at a potential American hunger crisis and a resurgence in Alaska’s salmon industry.
28/07/2128m 0s

Wall Street’s Sallie Krawcheck on the pandemic and the gender wealth gap

Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, a digital financial company for women, discusses how COVID-19 exacerbated existing inequities between men and women. She also talks about why money causes stress and the future of her company. Also on today’s show: the continuing struggles of the travel industry, shifting language in home appraisals and what washing machine sales can teach us about consumer confidence.
27/07/2128m 0s

Why some towns might pay you to move there

Towns like Augusta, Maine; Bemidji, Minnesota; and Savannah, Georgia, are among the more than 40 communities in the U.S. incentivizing people to move there. They dangle perks like housing assistance, camping equipment or up to $20,000 in cash. The incentives are aimed at convincing remote workers to make a move, which can boost the economies of struggling locales. Also on the show: shipping bottlenecks in Chicago, the good some economists think inflation can bring and engineering restaurant menus for a QR code-friendly world.
26/07/2128m 0s

Businesses are reopening across the U.S., especially where vaccine rates are higher

Over 60,000 businesses reopened during the second quarter, which is the highest volume of reopenings in the last year, according to data from Yelp. But there’s a distinct correlation between consumer interest and vaccination rates, meaning more Yelp searches, pictures and reviews for places like Maine, Vermont, Connecticut and New York than Arizona, Alabama and Mississippi. Also on the show: when masks are on the back-to-school shopping list, one chocolate store’s hiring struggles and why parking spots may continue to be hard to find.
23/07/2128m 0s

When fast-fashion becomes real-time fashion

Though it may not be instantaneous, China-based online clothing brand Shein makes it pretty darn close. They’ve cut the clothing design and production process down to as little as a few days. In today’s show, we talk about one of the fastest-growing e-commerce companies in the world revolutionizing fashion and apparel. But first: rental bidding wars, California’s power-sharing predicament and why we believe economists’ predictions when they seem to get it oh-so-wrong.
22/07/2128m 7s

Shanghai’s newsstands are disappearing. Why?

Red news booths used to dot Shanghai’s cityscape. Now, finding a newspaper in China’s financial capital is a difficult task. Newspaper circulation in China dropped by 37% between 2010 and 2019, according to government statistics. So, what does that mean for the few remaining newsstands that some say have outlived their use? Also on the show today: environmental justice guidance from the White House, hopes for Broadway’s reopening and fewer financial aid applicants.
21/07/2127m 31s

The pandemic recession … is over?

The recent pandemic-induced recession only lasted only two months and ended in April 2020, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee. On today’s show, we’ll dig into why that is and why it feels like the recession is far from over for some Americans. Then, how manufacturers and retailers sneakily hide the fact that food prices are going up. Plus, what equitable infrastructure looks like for communities of color, low maintenance costs for electric vehicles and selling homemade bread straight from Grandma’s recipe box.
20/07/2128m 0s

Teens to the (job market) rescue

The number of 16- to 19-year-olds who work jumped to nearly 32% in June, meaning teens are helping ease the economy’s worker shortage. On today’s show, we’ll hear from two teenagers about what they’re doing to earn money. Plus, the European Union’s controversial carbon tariff, the red-hot homebuilding market and the Biden administration plays a cyberattack blame game.
20/07/2128m 0s

Return of the mask

Los Angeles County is reinstituting an indoor mask mandate starting this weekend. This might not be a shock to some, but it could have impacts on local businesses. We also talk about how the surge in leisure travel has spurred a growing need to retrain airline staffers, Canada reopening its border to nonessential visitors from the U.S. and the marketing power of TikTok.
16/07/2127m 34s

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo drops in to talk infrastructure, chips and the care economy

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo covered a variety of topics in today’s interview, which is the first half of our show today. Plus: Foreclosures, stadium litter and the state of the Chinese economy. Later, we check in with the post-Brexit European Union. Is Brussels trying to punish British film and TV?
15/07/2128m 17s

Low wages are burning out federal firefighters

Firefighters working for the federal government are often the first line of defense, but near the end of the line when it comes to pay, especially compared to their peers on the state and local level. That’s led to a boiling point for many, who leave for higher-paying jobs. Also, we look at all the elements that go into a flight, examine the advertising impact of the Olympics being a no-fan zone and check in on an upcoming food hall in California.
14/07/2128m 8s

Child tax credit payments are coming. How will Americans use them?

More than 30 million families will start receiving a new monthly payment from the government this week. On today’s show, we’ll look at how working parents might spend the money. Also, we examine a new report’s findings on clean energy, ask you to imagine a lake (it’ll make sense later) and explain what a “point” is on the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P.
13/07/2128m 0s

Optimism soars at the prospect of a bounce-back earnings season

Analysts are projecting epic earnings growth, especially when compared to the pandemic-ravaged second quarter of 2020. We take a look at what that could mean for companies going forward. Also, some coffee (prices) talk, the movement of the Bureau of Land Management headquarters and a look at where we stand on inflation.
12/07/2129m 0s

Will the hearing aid market pick up Biden’s message on monopolies?

The president signed an executive order today that targets anti-competitive practices. One of the items the order covers? Hearing aids, an industry where four companies control 84% of the market. Also, we discuss states’ cutoff of unemployment benefits, electric vehicles and a light pollution saga in Texas.
09/07/2129m 6s

Workforce-ready women face down COVID-19 gap on resumes

The labor participation rate for women is now lower than it’s been in 30 years, meaning more gaps in resumes. On today’s show, we’ll spend some time talking with women and employers about how they’re approaching that challenge. Plus, a look at what separates the states that have hit pre-pandemic unemployment levels from the ones that haven’t. Later on, we’ll look at the changing credit card industry and new laws that give renters legal counsel. We wrap up today’s show with a look at the cultural and economic fallout from a much (much) older pandemic.
08/07/2128m 0s

We’ve reached a record high in job openings. But who’s hiring?

The U.S. had a record 9.21 million job openings in May, but mix-and-matching those jobs with the millions of Americans who are out of work isn’t easy. We’ll talk about whether all those openings signal a recovering economy or a struggle to hire. Plus, grocery supply chains, stockpiling and why America can’t quit coal.
07/07/2128m 9s

The latest forecast in the streaming wars? Dueling weather channels.

The company behind the Weather Channel announced a $5-a-month streaming service, Weather Channel Plus, and Rupert Murdoch is launching his own Fox Weather later this year. Is this what peak streaming looks like? We’ll talk about it, plus: Iceland’s short workweek and the short-term training industry. But first: Is OPEC+’s crisis an opportunity for American shale?
06/07/2126m 10s

Is commercial space flight going where no regulation has gone before?

Jeff Bezos is stepping down as Amazon’s longtime CEO to focus on other projects, like his Blue Origin space venture. We look at how commercial space flight is still wide open when it comes to rules for passengers. We also talk about how colleges in Maine are witnessing an influx of out-of-state students, the world’s oldest sweet shop adapting to modern times and how business travel is still shaking off the impact of the pandemic.
05/07/2125m 5s

What happens when a whole company takes summer vacation

Burnout is rampant in this workforce, and the quit rate is accelerating. Some firms are taking companywide summer vacations, but do they actually help? Today, we look into it, plus the housing shortage and China’s solar ascendancy. But first, a deep dive into this morning’s jobs report and the “last mile” of economic recovery.
02/07/2129m 7s

The latest roadblock for carmakers? The semiconductor chip shortage.

Because of the semiconductor chip shortage we’ve been talking about lately, the average wait time for chips is 18 weeks. That’s forced Ford to suspend or dial down production at some of its factories, adding to the roller-coaster nature of auto industry jobs. Also, recruiting the next generation of venture capitalists from historically Black colleges, surging propane prices and the vulnerable state of U.S. electric grids in a changing climate.
01/07/2128m 0s

Biden administration sets sights on competition

As the president considers an executive order that would tighten the reins on industries ruled by a few major players, we look into  the Obama and Trump administrations’ policies on corporate  competition. Also, we talk about post-pandemic career changes, free Obamacare and what exactly trade promotion authority is.
30/06/2128m 4s

When mental health services, and people in need, fail to connect

The pandemic has increased the need for mental health care. However, the boost in demand has shed light on the logistical challenges that may confront those seeking help. We examine the disparity between mental and physical health benefits. Also today, how a “beer game” illustrates the workings of supply chains, the consumer confidence index and the art of car haggling.
29/06/2125m 35s

It’s sweltering in the Pacific Northwest. Can the infrastructure keep cool?

The Pacific Northwest is enduring a record-setting heat wave, which has ignited a run on air conditioners. While AC isn’t known as an essential need in that region, its sudden widespread use stirs questions about whether the infrastructure can adapt. Also today, we look at the extended child tax credit’s effect on poverty, the Fed’s housing market tightrope and the first Black woman to get a Ph.D. in economics.
28/06/2125m 39s

When work from home isn’t really “home”

More companies are making decisions about how and if their workers will return to offices. According to one survey, more than 70% of workers want to keep the option to work remotely, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to spend all their time working from home. As people take a break from their apartments and roommates and look to other spaces to park their laptops, it’s creating a business opportunity for others. Today: the evolution of WFH. Also, the Weekly Wrap, the extension of the eviction moratorium and the shift in how we shop for clothes.
25/06/2127m 51s

Go home, economy, you’re being weird

The economy is growing, with GDP up 6.4% in the first quarter. But that’s cold comfort to the unemployed. The Labor Department says first-time jobless claims are still much higher than pre-pandemic levels. We look into what’s going on and sift through some of the more confusing facts. We also examine the concept of the four-day workweek, the challenges businesses face training legions of new employees and whether Congress is poised to regulate Big Tech.
24/06/2125m 43s

Airports are about to get an $8B boost. Where’s that money going?

The FAA’s $8 billion in grants is designed to help airports recover from the lingering effects of the pandemic. Will it? Also, we talk about heading back to the theaters as summer movie season gets underway, prognostications about GDP growth and how even house flippers are being priced out of the market.
23/06/2125m 37s

Why is joblessness higher among Black and Hispanic workers?

Joblessness is not falling on all people equally, Fed Chair Jerome Powell reminded House lawmakers today. We look into the factors contributing to higher unemployment rates for workers of color. And we speak with Julie Uhrman, president of Angel City Football Club, about its mission to become a global brand that fights for equality. Also: changes coming to the meatpacking industry, logistical challenges to vaccination and … pandemic houseplants.
22/06/2125m 18s

How Prime (spending) Day shines a light on quirks of the global supply chain

By the time you read this, there’s a chance someone you know has already mentioned Amazon’s Prime Day. Perhaps they even wished you a “happy” Prime Day. Amazon’s signature day of sales has transformed into its own kind of epic spending event, much like Black Friday. However, what does this retail surge mean for supply chains already bearing the burden of booming consumer demand? Also in this episode, we explore supply chain shortages even further, the factors involved in a racial disparity in access to unemployment benefits, a picture of the coffee business in China and low vaccination rates among autoworkers in some parts of the United States.
21/06/2128m 29s

The cost of hygiene theater

We know now that it’s pretty rare for COVID-19 to spread through surfaces, and most Americans are at least partly vaccinated anyway, but that hasn’t stopped businesses from cleaning like they were last March. On today’s show, we’ll look at what that level of hygiene costs businesses — and why they’re still doing it. Plus, more on inflation and wages, along with a live wrap-up of the biggest news of the week.
18/06/2127m 0s

Consumers aren’t worried about inflation … yet

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said yesterday that the Fed is seeing some inflation — but it’s likely transitory inflation caused by, in part, the uneven reopening of the economy. But if you’ve been tuned in to the news lately, you know inflation is a big story. So what do consumers make of prices shooting up but the Fed taking no action? On today’s show: How consumers are making sense of all this inflation talk. Also on the program: One study says automation is to blame for stagnating wages, how it works when a company’s CEO is also chairman of the board and how a Los Angeles taqueria pivoted to survive the pandemic.
17/06/2127m 55s

The psychological toll of long-term unemployment

We’ve spent every month since the start of this pandemic picking apart jobs numbers and unemployment claims. But there’s a lot happening in the labor force that isn’t captured in that data — like the toll long-term unemployment can take on those looking for work. A recent Pew survey says about half of unemployed adults in the U.S. are pessimistic about future employment and more than half have experienced mental health issues like anxiety or depression. On today’s show: We look at how these factors can create a less predictable back-to-work economy. Also on the program: What’s driving the housing shortage, how New Yorkers feel about COVID-19 restrictions lifting, and how the pandemic changed economic forecasting.
16/06/2127m 9s

How the balance of power in the labor market is shifting

Businesses have been having a hard time finding people to hire, even though millions of Americans are still out of work. It seems like quite the conundrum. But that’s because half the story is left out, said Barry Ritholtz, chairman of Ritholtz Wealth Management. “Whenever I hear people say, ‘We can’t hire people,’ they’re leaving out half of the question, which is ‘at these wages,'” he said. On today’s show: How the pandemic changed the labor market. Also on the program: why retail sales are down, about that U.S.-EU truce on airplane subsidies and what lowering the Medicare eligibility age would mean for American health care.
15/06/2128m 9s

Why inflation can be a self-fulfilling prophecy

Federal Reserve officials have some new inflation data to chew on before they head into a two-day meeting on interest rates tomorrow. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a consumer survey today that says consumers are expecting inflation above the Fed’s target of 2% over the next several years. On the show today: How inflation can be a self-fulfilling prophecy and why that makes it hard to set policy around it. Also on the program: Why restaurants say they need more financial aid, more companies are investing in cyber insurance, and Canada’s agricultural worker program is under scrutiny amid the pandemic.
14/06/2128m 7s

How consumer behavior is affecting the economic recovery

The University of Michigan’s preliminary June consumer sentiment numbers came out today, and although Americans are a little more confident in the economy and the recovery than they were in May, they’re still worried about inflation and the rising prices of things like cars and homes. Does that change how people spend their money? We also take a look at how consumer demand changes when products are scarce due to supply chain shortages. Also on the show today: Some British executives are getting bonuses for good behavior, and whether the pandemic could change Americans’ attitudes when it comes to taking vacations.
11/06/2128m 9s

Why people are worried about inflation

Consumer prices rose a little over half a percent in May. Over the last year, prices are up 5% — the biggest 12-month increase since August of 2008. It’s unclear so far whether the price hikes we’re seeing are a short-term story or a long one. On today’s show, we look at what makes inflation so worrying. Also on the program: Why 5 million Americans are still receiving extended federal unemployment benefits, a look at the economic challenges of ramping up wind energy production, and a conversation about the Biden administration’s debt relief for Black farmers.
10/06/2127m 46s

About those wine and cheese tariffs

President Joe Biden arrived in Europe on Wednesday, kicking off a week of meetings. One item high on his agenda: trade, especially the tariffs levied by the U.S. and European Union. Yes, those are still a thing, and U.S. consumers are still paying for them. If you’re fond of provolone or a fan of Bordeaux, you’ve felt their sting. On today’s show: What’s next for U.S.-EU tariffs. Also, the Senate is allocating $250 billion to technology R&D, a study finds work requirements for SNAP benefits don’t lead to more people working and Chinese families are stressed by the demands of extracurricular classes.
09/06/2128m 6s

The racial gap in appraisals devalues homes owned by people of color

Explicit racial language was removed from the process of determining home values in the late 1970s, but a recent study found that a racial lens on appraisals still harms Black communities. On today’s show: How that gap is contributing to racial inequality. Also on the program: The Joe Biden administration announces a strategy to strengthen supply chains, labor and supply shortages are raising costs for consumers and Las Vegas is hosting its first major business convention since the pandemic.
08/06/2128m 9s

What will it actually take to achieve global tax reform?

Representatives from G-7 countries agreed over the weekend to back a minimum corporate tax rate of 15%. A global minimum tax rate has a long way to go to get from theory to reality. But behind that theory is hundreds of billions in potential revenue from multinational corporations. On today’s show: What it would take to get to a global minimum tax. Also on the program: Why some states are dealing with a tax revenue surplus, the SelectUSA trade show is trying to bring foreign investors back to the U.S., and Mohamed El-Erian on inflation and the economic recovery.
07/06/2127m 49s

Jobs are up, but the labor force participation rate is down

The U.S. economy added 559,000 jobs in May as the recovery from the pandemic recession continues. But there remain millions of Americans unemployed, and some have stopped looking for work entirely. This means the labor force participation rate has dropped to its lowest level since the late 1970s. On the show today: Why Americans aren’t reentering the workforce. Also on the program: Why Facebook decided to suspend former President Donald Trump for two years, why used car prices are surging, and what one teen worker is looking for in a job this summer.
04/06/2127m 53s

The long-term challenges of long-term unemployment

Although the U.S. labor market has recovered dramatically from the peak of pandemic unemployment, millions of workers remain on the sidelines. Forty-three percent of jobless workers are long-term unemployed, and economists warn that elevated long-term unemployment may persist for years after this recession is behind us. Also on today’s show: How the airline industry sees the future; Ally Bank’s decision to permanently end overdraft fees; and we check back in with a pasta restaurant owner in New York City.
03/06/2127m 35s

The jobs available aren’t necessarily the ones people want

The big economics story recently has been about why businesses are having trouble hiring workers when there are still millions of Americans who are unemployed. Employers are getting desperate while workers are in no hurry to go back to jobs with lousy compensation or bad work environments. At the same time, states are trying to push folks back into the workforce by cutting unemployment benefits and by requiring people to prove they’re actively looking for work. “There’s a big mismatch between what job seekers are looking for and what’s really available,” one expert said. On today’s show: the employer-employee mismatch. Also on the show: how one small business is dealing with supply chain issues, and how the role of videoconferencing could change in the post-pandemic workplace.
02/06/2127m 40s

What’s going on with the American workforce?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a report released today that we are in a workforce crisis. There’s an all-time high of 8.1 million job openings — and there are not enough available workers able, or willing, to take those jobs. At the same time, teenagers are now employed at levels that haven’t been seen in more than a decade, and signs point to an even bigger teen job boom this summer. On today’s show, we take the labor market’s temperature. Also on the show: President Joe Biden is trying to tackle racial inequality in home appraisals, lumber shortages are making the reclaimed wood market hot, and how tough pandemic decisions are paying off for some restaurants.
01/06/2127m 40s

Tourist destinations are bracing for post-pandemic summer crowds

This weekend traditionally marks the beginning of summer vacation season. It’s the moment when a lot of tourist destinations in the U.S. start to see crowds. And when folks who work at tourist attractions — and hotels and restaurants near them — start getting busy. On today’s show, we check in with businesses in South Dakota preparing for a busy summer season. Also on the show today: Restaurants are still struggling to attract workers, how rent relief efforts are going in Houston and a conversation about inclusivity in economics.
31/05/2127m 51s

More than a year into the pandemic, rent relief is finally reaching those who need it

Come Tuesday, rent is due for millions of Americans. After more than a year of the pandemic, a lot of renters have fallen behind and are struggling to pay their rent. Congress appropriated $50 billion to help renters in the last two COVID-19 relief packages. So where is it? On today’s show: That money is just starting to make its way to tenants and landlords. Also, what’s in store for consumer spending this summer, alcohol-to-go will still be on the post-pandemic menu in some states and a small British theater company makes its way back to the stage.
28/05/2127m 37s

What’s driving rental car prices so high?

Planning on renting a car this Memorial Day weekend? It’s going to cost you. A lot of people have been unpleasantly surprised lately when trying to book rental cars, with average rates now topping out around $134 a day. On today’s show: Three reasons why rental car prices are surging. Also on the show: Nearly half of U.S. states are cutting federal jobless benefits short, what corporate governance has to do with climate change, and we take a tour of a “ghost kitchen.” Your support powers nonprofit news. Become a Marketplace Investor today to help us reach our fundraising goal:
27/05/2128m 34s

Women are bearing substantial burdens from long-term unemployment

It’s clear now that the pandemic has disproportionately affected women when it comes to employment. About 2.8 million women have left the labor force since COVID-19 hit in March 2020, compared to 2.4 million men. And there are a lot of obstacles preventing women from returning to work. On today’s show, we hear about one woman’s struggle to overcome long-term unemployment. Also on the show: Amazon is buying MGM Studios for $8.45 billion, how the role of chief sustainability officer is changing, and a look at the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average on its 125th birthday. Your support powers nonprofit news — become a Marketplace Investor before Thursday to help us reach our fundraising goal:
26/05/2128m 35s

Why Black entrepreneurship surged during the pandemic

New-business formation exploded during the first year of the pandemic. But a paper  from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that those new businesses were concentrated in Black neighborhoods and that Black Americans were more likely than white Americans to take steps toward entrepreneurship during lockdown. Also on the show today: overcoming fear as a first-time homebuyer, how the pandemic changed city streets and a new company is enabling anyone to buy and lock up pollution permits. Cheers to making it through this year! Donate today and celebrate the Marketplace way, with our stock market-inspired drink recipes:
25/05/2127m 45s

Have businesses kept their promises for racial justice?

Tomorrow marks one year since George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. Protesters across the country demanded racial justice, and a lot of big companies said they were committed to racial equity. Banks, tech companies and major retailers pledged monetary investments, retail shelf space and increased diversity in many ways. One year later: Have those companies kept their promises? Also on the show: Memorial Day weekend could be a test for the movie industry, how the COVID-19 vaccine is affecting consumer spending, and the return of the power lunch in London. Cheers to making it through this year! Donate today and celebrate the Marketplace way, with our stock market inspired drink recipes:
24/05/2128m 9s

The Federal Reserve is thinking about a digital dollar

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Thursday that the Fed will publish a report on central bank digital currency this summer. A central bank digital currency is kind of like Bitcoin, minus the chaos and volatility. So how would that work in the U.S.? Also on the show today: What shoe sales are telling us about the economic recovery, President Joe Biden is asking federal agencies to gauge the financial risk of climate change and the cash-free model might be here to stay. Cheers to making it through this year! Donate today and celebrate the Marketplace way, with our stock market-inspired drink recipes:
21/05/2127m 47s

Why long-term unemployment starts at 27 weeks

Another 444,000 Americans filed first time unemployment claims last week, reaching the lowest level since March 2020. At the opposite end of the unemployment spectrum, 4.2 million Americans are long-term unemployed, meaning they’ve been jobless for 27 weeks or more. On today’s show: The history of long-term unemployment in the U.S. Also, businesses are now the most trusted institution in the world, expanding Medicaid could produce more than 1 million new jobs in 2022, and the U.S. and China clash over international tech standards. Cheers to making it through this year! Donate today and celebrate the Marketplace way, with our stock market inspired drink recipes:
20/05/2127m 52s

How disaggregated data leads to better policy

Economic policy doesn’t always tell the whole story. That’s why economists like Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe, president of the Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race, are pushing government agencies to disaggregate data by breaking it down into categories like race, gender and education level. On today’s show: How that data can create more equitable policy. Also, the semiconductor chip shortage is affecting household staples, a coalition of 200 businesses is trying to get women back into the workforce, and the rise of social trading apps. Cheers to making it through this year! Donate today and celebrate the Marketplace way, with our stock market-inspired drink recipes:
19/05/2128m 31s

“We don’t have a day to lose”

The International Energy Agency released a report saying if the world wants to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, we’ll need to change a lot and change it fast. But is it doable? On today’s show: What needs to happen to reach net-zero carbon emissions. Also: Zoom happy hour has mixed reviews, housing starts were down in April, and one entrepreneur has made the best of the pandemic by following her passion and writing children’s books about Asian culture. Cheers to making it through this year! Donate today and celebrate the Marketplace way, with our stock market inspired drink recipes:
18/05/2128m 30s

Pipeline companies are trying to avoid regulation, despite major hack

More than 11,000 gas stations are still out of gas, including over half those in North Carolina and nearly 70% of the stations in Washington, D.C. This comes five days after the Colonial Pipeline resumed operations after a ransomware hack forced a shutdown. Congress will begin pushing forward a pipeline-security bill Tuesday to prevent future outages, but some say it lacks adequate safeguards. And pipeline companies aren’t exactly on board. Also on today’s show: AT&T is merging media operations with Discovery, public-transit systems try to lure riders back and a conversation about internet access with the acting chair of the Federal Communications Commission. Donations from listeners power our nonprofit news. Your gift will support the journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed every day. Become a Marketplace Investor:
17/05/2127m 27s

What inflation, retail sales and relief payments are telling us about the economic recovery

We got some inflation news this week, with consumer prices up 4.2% year over year. Retail sales in April were flat: 0% growth. And the latest $1,400 round of stimulus checks boosted Americans’ bank accounts. On today’s show: What all that means for economic recovery. Also, how retail workers are navigating new mask guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, how Biden’s global tax plan will affect his beloved Ireland, and why a northern Michigan retailer is banking on a summer with lots of foot traffic. Donations from listeners power our nonprofit news. Your gift will support the journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed every day. Become a Marketplace Investor:
14/05/2128m 41s

Labor shortage + desperate employers = rising wages

“They are desperate,” said one labor market expert. “They” being businesses struggling to find workers — despite the 10 million unemployed Americans — as the economy continues to open back up. So some businesses are offering higher wages, including Chipotle and McDonald’s. But the thing about raising wages: You can’t really “unraise” them. Also on the show today: Congressional earmarks are back, what love letters have to do with buying a house, and we check in with students who had their student loans paid off by a billionaire. Donations from listeners power our nonprofit news. Your gift will support the journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed every day. Become a Marketplace Investor:
13/05/2128m 38s

Consumer prices jumped higher than expected

Consumer prices are up 4.2% year over year. That’s the highest yearly jump since the Great Recession. A lot of prices increased more than expected, including those in communications and apparel. But travel-related prices are on fire. Compared to March, the cost of renting a car went up 16%, airfare is up 10%, lodging is up almost 8% and used cars prices are up 10% — in one month. Also on the show today: Governments are trying to incentivize vaccination, retirements increased during the pandemic, and we take a trip to the mall with a fashion business expert. Donations from listeners power our nonprofit news. Your gift will support the journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed every day. Become a Marketplace Investor:
12/05/2128m 39s

Small-business owners aren’t feeling great about the future

Make no mistake, there are a lot of positives in this economy — vaccinations continue, shops and attractions are reopening, consumer spending is strong. The Small Business Optimism Index from the National Federation of Independent Business had a small uptick in April, but it’s still at a pretty depressed level compared to pre-pandemic times. On today’s show: Why small-business owners’ outlook is “surprisingly glum.” Plus, Simon Property Group is betting on its tenants, Broadway is coming back and food commodities are getting pricier. Donations from listeners power our nonprofit news. Your gift will support the journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed every day. Become a Marketplace Investor:
11/05/2127m 28s

States are starting to drop out of federal pandemic unemployment programs

Arkansas, Montana and South Carolina are pulling out of federal unemployment programs related to the pandemic. The Republican governors of the three states are saying the same thing: The benefits are too generous, and they’re preventing people from wanting to go back to work. But the U.S. economy is still down more than 8 million jobs since the pandemic arrived. On today’s show: Why states are pulling out of the programs and what it means for workers. Also: A pipeline hack reveals critical infrastructure vulnerabilities in the U.S., farmers in Texas are still reeling from the February freeze and how COVID-19 might change packaging for good. Donations from listeners power our nonprofit news. Your gift will support the journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed every day. Become a Marketplace Investor:
10/05/2128m 2s

Making sense of a disappointing jobs report

Most economists expected something like 1 million new jobs in April. Instead, there were 266,000 added — which isn’t going to make much of a dent in recovering the 8 million jobs we’re still down. The hiring slowdown is happening in an economy that has a lot tilted in its favor, including trillions of dollars in relief for individuals, small businesses and local government. On today’s show, we make sense of April’s jobs numbers and ask what it’s going to take to juice the jobs market. Plus: why the Federal Reserve is pointing to risks in the current economy; how restaurants in Texas are finding it hard to attract staff; and a look at the water crisis in a rural Maryland community. Now, this is a good investment: Give $5 a month or more to support Marketplace’s public service journalism and get (almost) any thank-you gift: The story about infrastructure in this episode contained an error that has been corrected. For more information, visit the episode page at
07/05/2128m 25s

What’s driving the labor shortage?

We got some signs that the job market is improving: Initial claims for state unemployment benefits last week fell under half a million for the first time since the pandemic began. Continuing claims also fell sharply. But employers and trade groups are increasingly saying they can’t find workers to hire. On today’s show: Why this labor shortage is unusual. Also, the Biden administration is backing a temporary waiver on COVID-19 vaccine patents, what a flexible work future looks like, and why QR codes are the future of hospitality. Now this is a good investment: Give $5 a month or more to support Marketplace’s public service journalism and get (almost) any thank you gift:
06/05/2128m 20s

Who has leverage in the labor market?

Friday’s jobs report marks one year since the release of one of the worst jobs reports in U.S. history; the economy had lost 20 million jobs in a single month. One year later, there are still millions of people unemployed, but data from payroll processors and online job search sites point to continuing job growth. Chris Hyams, CEO of Indeed, joined “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal to talk about how the labor market is recovering from the pandemic. Also on today’s show: Small businesses that closed at the beginning of the pandemic may never reopen, a new report warns that critical minerals for green energy might become scarce, and the European Union is raising the drawbridge on companies that get foreign subsidies. Now this is a good investment: Give $5 a month or more to support Marketplace’s public service journalism and get (almost) any thank you gift:  
05/05/2128m 17s

“I think I really began to question what is living”

The pandemic prompted a lot of people to think about their values and identities, and that includes what they do for a living. According to Prudential’s Pulse of the American Worker Survey, 1 in 5 workers changed their line of work over the last year. On today’s show: a look at the many Americans drastically changing their career paths. Plus, manufacturers are having difficulty filling job vacancies, rental car companies are having difficulty finding used cars, and church real estate is up.
04/05/2127m 50s

The low-hanging fruit on Biden’s climate agenda

President Joe Biden has made dealing with climate change a top priority of his administration. While Congress and the White House hammer out the way that shows up in the big infrastructure package, there are relatively easy fixes that have bipartisan support. For example, phasing out the use of hydrofluorocarbons. HFCs are chemical refrigerants found in products we use every day — that do a lot of damage to the climate. Also on today’s show: More homeowners are paying their mortgage bills again, Verizon is selling Yahoo and AOL for $5 billion and how “green hydrogen” could be used to produce energy and steel with zero emissions.
03/05/2127m 52s

It could take quite a while for the labor market to recover from COVID

The economic recovery is showing up in a big way: GDP is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, and consumer confidence is improving as more Americans are vaccinated. There’s been a surge in consumer spending, driven by record-setting personal income — pumped by relief checks and more Americans getting back to work. About that “getting back to work” part. We’ll see the April jobs report next week, and it’s expected to be very strong. Still, the number of jobs in the U.S. economy is nowhere near pre-pandemic levels, and it could take a while to get there. Also on today’s show: how New York businesses are getting ready to reopen, more companies are incentivizing vaccination and how the U.S. is trying to reclaim its rare-earth mantle.
30/04/2128m 15s

Do we really want to get back to a pre-pandemic economy?

The Commerce Department announced Thursday that in the first quarter of 2021 gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 6.4%. That’s within 1% of pre-pandemic GDP. It’s easy to look back at the pre-pandemic economy all starry eyed; unemployment was low and pay for low-wage workers was rising. But it wasn’t exactly a golden era for workers. On today’s show: Do we even want to go back to a pre-pandemic economy? Also: a look at the child care industry issues weighing on workers and parents, how reparations will help women build houses in Baltimore, and how a variable minimum wage could work.
29/04/2128m 21s

Pent-up demand for a vacation

In a recent survey from the U.S. Travel Association, almost two-thirds of Americans said they “desperately” needed a vacation after the last year, and with vaccinations and accumulated paid time off, many of them just might get one. Employers prepare for the coming surge of employees using their PTO. On today’s show: how pent-up demand for a break might shape up. Plus, voting rights legislation prompts a flurry of political fundraising, live venues are finally able to tap into federal funding and what Friday’s consumer spending numbers could mean.
28/04/2128m 52s

Why a Baltimore church is pledging half a million dollars in reparations

In 2018, Natalie Conway was assigned to Memorial Episcopal Church as a deacon. Conway, now 73, grew up in segregated west Baltimore, and she and her brother had been researching their genealogy. Not long after she arrived at Memorial, she discovered that her ancestors had been enslaved by Rev. Charles Ridgely Howard — the founding rector of the church she now serves. On today’s show: How that Baltimore church is grappling with its racist past. Plus, shipping containers are increasingly getting lost at sea, what slowing population growth means for the economy, and we check in with an Iowa farmer about surging prices for crops ahead of the planting season.
27/04/2128m 36s

Investing in children and families is also infrastructure

President Joe Biden is expected to roll out the next part of his big infrastructure initiative this week, the American Families Plan. The plan calls for major additional investment in education and child care — part of the Biden administration’s argument that this support is necessary in a functioning economy. Also today’s show: Apple’s plan to spend more than $1 billion to build a new campus in North Carolina; what happens when a doctor doesn’t “match” with a residency; and why older single women are buying camper vans.
26/04/2128m 24s

The stock market is … an idiot

That’s the conclusion of “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal after a market freakout yesterday. What spooked it? News that the Biden administration wants to jack up the capital gains tax rate. “Have traders heard of the United States Senate?” our host wondered. All that and more on today’s Weekly Wrap. Also on the show: Homebuyers are waiving contingencies in this hot housing market, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles is leaving Nike for a smaller athletic brand and the president says tackling climate change will create jobs.
23/04/2128m 3s

U.S. trade rep: “We don’t exist in a vacuum”

Ambassador Katherine Tai, the United States trade representative, said the world economy needs to evolve in order to solve global problems like climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal, Tai said we need to reimagine incentives to stop the “race to the bottom.” “We don’t exist in a vacuum,” Tai said. “These are collective challenges, and we only get through them if we can get through it collectively.” Also on today’s show: President Joe Biden said a “whole of government” approach is needed to fight climate change, why home construction costs exploded in the last year, and the USDA is extending its free lunch program.
22/04/2128m 21s

How control over the pandemic will affect the stay-home economy

While we were stuck at home, sales of paint, furniture, exercise equipment and groceries went through the roof. But as vaccination continues and things open back up, we’re more likely to take a trip than to redo our floors. On today’s show: How the stay-home economy will change when the pandemic ends. Plus, how the plan for that new European soccer league was kicked to the curb; about that semiconductor shortage; and an interview with the CEO of Chipotle.  
21/04/2128m 31s

About China’s “poverty alleviation slow trains”

The Biden administration’s push to upgrade American infrastructure is partly motivated by seeing China’s sleek infrastructure, including bullet trains that go more than 185 mph. These speedy trains have gradually replaced the slower, green-colored carriages. However, in recent years, the Chinese government has designated 81 routes remaining from the Mao era for the poor. On today’s show: A look inside those trains. Plus, commercial construction faces a rocky year, Apple bets that users will opt in to be tracked and how a food business tied to the hotel industry is recovering from COVID-19.
20/04/2128m 11s

Not having paid time off can be a barrier to getting vaccinated

As of today, all adults are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. The vaccine is free to the public, regardless of insurance. About half of all adults have received at least one dose in the U.S., and more than 200 million shots have been administered. But there are still challenges to getting more people vaccinated, including workers getting paid time off to make an appointment or deal with vaccine side effects. Also on today’s show: how businesses that have made it this far in the pandemic are doing, why lumber prices are skyrocketing and why there’s little affordable housing in wealthy Chicago neighborhoods.
19/04/2128m 4s

Community pharmacists face challenges in vaccine rollout

Across the country, pharmacies are struggling with insufficient staffing and endless phone calls from people trying to make appointments. They run into other problems, too, like patients who think one dose of a two-dose vaccine is enough. Health care workers are feeling pressure to get this right — to make sure the vaccines are stored correctly, that no one is having an allergic reaction and that everyone’s questions are answered. On today’s show: We hear from three community pharmacists about their experience giving out COVID-19 vaccines. Plus, commercial landlords are looking to grocery stores to fill vacant space, Americans are really ready to travel again and historians weigh in on whether we’re in for another Roaring ’20s.  
16/04/2127m 26s

How walk-in clinics could help achieve vaccination equity

More than 123 million people have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and around 3 million doses are being administered every day. Four months into the vaccination campaign, however, there are still significant disparities by race and ethnicity. In nearly every state that’s reporting data, white residents are being vaccinated at higher rates than Black and Hispanic residents. On today’s show: In Philadelphia, there’s evidence walk-in clinics can help reduce those disparities. Plus, new data points to a strong economic recovery this year, President Joe Biden is imposing economic sanctions against Russia in response to December’s hacking attack, and the challenges of moving to a hybrid work model.
15/04/2127m 57s

Will company culture come back after the pandemic?

The concept of “company culture” is saddled with certain imagery in the imaginations of Americans: The trust exercises of decades gone by, the freewheeling indoor playground layout of Google offices, the oppressive pressure to produce at any given law firm. A company’s culture is intangible — and often privately derided as an invention of PR — but it is very real. Has that survived a year of Zoom and Slack communication? Also on today’s show: Retailers are trying to hire tens of thousands of workers, why some companies didn’t sign a statement pushing back against a restrictive Georgia voting law, and boat builders are struggling to meet soaring demand.
14/04/2128m 31s

Welcome to Zoom Town, USA

Over the past pandemic year, small, rural towns across the U.S. have been inundated with remote workers seeking beautiful landscapes and bigger houses. So common is the trend, the towns in question are being referred to as “Zoom towns.” On today’s show, we visit what may well be the Zoom town capital of California. Plus, why inflation numbers are gonna be wonky for a while, what’s behind the recent surge in retail investors and what happened to America’s public toilets.
13/04/2128m 24s

Surging anti-Asian violence is taking a toll on Asian-owned businesses

It’s been a tough year for small businesses, as many were forced to alter business models and implement extreme safety precautions for employees and customers alike. While most businesses reported declines in revenue and employment, Asian-owned businesses in the U.S. were among the hardest hit. Now, with violence against Asian Americans on the rise, there’s an added economic and emotional toll. On today’s show, we hear from one business owner in Oakland, California, about her experience. Plus, the pushback against vaccine passports is growing, New York created a fund for undocumented workers, and why corporations are betting on “livestreamed shopping” to continue post-pandemic.
12/04/2127m 35s

Amazon workers vote against unionization

Amazon employees at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, voted against forming a union today. For months, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union has been trying to organize the approximately 5,800 Bessemer workers. It looked like the union could win, but the “no” vote was no surprise to a couple of experts we talked to, who said U.S. labor law benefits employers. Also on today’s show: Why more countries are scrutinizing foreign acquisitions of homegrown companies, Texas plumbers are still flush with business after February’s freeze and the democratization of fine art.  
09/04/2128m 0s

How Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan could affect GDP

The Biden administration says its $2 trillion American Jobs Plan will provide jobs and move the country into a greener, better-connected economy. But there’s more to spending on infrastructure, and economists are starting to dig into how the plan could affect U.S. economic growth. On today’s show: the pros and cons of spending on infrastructure. Also, 2 in 5 Americans delayed a financial milestone due to the pandemic, Uber and Lyft are trying to get drivers back on the road, and wrestling might find a new audience on streaming services.
08/04/2128m 7s

The race to vaccinate Latinx agricultural workers before the growing season

The COVID-19 hospitalization rate among Latinx Americans is three times the rate for whites. And when it comes to vaccinations, disparity persists: 21.3% of the U.S. white population has been vaccinated while only 11.3% of the Latinx population has. Many Latinx Americans perform essential jobs — in agriculture and food processing, for instance, where there have been big COVID outbreaks. On today’s show: a new federal effort to vaccinate essential ag workers in a farming region of Washington. Plus, Americans are spending relief checks on paying down debt, why it’s so hard to strike a global corporate tax deal and why the first reparations program for Black residents is tied to homeownership.
07/04/2127m 16s

Small businesses take on Amazon

A new coalition of small business advocacy groups wants lawmakers to rein in the behemoth that is Amazon. The group, Small Business Rising, argues that Amazon’s size and market power — which has only grown during the pandemic — effectively block small businesses from competing. One of the ways it does that, the group argues, is by selling its own products alongside those from smaller, third-party retailers. Also on today’s show: The pandemic is making people rethink their careers, “transmigrante” traffic may boost the economy of a Texas border town, and babies and toddlers are feeling pandemic stress, too.
06/04/2127m 44s

An uneven vaccine rollout means an uneven economic recovery

The International Monetary Fund is expected to deliver good news Tuesday: Global economic expansion will be higher than the IMF formerly predicted, at somewhere north of 5.5%. But the global financial institution also has a word of caution: The headline number is hiding a lot of unequal growth. On today’s show: We’re not all getting out of the pandemic at the same time, and that may leave lasting damage. Plus, a new rule is giving patients access to all of their medical records for free, an epidemiologist reflects on her pandemic child care decision and a look at capitalism’s response to school shootings.
05/04/2127m 36s

Black business leaders confront restrictive voting laws

In the wake of the fraught 2020 presidential election, as many as 47 states are considering stricter voting laws. Georgia, which went Democratic in 2020, passed a law that imposes new voter ID requirements and limits ballot drop boxes, among other provisions that advocates say disproportionately curtail ballot access for Black voters. In response to these laws, a group of more than 70 Black business executives, led by Kenneth Frazier and Kenneth Chenault, is calling on companies to publicly oppose restrictive voting bills. Also on today’s show: all about that good jobs report, how side hustles are contributing to the growth of peer-to-peer payment apps and airlines might have a hard time finding pilots to hire as the pandemic ends.
02/04/2127m 14s

Making up for lost time

Newly vaccinated Americans are ready for a sense of control, and their spending habits reflect it. For some, it means buying new lipstick to be seen in. For others, buying big-ticket menu items at an in-person meal. On today’s show: How consumers are shopping post-vaccination. Also, jobless claims are up but so are job listings, landlords and tenants continue to be at odds over evictions and legality, and many remote workers are advocating for the option to keep working from home.
01/04/2127m 30s

The Biden administration’s expansive view of “infrastructure”

The Biden administration rolled out a $2 trillion infrastructure proposal today. The American Jobs Plan calls for investment in roads and bridges, the electric grid, green energy infrastructure — and home health care. On today’s show: Why the Biden administration is taking such a broad view on infrastructure. Also: how infrastructure money could be used to relieve port backlogs, Apple is contributing to a platform for musicians to keep their own copyrights, and how the pandemic made high-frequency data a go-to economic indicator.
31/03/2126m 51s

Inflation is about more than a number

There’s been a lot of talk about inflation recently. Mostly, about if it’s going to go up with all the relief money floating around the economy. Notably, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is not too worried about it. Inflation can be a major focus for policymakers, but most consumers probably won’t pay it too much attention — until it starts to affect their wallets. On today’s show: Inflation isn’t just about higher prices. Plus, home prices have been rising at the fastest clip in 15 years, why some businesses are struggling to figure out their taxes and diaper banks have been struggling to keep up with demand.
30/03/2128m 19s

Not out of the COVID-19 woods just yet

We’re in a weird spot in this pandemic right now. It feels like things are getting better, more and more people getting vaccinated, more businesses opening — but people are still getting sick and dying. That puts health officials and policymakers in a tough spot. On today’s show: Two decisions by the Centers for Disease Control remind us the pandemic is not over. Also, the future of the U.S.-China trade war, how workers who started jobs remotely are adapting a year on and President Joe Biden wants to spend big on science.
29/03/2127m 16s

The future of co-working

When the COVID pandemic hit a year ago, co-anything became risky. Especially co-working spaces: Shared tables and communal kombucha taps weren’t exactly appealing. But the tide may be turning as the pandemic winds down. Whether they accommodate parents escaping kids, travelers working their way around the world or companies holding brainstorming sessions, co-working spaces are making a comeback. Also on today’s show: Co-working company WeWork is using a SPAC to go public, Democrats are not very aggressively undoing Trump administration regulations and streaming platforms are spending big bucks to keep you on your couch this summer.
26/03/2127m 27s

Coming to a living room near you

After being postponed many times, the Marvel film “Black Widow” is finally going to premiere. And just as movie theaters are starting to reopen, Disney has announced that the film will open in July — both in cinemas and on Disney Plus. It’s a pretty big blow to struggling theaters and a sign of how we’ll likely be watching movies from now on. Also on today’s show: restaurants struggle to recruit enough staff to reopen, why Slack was quick to walk back a new DM feature and we check in with another micro business making it through the pandemic.
25/03/2127m 56s

Nothing like a blocked Suez Canal to show the global supply chain’s fragility

A 1,300-foot-long, 200-foot-wide cargo ship blocked the Suez Canal this week, shutting down traffic in both directions. And it could take several days to move the ship and unblock the canal, a key route for global trade. One expert told us each additional delay of shipping is equivalent to a tariff of between 0.5% and 2%. On today’s show: the fragility of the global supply chain. Also, orders for U.S. durable goods dipped for the first time in nearly a year, why businesses are pushing Congress to expand paid family and medical leave, and we decided to see what all that NFT buzz is about.
24/03/2128m 10s

Achieving “herd immunity” and returning to the workplace is pretty complicated

There’s been a lot of talk about the need to achieve herd immunity, the point at which so many people are immune to a disease that it can no longer easily spread and the whole population is protected. If we can just hit that number, the thinking is, the country will be safe to reopen. But there is no one magic number. On today’s show: the challenges of reaching herd immunity and reopening. Plus, appliance shortages are holding up home improvement and construction, why retailers are opening so many brick-and-mortar stores this year and a look at racism in the tax code.
23/03/2127m 41s

Why consumer confidence is surging

The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey shot up more than 8% in March to the highest level in a year (it’s still about 7% below pre-pandemic levels). Given that consumer spending makes up about 70% of the economy, it’s key to the economic recovery from COVID-19. On today’s show: American consumerism is back. Plus, movie theaters are reopening without their biggest moneymaker, the consequences of maintaining vaccine borders and how the pandemic changed our perception of privacy.
22/03/2126m 36s

Turning an economic corner?

As $1,400 stimulus payments make their way into people’s pockets and vaccine distribution continues, things are looking up. Economists predict that consumers will be ready to release pent-up demand and spend some money in the second half of this year. On today’s show: wrapping up the relief-planning stage and moving into the relief-spending stage. Plus, Disney is facing a complaint of pay secrecy, Amazon and the NFL have finalized a billion dollar streaming deal and we check in with a Washington apple farm.
19/03/2128m 14s

What ever happened to the U.S.-China trade war?

Remember that trade war the Trump administration started with China? All those tariffs? Well, it doesn’t seem like things will change all that much under President Joe Biden. One expert expects the Biden administration to continue a hard line against what it considers Chinese protectionism, hacking and siphoning of American technology. On today’s show: the future of the U.S.-China trade relationship. Plus, Google will spend $7 billion on offices and data centers across the U.S., what happens when Big Tech moves into health care and the pandemic has been especially damaging to working moms.
18/03/2128m 10s

We know what Jay Powell is thinking

The Federal Open Market Committee wrapped up its two-day March meeting today, and, like always, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell held a press conference after. Powell had two main messages. First, “talking about inflation is one thing, actually having inflation run about 2% is the real thing,” he said. Also, the outlook for the economy in the next two to three years is “highly uncertain.” Also on the show: small businesses are having trouble finding workers, why there’s a shortage of shipping containers and pandemic-induced patience might not last.
17/03/2128m 37s

A look at post-pandemic travel

After being at home for a year, a lot of people are itching to travel — even if it’s for work. The number of people passing through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints and booking flights for the coming months is on the rise. And as vaccinations ramp up, some countries are debating whether to require vaccination passports for entry. On today’s show: a look at the post-pandemic travel industry. Plus, Asian Americans are experiencing especially high levels of long-term unemployment, a check-in on the steel market and how smokers have boosted state tax revenue during the pandemic.
16/03/2127m 53s

What “full employment” means in a pandemic-ravaged economy

“I’m hopeful that, if we defeat the pandemic, that we can have the economy back near full employment next year,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said over the weekend. “Full employment” is a sweet spot for the economy in which the jobless rate is as low as possible without employers bidding wages through the roof to get the workers they need, everyone who wants a job can get one and inflation doesn’t soar out of control. So what might full employment look like to Federal Reserve and Treasury policymakers? Also on today’s show: a new infrastructure bill that goes beyond roads and bridges, why economists think peer-to-peer payment apps like Venmo will continue growing after the pandemic and SoundCloud wants to do better by musicians.  
15/03/2127m 42s

Goldman Sachs to invest $10 billion in Black women

Black women have borne the brunt of the pandemic, dying from COVID-19 and losing jobs at disproportionate rates. And according to Goldman Sachs, Black women’s wealth is 90% lower than white men’s. The financial firm said it will commit $10 billion over the next decade toward economic opportunities for Black women. But, one expert said, it’s important to remember that money is not the only thing women need. Also on today’s show: how restaurant relief money will be distributed, why supermarkets are investing in robots and congressional earmarks make a comeback.
12/03/2128m 34s

A year into the pandemic, a look back at unemployment numbers

One year ago, the coronavirus pandemic became real for many Americans. Workplaces went remote, schools shut down and Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks announced that he and his wife had contracted the virus. Then, millions of Americans were furloughed or laid off from their jobs, and 20 million people are still receiving unemployment benefits. On today’s show: We try to get a sense of the scale and severity of joblessness over the past year. Plus, some of the biggest companies in the U.S. are optimistic about 2021, the relief bill grants expanded access to Obamacare and what it’s been like to be a remote intern during the COVID-19 contagion.
11/03/2128m 28s

How fast can the federal government get $1.9 trillion out the door?

Congress finally passed President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, and businesses, communities and individuals are getting ready for their slices of the nearly $2 trillion pie. But moving that much money through the federal government will take a while. Also on today’s show: the complications of resuming in-person learning, a look at a bill that would extend union protections and a conversation with “Minari” writer-director Lee Isaac Chung.
10/03/2128m 3s

Will an expanded child tax credit solve the “she-cession”?

More than 2 million women have left the workforce since the start of 2020, and, as we’ve been reporting, many did so to care for children. The American Rescue Plan, poised to be passed this week, is offering an expanded child tax credit that could provide up to $300 a month per child under the age of 6. It also includes nearly $15 billion to support child care facilities. But will that be enough to get women back to work? Plus, a virtual SXSW festival, why Unilever will stop using the word “normal” on its products and some companies are rethinking what driverless cars should look like.
09/03/2128m 8s

A different kind of traffic jam in Los Angeles

Sure, Los Angeles is famous for bad traffic on its roads. But what about its waterways? Dozens of massive container ships — carrying everything from furniture and appliances to building materials — are waiting to be unloaded at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. On today’s show: How that port backup could affect businesses’ hiring decisions. Plus, crude oil prices rose today, Coursera’s IPO reflects the demand for online learning and President Joe Biden has his hands full rebuilding a demoralized federal workforce.
08/03/2128m 0s

Long-term unemployment hits highest level in 9 years

Despite a solid bump of 379,000 new jobs in February, today’s employment report shows a continued rise in one closely watched category: Americans who have been jobless for over half a year. More than 4 million workers are currently considered long-term unemployed. And the longer people are away from the workforce, the longer it takes to return. Also on today’s show: an update on the COVID-19 relief package, why full retail recovery hinges on women getting back to work and Chipotle makes moves to hit diversity and sustainability targets.
05/03/2127m 47s

What it’s like to run a microbusiness in the pandemic economy

Microbusinesses, defined as having nine or fewer employees, are the most common kind of employer in the U.S. But they might have a hard time getting the financial aid meant for small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. On today’s show: a microbusiness owner shares what it’s been like this past year. Plus: Some manufacturers are having difficulty filling jobs despite high unemployment; food commodities are at their most expensive since 2014; and what it’s like to look for work during a pandemic.
04/03/2128m 25s

The jobs recovery might be running out of gas

We got private-sector payroll numbers from the processing firm ADP today showing 170,000 new jobs — well below expectations and another indicator that this recovery may be sputtering. Which is, of course, why Congress is working on the next COVID-19 relief bill at this very moment. On today’s show: a look at the pandemic labor market. Plus, Texas is reopening, a check-in with people rebuilding after a deadly Tennessee tornado and why people are spending big bucks on “nonfungible tokens.”
03/03/2128m 18s

A seat at the table for workers

The Biden administration released its trade policy agenda today, and it’s hefty, with goals including the advancement of racial equity, fighting against climate change and taking on what it calls China’s “coercive and unfair economic trade practices.” At the center of it all, though? A more worker-centric approach to trade. On today’s show: What does it mean for workers to have a seat at the table when it comes to trade policy? Plus, schools need funding to reopen safely, and which GameStop movie will be the first to hit screens?
03/03/2127m 30s

The pandemic is affecting states unequally, too

The story of the coronavirus economy has been one of inequality — for people, businesses and even states. Many state governments have been taking in less tax revenue ever since the pandemic closed businesses and schools, and millions lost their jobs. But in 22 states, tax revenue has actually increased during the pandemic. On today’s show: How high-income taxpayers are helping some states make it through the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, Texas’ largest electricity co-op is filing for bankruptcy, and rental relief is taking a while to get to those who need it.
01/03/2127m 50s

A return to the service economy?

Stuck at home during the pandemic and unable to spend on restaurants or travel, Americans have been trying fulfill emotional needs by buying stuff. But you can only buy so many backyard trampolines, and economists are predicting a big shift back to spending on services as COVID-19 cases decline. That’s good news for the United States’ service economy. Also on today’s show: Some credit card limits are going up and a look at challenges health care disruptors face.
26/02/2127m 54s

Ready to release some pent-up demand

The unemployment rate is still high at 10%, and the economic recovery from COVID-19 is going to take a while. But as coronavirus cases begin to trend downward and vaccine distribution continues, people are getting ready for things to open up. On today’ show: Some economists think there will be a whole lot of pent-up demand let loose as things start to look up. Plus, New York’s plans for reopening, the challenges in winterizing Texas’ power grid and an update on how pandemic learning pods are working nearly one year into the pandemic.
25/02/2128m 6s

The future of this country’s competitive edge

President Joe Biden signed an executive order today designed to make U.S. supply chains more resilient and secure. The pandemic exposed problems with the current system, including shortages of personal protective equipment and semiconductors. But the order is about more than face masks and electronics; it’s about the future of U.S. competitiveness. Also on today’s show: what it might take to get back to full employment, the child tax credit proposal explained and a conversation with actor-director Regina King about her directorial debut.
24/02/2127m 34s

How new PPP eligibility requirements are hurting some small businesses

The second round of the Paycheck Protection Program started about a month ago. It’s supposed to help small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic, but this round has stricter eligibility requirements, including that businesses can only apply if revenue dropped by at least 25%. On today’s show: Those restrictions are barring some small businesses that could really use the support. Plus, what the bond market is signaling about recovery, an update on the vaccine supply chain and how small businesses in Texas are dealing with the winter storm fallout.
23/02/2127m 54s

How making federal jobless benefits automatic would work

Lawmakers are taking up President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan this week, and this third round of support is expected to face hurdles. But what if additional federal unemployment benefits didn’t need congressional approval? On today’s show: Some policymakers want to make benefits an “automatic stabilizer,” meaning they would be tied to economic data, similar to how your tax rate is tied to your income. Plus, the impact of a $15 hourly minimum wage, mortgage rates creep up with talk of inflation and how your fitness tracker could detect COVID-19 before a test.
22/02/2127m 57s

Where did hazard pay go?

  At the beginning of the pandemic, essential workers like those in grocery and retail stores were receiving hazard pay for toiling under hazardous conditions, aka the pandemic. Since then, for many workers, it has quietly disappeared. Today, we’ll look at how efforts to grant or replace hazard pay have been going. Plus: inflation in energy, shelter and food, Chinese students are reconsidering coming to the U.S. for college and Joe Biden makes his first international appearance as U.S. president at the G-7 summit.
20/02/2127m 30s

What you need to know about Biden’s immigration bill

The Biden administration is unveiling a sweeping immigration bill, which includes a path to citizenship that could grant legal status to an estimated 11 million undocumented people. Today, we’ll look at what joining the formal labor force could mean for them and the economy. Plus: the proposed $350 billion aid package for state and local governments, mom and pop landlords facing a COVID crunch and why looks matter in economics.
19/02/2127m 0s

How short selling works (and what it does to the economy)

The House Financial Services Committee will meet Thursday about the market volatility caused by the short selling of stocks like GameStop. Today, we’ll catch you up on what you need to know. Plus, more fallout from the freeze in Texas, Puerto Rico’s coffee industry and the latest in our ongoing series “United States of Work.”
17/02/2127m 0s

Why Texas’ power grids couldn’t meet demand

Thousands of people in the South are without power as electric grids strain to keep up with heating needs. Today, we’ll look at why power grids weren’t up to the task and how it’s affecting people trying to work from home. Plus: Life in North Dakota’s oil fields, “Young Rock” and this thing we used to call “employment.”
16/02/2127m 0s

Biden administration reopens ACA exchange

The federally run Obamacare exchange reopened Monday for a three-month special enrollment period. President Joe Biden ordered the move to get more people signed up for health care during the pandemic, especially those who have lost jobs and health insurance. The administration is planning to spend $50 million on a marketing campaign to get more people to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Plus, LGBTQ people are now protected under the Fair Housing Act and how racism led to the closing of public pools across the U.S.
15/02/2127m 38s

The especially stressful tax season ahead

Today is the delayed start of the tax-filing season, and it’s likely to be an especially stressful one for IRS employees and filers alike. Processing two rounds of COVID-19 relief has put a strain on the already short-staffed tax agency. And a lot of filers might not realize they have to pay taxes on unemployment benefits. On today’s show: how to manage the crazy tax season ahead. Plus, Maryland is set to become the first state to tax digital ad revenue, online alcohol sales are way up during the pandemic and we check in with U.S. companies trying to break into the Chinese market.
12/02/2127m 52s

Making a career change in the middle of a pandemic

Another 793,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, and more than 20 million are currently claiming unemployment benefits. A new Pew Research study shows that 66% of unemployed adults in the U.S. have seriously considered changing their occupation or field of work. On today’s show: We hear from people who are trying to make that switch. Plus, how COVID-19 is affecting Mardi Gras in New Orleans, new federal guidance on workers’ right to refuse work that isn’t safe and checking in on America’s data infrastructure.
11/02/2128m 12s

The plan to close the output gap

This week’s big news is happening in the Senate, but the what-happens-next-with-this-economy? news is happening over in the House, where committees are hammering out details of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The goal is to close the gap between the current state of the economy and its condition if there hadn’t been a pandemic. On today’s show: Where the economy might be when the relief money starts getting out. Plus, how mothers are particularly penalized in the workplace, what a jobs recovery might look like as the pandemic fades and what happens when you’re vaccinated, but your partner isn’t?
10/02/2128m 2s

Why Biden’s economic team would rather go “too big” on COVID relief

“The issue is that if you do too little, that means that people are going to go hungry,” Bharat Ramamurti, deputy director of the National Economic Council, told “Marketplace” today. We got him on the phone after President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met with top business executives to get support for Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. Also on today’s show: How the end of slavery led to two different minimum wages, a new study on fossil fuels causing premature deaths and small business optimism is at an eight-month low.
09/02/2128m 14s

How “pooled testing” can help keep schools open

Several schools are currently trying out “pooled testing,” which occurs when multiple swabs are tested collectively. This approach lets schools monitor many students and teachers who may be asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus while preserving scarce testing supplies. The economic argument for pooling is that it can keep schools open and enable more parents to get back to work. But there are drawbacks, too. On today’s show: how one school is implementing pooled testing. Plus, the risk of inflation from COVID-19 financial relief, House Democrats’ plan to ease child care burdens and a conversation with the writer-director of “Miss Juneteenth.” The story in this episode about testing in schools has been updated. For more information, visit the episode page at
08/02/2127m 54s

The most important 4-letter word in this economy: jobs

Today’s show is all about jobs — or lack thereof. There are 10 million fewer jobs in the U.S. economy than there were a year ago, and people in the hardest-hit sectors are especially suffering. With 40% of unemployed Americans out of work for at least six months, long-term unemployment is a growing concern. Plus, what counts as a small business, unspent money from the last COVID-19 relief bill and one job counselor’s story of job hunting.
05/02/2127m 57s

Even consumer confidence is partisan now

Like most things these days, consumer sentiment is a partisan issue. The 2020 election, and the election-related disinformation and unrest that followed, have led to a stark reversal in consumer confidence by party affiliation. Democrats’ confidence has soared since the election, while Republicans’ formerly buoyant sentiment has plummeted, according to Morning Consult. On today’s show: Even the economy is becoming politically polarized. Plus, how Democrats plan to take on tech megafirms, Big Oil’s big losses and making investing boring again.
04/02/2128m 12s

What is an “executive chair,” and how is it different from a CEO?

Jeff Bezos announced this week he’ll be stepping down from his role as CEO of Amazon. Andy Jassy, the head of Amazon’s cloud computing division, will take over later this year. But Bezos isn’t leaving Amazon. In fact, he’ll become executive chairman. On today’s show: What’s the difference? Plus, the U.S. isn’t as innovative as it used to be — according to a Bloomberg ranking — and how one florist is prepping for Valentine’s Day this year.
03/02/2127m 41s

Getting back to the pre-pandemic economy

A new report from the Congressional Budget Office predicts gross domestic product could return to pre-pandemic levels as early as mid-2021. But, as one expert puts it, “GDP growth does not translate into equal growth of earnings and employment.” And the labor market will take much longer to get back to the low unemployment rates we had before the pandemic. On today’s show: Even if the numbers return to where they were before COVID-19, the economy is probably going to look a lot different. Plus, a look at China’s manufacturing rise and a California goat ranch hit hard by the pandemic and wildfire.
02/02/2126m 45s

Caught in the unemployment benefits gap

It’s been more than a month since Congress passed the second round of COVID-19 relief — which extended unemployment benefits for millions — but many Americans are still waiting for the money to arrive. That’s partly because most state unemployment computer systems are antiquated, and partly because the relief package changed some of the rules for federal unemployment programs. On today’s show: the Americans who fell into the unemployment benefits gap. Plus: Silver is not the next GameStop and the “afterlife” of mass incarceration.
01/02/2127m 8s

We’ve had a little bit of everything this week

A lot happened this week. We had some Fed Chair Jerome Powell, a little bit of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and, of course, the whole GameStop-Reddit-Wall-Street story. On today’s show: We’re looking back at the week and trying to make sense of it. Plus, unprecedented congestion at America’s ports and how the pandemic has changed bartending.
29/01/2127m 6s

It’s time for better face masks

Several new viral variants of the coronavirus are spreading across the globe, and experts are urging the public to start wearing better masks. Disposable N95 masks are still better reserved for health care workers, since they’re in limited supply, but there are smart alternatives to just cloth. “Any mask is better than no mask,” one expert said. “But there’s a hierarchy of different solutions.” On today’s show: the call for more effective face masks. Plus, more on the bonkers GameStop stock situation and regrettable pandemic-inspired home renovations.
28/01/2127m 19s

What exactly is going on with GameStop?

GameStop — yes, the video game store disappearing from shopping malls across the country — is making big news these days. The company’s stock has jumped 1,700% since the beginning of the year, due almost entirely to a forum on Reddit called r/WallStreetBets. On today’s show: We got Emily Stewart, business and politics reporter at Vox, to explain what is going on. Plus, a new study on the deadliest jobs during the pandemic and how government policies can lead to economic discrimination.
27/01/2127m 8s

Letting the economy run hot

Running the economy hot means everyone who wants a job has a job. And the people who benefit most are those at the low end of wage distribution. The concern, though, is that a hot economy can cause a whole lot of inflation. But that’s just not happening. On today’s show: What we’ve learned in the past decade about letting an economy run hot. Plus, 71% of parents who work full time have kids who are attending school in person and a look at the shoe economy almost a year into the pandemic.
26/01/2127m 38s

The presidential promise to “buy American”

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Monday promising that federal dollars will be used to purchase American-made products. The Trump administration basically promised the same, and there have been laws requiring such action for decades. But the Biden administration argues this time will be different. On today’s show: Why is it so hard to keep that promise? Plus, the difference that extra $300 in federal unemployment benefits made and why some brands are sitting out Super Bowl ads this year.
25/01/2128m 40s

The challenges of a short-staffed bureaucracy

If you closely read the directives coming out of the Biden administration, you’ll see that they’re mostly instructions for various federal agencies to do things — a bureaucratic to-do list, if you will. The problem is there are roughly 4,000 political appointments to be made in the federal government at the start of a new administration, 1,300 of which require Senate confirmation. On today’s show: the strange way we hand over control of the government. Plus, Biden moves to raise  federal workers’ minimum wage to $15 and the complications of getting vaccines into Americans’ arms.
22/01/2126m 46s

“It only took a couple centuries, the first female secretary of the treasury”

When then-President-elect Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Janet Yellen for secretary of the treasury, he joked that “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda should write a musical about her. Naturally, we asked someone to write it. On today’s show: Indie rapper Dessa and her collaborators share “Who’s Yellen Now?” — a “Hamilton”-esque track about the economic icon. Plus, how a new president can undo his predecessor’s policies and how China is using COVID-19 vaccines as diplomacy.  
21/01/2127m 34s

President Biden’s first order of business

As we recorded this episode, the inauguration festivities were winding down at the Capitol and President Joe Biden was getting down to business. Today we’ll talk about some of his first steps: a sweeping new immigration bill, his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan, extended unemployment benefits and an executive order on workplace discrimination. Later, we’ll head across the pond to get a whiff of history.
20/01/2129m 29s

3 states, 3 economies. What can they tell us?

We take a look at the unemployment pictures in Hawaii, Nebraska and South Florida. We also discuss what kind of economic challenges await the incoming Biden administration. Treasury nominee Janet Yellen sheds light on how the U.S. should approach its debt, and a French oil giant pivots to solar.
19/01/2125m 2s

Will rent relief come soon enough?

More than 14 million people are behind on rent in the United States, and the only thing keeping them in their homes is the CDC’s eviction moratorium — which is set to expire at the end of the month. $25 billion in emergency rental assistance is on the way from the latest Congressional relief package, and President-elect Joe Biden has proposed an additional $25 billion in assistance on top of that. But with the eviction moratorium set to expire, will the money come soon enough? Plus, the business of backyard ice rinks and challenges in COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
18/01/2127m 3s

Biden’s $1.9 trillion plan for the economy

We’re pretty much at the tipping point between the Trump and Biden economies. President-elect Joe Biden, set to officially take office Wednesday of next week, released his “American Rescue Plan” Thursday night. The $1.9 trillion proposal calls for ramped-up COVID-19 vaccine distribution and aid for Americans still struggling during the pandemic-caused recession. On today’s show: how the plan could impact the economic recovery. Plus, big banks are doing well and a conversation with outgoing FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
15/01/2126m 24s

Economic recovery: one step forward, several steps back

In positive economic news, President-elect Joe Biden announced his “American Rescue Plan” Thursday — a $1.9 trillion proposal to stabilize the economy and get COVID-19 under control. But pandemic unemployment continues to be a tale of two economies. The unemployment rate among the highest-paid workers is around 5%, while the rate among low-wage employees is as high as 20%. Sustained unemployment could lead to increased homelessness, with one study predicting homelessness could be twice as high as it was after the Great Recession. On today’s show: Economic recovery depends on your wage bracket. Plus, the economic significance of last week’s insurrection and a look at China one year after the first COVID-19 lockdown.
14/01/2126m 54s

How those $600 checks are being spent

It’s been a few weeks since the second round of COVID-19 relief started going out. Americans are spending those $600 checks on everything from tattoos and nice dinners to paying rent and electricity bills. The checks were meant to stimulate the economy, but also to provide economic relief to those seriously hurting during the pandemic. On today’s show: We check in with how a few people are using the money. Plus, how baby bonds could help close the racial wealth gap and why Netflix plans to release a new movie every week this year.
13/01/2127m 24s

Businesses big and small aren’t feeling great about the state of things

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the biggest American business lobbying group and a typically reliable supporter of conservative and Republican politicians, said Tuesday that President Donald Trump “undermined our democratic institutions and ideals” last week. A chamber leader also said some members of Congress “will have forfeited the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Period. Full stop.” Small business owners aren’t feeling great about things either, with optimism at a seven-month low. On today’s show: the business world outlook. Plus, a look at systemic racism in farming and the pandemic’s continued impact on working mothers.
12/01/2126m 55s

Corporate America is standing up to Trump

Following last week’s armed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, corporations are starting to pull financial support from President Donald Trump and certain Republicans. JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs are suspending political donations in general for at least six months. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Marriott are suspending donations specifically to Republicans who objected to the certification of the presidential election. And PGA of America pulled a championship tournament from a Trump golf course. On today’s show: the continuing economic fallout of a failed insurrection. Plus, how economic recovery might look now that COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out and the success of TV reboots.
11/01/2127m 6s

Jobs, jobs, jobs

The U.S. economy lost jobs for the first time since April, shedding 140,000 positions, the December jobs report showed. And long-term unemployment ticked up to 37% — quadruple what it was before the pandemic. It’s unclear if businesses will start hiring again anytime soon, as the COVID-19 rages across the United States. On today’s show: The worsening pandemic will continue to slow jobs recovery. Plus, how the vaccine rollout is going in rural America, and restaurant workers in Washington, D.C., can get vaccinated starting Feb. 1.
08/01/2126m 36s

A series of disconnects

The stock market is not the economy; this we know. But the market seems completely disconnected from events happening in the United States. After Wednesday’s pro-Trump insurrection, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high. And again Thursday, after 787,000 Americans filed first-time unemployment claims, markets closed at record highs. On today’s show: A look at the disconnects between the markets, the economy and our democracy. Plus, social media platforms are putting greater restrictions on the president, and parents are still navigating working from home with their kids.
07/01/2127m 53s

The ramifications of Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol

Extreme supporters of President Donald Trump gathered for protests at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, which turned violent as hoards of people broke into the U.S. Capitol Building. Lawmakers, in session to certify the 2020 presidential election, were forced into hiding and tear gas was deployed in the Capitol Rotunda. On today’s show: What this unprecedented day means for the U.S. economy going forward. Plus, more PPP loans are on the way and colleges are slow to reopen.
06/01/2127m 26s

Small businesses are figuring out the year ahead

As we enter the second calendar year of COVID-19 life, small businesses are taking stock and adjusting their pandemic plans. The economic crisis brought on by the pandemic has shuttered more than 160,000 small businesses. And a December survey found that 1 in 4 small business owners might have to close permanently in the next six months if economic conditions don’t improve. On today’s show: How the pandemic has altered small business owners’ plans — and lives. Plus, health care is a hard system to change, Biden’s plans for COVID testing and who gets to decide what feminism looks like?
05/01/2126m 53s

Pandemic wage gains were just a fluke

Wages have been rising during the COVID-19 pandemic, but economists say it’s just a fluke. While most higher-paid professionals have been able to work from home, millions of lower-paid service workers lost their jobs and income. And the gap between the haves and have-nots will widen even further as the economy recovers. On today’s show: Economists predict wages are likely to stagnate for returning service workers. Plus, Google’s employees unionize, and we check in on small business owners after the holiday retail bump.
04/01/2127m 27s

What we might see in the new year

Relief is finally on the way in the form of $600 checks to Americans who qualify. But that might be too little, too late for those hurting the most during this economic crisis. On today’s show: A look at how more relief might play out with a new Congress and a new administration in the White House. Plus, Texas food banks say they could be short millions of pounds of food and Congress lets paid sick, family and medical leave mandate expire. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
01/01/2126m 6s

Looking to 2021

2020 is finally coming to a close. This year has been historic: the COVID-19 pandemic, a summer of long overdue racial reckoning, the 2020 election and the ongoing economic crisis. We’ll begin the new year with millions of Americans out of work. The highly anticipated Jan. 5 runoffs in Georgia will decide control of the Senate. And, like always, the fate of the U.S. economy rests in consumers’ hands — and wallets. On today’s show: We look back at the year that was, and how the problems of 2020 will continue in 2021. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
31/12/2026m 51s

Relief checks are starting to arrive

The Treasury Department is starting to distribute the $600 relief checks Congress agreed to in the latest COVID-19 relief package, and the IRS said it began making direct deposits into bank accounts Tuesday. For those who don’t have an account on file with the agency, paper checks or prepaid debit cards will be sent out. On today’s show: Those prepaid cards have advantages and drawbacks. Plus, Congress finally bans surprise medical bills and how 2020 became the year of the hobby. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
30/12/2026m 49s

How those $600 checks are likely to be spent

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked an effort Tuesday by Democrats to raise the next round of relief checks to $2,000. So Americans will be getting $600 checks this time around. In the spring, people spent only about a third of the relief money. But nine months into the pandemic, millions of Americans are still out of work and unemployment benefits are dwindling; it might not be so easy to hold on to the money now. On today’s show: Americans are likely to spend their stimulus on necessities right away. Plus, public transit is getting $14 billion in aid and the beef industry is still feeling the effects of COVID-19. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong. 
30/12/2026m 30s

Trump finally signs the relief bill, but the delay is causing confusion

President Donald Trump finally signed the COVID-19 relief bill Sunday, nearly a week after Congress passed the package. But two key federal unemployment programs lapsed during the delay, and that’s leading to some confusion around unemployment benefits. Now it’s unclear if people will end up receiving crucial unemployment benefit payments this week. Also, a look back at this year’s “she-cession,” what the relief package has to do with climate change and holiday sales were better than expected. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
28/12/2027m 40s

Working from home? Take a break … if you can

With the COVID-19 relief bill still in limbo, we talk about how people working from home are attempting to take care of their mental health. It hasn’t been easy. Also, the travel industry is hurting, even during the holidays. Then we look at how a Black-owned puzzle company has managed to piece together success as a small business during the pandemic.
25/12/2025m 8s

Still in limbo

While Congress did finally pass a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package this week, President Donald Trump is refusing to sign it. Millions of Americans hold their breath as the programs keeping them afloat are about to expire; meanwhile, the president has gone to Florida. On today’s show: States are now fighting over which should receive workers’ income taxes as state and local budgets crumble due to the coronavirus. Plus, churches are filling gaps in the social safety net even more during the pandemic, and the shipping crunch is hurting small businesses.
24/12/2027m 0s

Where does the economy go from here?

Congress finally got it together and passed a COVID-19 relief package this week. But let’s do some numbers. Consumer spending fell nearly half a percent last month — the first decrease since April. Personal income also fell by a little over 1% — the third decline in four months. And with more Paycheck Protection Program money on the way, small business owners haven’t forgotten that the first rollout wasn’t exactly smooth. On today’s show: Even with more COVID relief, the economy, businesses and people are still gonna be hurting. So what happens next? Plus, confusion in vaccine distribution to nursing home residents, and why it can be a challenge for LGBTQ veterans to get their benefits. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
23/12/2027m 9s

Is Congress just kicking the can down the road?

The $900 billion coronavirus relief package that Congress passed Monday is one of the largest stimulus bills in U.S. history. It includes special access to food stamps extended for six months, $300 per week in extra federal unemployment benefits  through March, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funded into April. Still, that’s just a “drop in the bucket” for one restaurateur whose business has struggled through the pandemic. On today’s show: Will this relief package be enough? Plus, a case study of how to get caught doing economic espionage and the insurance industry gets into the climate change game. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
22/12/2027m 19s

Finally, some relief (probably)

Congress at last reached an agreement on a second round of COVID-19 aid. The $900 billion package, if passed, will bring immediate relief to millions of Americans still struggling through the pandemic-induced financial crisis, including those who are months behind on rent. The deal also includes money for cultural institutions, like indie movie theaters. On today’s show: the impact of the coming relief money. Plus, when teachers should get the coronavirus vaccine and why one lender wants young people to stay on her reservation. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
21/12/2027m 11s

The pandemic’s toll on doctors

At a time when health care workers are more crucial than ever as the pandemic rages in the United States, doctors are leaving the field. A quarter of doctors are considering retiring early, according to a new survey, and 8% of U.S. doctors have already closed their practices because of COVID-19. On today’s show: Why doctors are leaving medicine during the pandemic. Plus, a much-anticipated video game release goes down in flames, and a conversation with the Dallas Fed president. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
18/12/2027m 52s

Even with another relief package, economic recovery is gonna take awhile

Congress is reportedly nearing a deal on the second round of COVID-19 relief, eight months after the first and only pandemic-aid package. But even with nearly a trillion dollars in aid, we’re looking at a long, slow economic recovery ahead. On today’s show: If we make the same mistakes we did after the Great Recession, we’re in for businesses shuttering, high and long-term unemployment, and low-income Americans in dire straits. Plus, people won’t be donning sequined dresses this holiday season, and what Dippin’ Dots has to do with the COVID-19 vaccine. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong. 
17/12/2027m 20s

A look at the state of retail, as holiday shopping wraps up

Retail sales fell a bit more than 1% in November, which matters because that most likely includes the first wave of holiday shopping. And now that we’ve passed a lot of retailers’ holiday shipping deadlines, sales are likely to slow further. On today’s show: how the pandemic is affecting retailers and consumers alike. Plus, what the SolarWinds hack could mean for the U.S. economy and why fewer Americans are moving this year. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong. 
16/12/2027m 12s

How we’re getting through the pandemic

Nine months into the pandemic, we’re looking at what people — and the economy — are doing to get through it. On today’s show: a conversation with the CEO of GoFundMe about how people have relied on the platform through the COVID-19 economic downturn. Plus, how hybrid home and in-office work models will affect commercial real estate. And a look at how poorer countries could get the COVID-19 vaccine more quickly. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
15/12/2027m 26s

Scott Kirby on the “end of the beginning”

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said his industry was one of the first to be impacted by COVID-19 — “at the tip of the spear,” as he put it. And United revenue is going to be down 70% in the fourth quarter. But, as bad as it has been, he said we’re beginning to reach “the end of the beginning,” quoting Winston Churchill. On today’s show: a conversation with Kirby about how United has handled the pandemic. Plus, economies that controlled the virus are doing better and a look at the U.S.-China relationship President-elect Joe Biden will inherit. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong. 
14/12/2028m 9s

“Get the money out now”

That was journalist Catherine Rampell’s guess at what Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is thinking about the economy right now. Congress has yet to come to an agreement on more COVID-19 relief for Americans who need it more than ever, as several pandemic aid programs are set to expire this month. The next three weeks are going to be rough. Plus, who qualifies as an essential worker when it comes to vaccine distribution and a look at how liability protections are holding up relief talks. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong. 
11/12/2027m 4s

The racial wealth gap can be boiled down to a simple ratio: 224-to-1

An average single white man under 35 is 224 times as wealthy as the average single Black woman the same age, according to a new report. The report also found Black households held 4% of household wealth going into the pandemic, even though they account for a little over 13% of the U.S. population. On today’s show: That racial wealth gap is going to make pandemic recovery for Black Americans even harder. Plus, the case for extending unemployment benefits, and how one cheesemonger is trying to stay afloat during COVID-19. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong. Correction (Dec. 11, 2020): A previous version of the headline incorrectly stated the ratio. The correct ratio is 224-to-1.
10/12/2027m 35s

The FTC wants Facebook and Instagram to break up

Relationship status: it’s complicated. The U.S. government, along with 48 states and districts, sued Facebook today, alleging the social media giant bought or killed off its competition, resulting in an illegal monopoly. Now the Federal Trade Commission is demanding the company sells Instagram and WhatsApp. On today’s show: “Marketplace Tech” host Molly Wood explains what that means for Facebook and other tech giants. Plus, millions of Americans are on the brink of eviction and a look at varying COVID-19 cancellation policies. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong. 
09/12/2027m 26s

Bipartisanship is flourishing where there’s money to be made

COVID-19 relief talks continue to hit snag after snag on Capitol Hill as each party fights for its priorities. But bipartisanship is flourishing elsewhere: lobbying. Around $3 billion a year is spent on lobbying, and the biggest, most lucrative lobbying firms in Washington are bipartisan. On today’s show: a look at the bipartisan business of political lobbying. Plus, Nielsen catches up with the streaming era and why Ikea is saying farewell to its catalog. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
08/12/2027m 20s

What a COVID baby bust means for the economy

Millions of families lost income due to the pandemic this year, and that’s leading to tough financial decisions. A big one? Whether or not to grow their families. COVID-19 could lead to 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births next year. And that could mean big economic consequences for the workforce in the future. Plus, why retailers are opting for smaller sales this year and what fur sales have to do with a U.S.-U.K. trade deal. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
07/12/2027m 59s

The recovery is slowing down so much — soon it could be going backwards

In more normal times, adding 245,000 jobs in November would be great. But the American economy is digging out of a nearly 10 million job hole, hundreds of thousands of people are leaving the workforce, and soon we could be back to losing jobs again. On today’s show, we’ll do the numbers. Plus: checking in on Fannie and Freddie, vaccine PSAs and PPP loan forgiveness.
04/12/2027m 0s

Along with everything else, this pandemic is an infrastructure crisis

We’ve been saying it for months: This pandemic is peeling back the layers of what’s broken in this economy and this country. Today, we’ll examine a medical system at its breaking point, an unpredictable retail landscape and the possibility of a double-dip recession. Plus: With new vaccines comes the risk of hackers. Your support makes our reporting possible – become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
04/12/2027m 0s

Where should more COVID-19 relief money go?

A bipartisan group of senators proposed a $908 billion COVID-19 relief package Tuesday. The proposal comes after months of stalled negotiations on what the next package should be used for exactly. So on today’s show, we asked a few economists how the next round of relief money should be spent. Plus, an explanation of a physics theory that could help us understand post-pandemic recovery, and the role workplaces could play in coronavirus vaccine distribution. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
02/12/2027m 38s

A clear disconnect between the Treasury and the Fed

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testified before the Senate Banking Committee about the CARES Act — and it pretty much sounded like they were talking about two different economies. Powell focused on the big picture, while Mnuchin stuck to the letter of the law. And that could make passing more COVID-19 aid even harder. Plus: Most states have been underpaying pandemic unemployment benefits, and Capitol Hill is still overwhelmingly white. Your support makes our reporting possible — become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
01/12/2028m 2s

Biden’s economic think tank

President-elect Joe Biden’s team Monday released the names of three people who will be on his Council of Economic Advisers. Cecilia Rouse, a dean at Princeton, has been tapped to lead the council. If confirmed by the Senate, she’ll be the first Black woman to ever chair the CEA. On today’s show: a look at how Biden’s economic team is coming together. Plus, a Wall Street data merger, a look at COVID-19 in food deserts and what’s up with 5G.
30/11/2027m 8s

The holiday shipping crunch is coming

Hordes of crazed Black Friday shoppers storming big-box stores for once-a-year deals? Not this year. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a shift to online holiday shopping as people try to stay home and stay safe. And that surge in e-commerce means a delivery crunch could be coming. Plus, why another NBA season is starting so soon.
27/11/2026m 54s

Holidaying from home

Most of us have spent the majority of this year from home. Working from home. Learning from home. And now, holidaying from home. On today’s show: We check in with some workers who will be celebrating the holidays from their work-from-home offices. Plus, what it’s like to be a senior on fixed income during the coronavirus pandemic.
26/11/2026m 29s

Hurtling toward a fiscal cliff

Between Christmas Day and the end of the year, a whole slew of government relief programs put into place to help Americans through the pandemic are expiring and there’s no extension in sight. Unemployment assistance, food programs, eviction bans and paused student loan payments will all end before the new year. On today’s show: millions of Americans are about to go over a fiscal cliff. Plus, how the pandemic affected our helium supply and a look at how toy drives are navigating COVID-19.  
25/11/2027m 11s

COVID restrictions are back, but there’s no aid in sight

The coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen across the U.S., and states are starting to impose restrictions similar to those we had in the spring. One key difference this time: There’s no federal relief package. Without another round of something like the Paycheck Protection Program, the outlook for small businesses is bleak. On today’s show: We check in with restaurants preparing for lockdowns.  Plus, a look at the future of the Housing Department and why dating apps are popular during the pandemic.
24/11/2027m 32s

The economic EGOT?

TFC: The Treasury, the Fed and the Council of Economic Advisers. Janet Yellen is the first to capture this economic version of the EGOT as President-elect Joe Biden reportedly tapped the former Federal Reserve chair to lead the Treasury Department. Yellen, who was the first woman to lead the Fed, would be the first woman to serve as Treasury secretary. On today’s show: We take a look at what Yellen’s appointment means for the shaky U.S. economy. Plus, around 1 in 5 U.S. hospitals are facing a critical staffing shortage, and what an economy centered around Black women would look like.
23/11/2027m 25s

Why the Treasury wants its money back

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the Federal Reserve Thursday that he wants his money back. Well, not his money, but rather $455 billion from the CARES Act. The money supported about a half a dozen Fed programs that stabilized credit markets. On today’s show: a look at what the Fed was using that money for, and what it could still do as the pandemic rages on. Later: California has new workplace safety rules, and home births are on the rise during COVID-19.
20/11/2027m 17s

It’s about to get even harder for renters

A report out from Harvard shows the economic fallout from the pandemic is hitting the lowest-income renters especially hard. And two policies that have helped keep renters in their homes — an eviction moratorium and extended unemployment benefits — are set to expire next month. On today’s show: the coming rental crisis. Plus, a conversation with the president of the New York Fed, and why Starbucks and Home Depot are raising employees’ wages.
20/11/2027m 43s

Can unemployment insurance be fixed?

The deluge of unemployment claims overwhelmed state unemployment systems across the United States at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Laid-off workers waited hours on hold, online application portals crashed and applications sat in the system for weeks or months in limbo. Antiquated equipment and systems have made it a challenge to get aid to the people who need it. On today’s show: Can we fix the unemployment system in the U.S.? Plus, Boeing’s 737 Max planes have been approved for takeoff, and some hackers are trying to rebrand themselves as ethical.
18/11/2027m 10s

The U.S. is excluded from a giant new trade deal

China and 14 other countries — including economic powerhouses Japan and Korea — signed a trade deal over the weekend that covers a third of the global economy. One country not included? The United States. The U.S. has tried to deal with China’s influence over trade before. The Obama administration negotiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership with Pacific Rim countries, but President Trump torched that agreement at the beginning of his term. On today’s show: The U.S. is on the outside looking in. Later, the fate of the U.S. economy once again hangs on consumers and what royals might be saying with their fashion.
17/11/2027m 31s

Another round of lockdowns

The coronavirus continues to surge across the U.S., with more than a 100,000 new cases each day over the past week. Washington, Oregon, New Mexico and the city of Chicago have all issued stay-at-home orders, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday the state is “pulling an emergency brake” on its reopening plans. On today’s show: We check in with the small businesses preparing for another round of lockdowns. Later, why cardboard boxes are in high demand and the odds of a free trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom.
16/11/2027m 25s

Who’s in charge of the U.S. economy right now?

No, seriously, who is in charge of the economy right now? President Donald Trump? President-elect Joe Biden? Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell? With millions of Americans still unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic, another relief package couldn’t come soon enough. Powell said Thursday that “we’re recovering, but to a different economy.” We kick off today’s show with a look at who’s taking charge of economic recovery. Later, why kayaks are sold out everywhere and a look at the lessons campaigns learned in 2020 about how to spend their money.
14/11/2027m 31s

A “taste of normalcy” for some Baltimore students

On a normal school day, there would be 850 students learning inside John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore. But these are not normal times. A total of 65 students are at the school these days; it’s one of 15 hubs the district opened to serve students who are struggling with remote learning. And priority is given to children who are homeless or have parents who can’t work from home. On today’s show: a moment of normalcy for about 1,000 of Baltimore’s most vulnerable students. Plus, what a “skinny” COVID-19 relief package means and why steady consumer prices might not be a good thing.
12/11/2027m 17s

Eight months in, hospitals are struggling with staffing

“It just feels relentless; it feels never-ending. It’s frustrating,” one nurse at a hospital in St. Louis said of coronavirus. Eight months after the pandemic began, COVID-19 is surging again in the U.S., with more than 100,000 new cases every day for more than a week. The entire country is essentially one big hot spot. And while hospitals have available beds, they don’t have enough people to staff them. On today’s show: Hospitals are struggling to meet demand during the current coronavirus wave. Later, we check in on two small businesses that received Paycheck Protection Program loans and look at the skyrocketing value of baseball cards.
11/11/2027m 26s

Still struggling to find work

Unemployment fell in October, and people have been coming back to the workforce after losing jobs earlier in the pandemic. But finding a job isn’t getting any easier: There are nearly twice as many job seekers as there are job openings. On today’s show: a look at the struggle to find work during COVID-19. Later, an explanation of “market distortion,” and an Iowa farmer tells us how a Biden presidency could affect her.
10/11/2028m 16s

The Biden team is ready to go

Democrats spent the weekend dancing in the streets after news outlets called the presidential race for former Vice President Joe Biden. And while President Donald Trump has yet to concede, the Biden team hit the ground running, launching a transition website and announcing a COVID-19 task force. On today’s show: What are President-elect Biden’s plans for the coronavirus and the economy? Later, we hear about the importance of transparency and diversity in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trials and how the center of oil and gas production in the U.S. is thinking about a Biden presidency.
09/11/2027m 38s

Think calming thoughts

It’s been a long week. The stress of the election coupled with the pandemic has a lot of us looking for ways to calm down anywhere, including our phones. Calm, a meditation app, topped Apple’s health and fitness category on Election Day — and the other mindful apps weren’t far behind. On today’s show: a look at the business of calm. Also: why jobs recovery is losing momentum, mortgage forbearance is still high and the tie between health insurance and employment.
06/11/2027m 42s

“It’s COVID-19, stupid”

That’s how one economist put it to us, in a twist on Bill Clinton’s “it’s the economy, stupid.” Basically, as long as the coronavirus is spreading unchecked, we’ll see a familiar economic stop and start. On today’s show, we get an update on the COVID economy: fluctuating consumer spending, continued unemployment claims and the Fed’s outlook. Later, we hear about how paid sick leave can slow the spread of COVID and gender bias in city design.
05/11/2028m 22s

The knowns and unknowns after Election Day

Last night went pretty much how we expected: The outcome of the presidential election is still uncertain and could be for a few days. On today’s show, we’ll dig into the results we do know and their impact on coronavirus relief and the economic outlook. Later, we hear about a few races that were decisive, including the fight for $15 minimum wage in Florida and a gig worker proposition in California.
04/11/2027m 52s

Anything but election news

Let’s be real — It’s looking unlikely that we’ll know the outcome of this presidential election tonight. You should make your own decisions about the news you want to consume this afternoon, but we’re here with a little counter-programming: a check-in on airlines and movie theaters, conversations with artists and artisans here and abroad, and … yes, a little bit of economic context for this election. We couldn’t help it.
03/11/2027m 29s

Why are so many people wary of contact tracing?

In a recent poll, 32% of Americans said it would be at least somewhat difficult to quarantine if asked to do so by contact tracers. Some also said they’re uncomfortable talking to health care worker or giving out personal information for contract tracing. On today’s show, we’ll dig into that data. Plus: how the pandemic is changing the restaurant industry and leaving essential workers stuck at sea, and why thousands of people are being told to pay back their unemployment benefits.
02/11/2027m 30s

Women leaving the workforce is everyone’s problem

Women are taking on more work at home because of the pandemic, and their labor force participation rate has fallen to its lowest level in more than three decades. That’s not just a problem for families, it’s a problem for the whole economy. Today, we’ll look at the ripple effects. Plus: Netflix’s price hike, the dollar as a safe haven and the volunteer notaries helping Missouri voters mail in their ballots.
30/10/2027m 21s

The GDP report isn’t the whole story

The U.S. economy grew last quarter at a 33.1% annual rate. That sounds great, and it’s not bad! But it’s also not enough to dig out of the coronavirus recession. Today, we dive into the output gap. Plus: the eviction crisis, a bit of hope for movie theaters and how the value of a dollar changes prices.
29/10/2027m 0s

Coronavirus cases go up, the market goes down

That’s an oversimplification, but not by much. All three major indexes cratered today with cases up and no relief package in sight. No sector was spared, but we’ll zoom in on Boeing and look ahead to Thursday’s GDP numbers. Plus: the Section 230 hearing, Crocs’ pandemic comeback and who pays for a recount?
28/10/2027m 24s

The view of this election from China

We’re a week out from Election Day, and Americans aren’t the only ones watching closely. President Trump’s trade war with China put tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of products, and so today we’ll hear from businesses in China about what they’re predicting and how they’ll respond to a Biden presidency or a second Trump term. Plus: Mall defaults, holiday jobs and a history lesson on presidential pressure on the Fed.
27/10/2027m 0s

The outdoors aren’t so great right now

Cooped-up Americans across the country escaped to city and state parks during the shutdowns early in the pandemic. But with parks departments facing budget cuts and the extra use taking its toll, the country’s parks need some TLC to keep from deteriorating. Plus: Dunkin’s potential sale, shrinking homes and COVID’s ripple effect on the HVAC business.
26/10/2027m 40s

Who gets the Thanksgiving leftovers this year?

We’re about a month away from Thanksgiving. As the pandemic continues, many Americans will have a smaller table this holiday. Meanwhile, turkey farmers have birds they’ve been raising all year, and retailers still have to make sales. Today, we’ll look into the push and pull of the turkey economy. Plus: the “casualization” of the workplace, why QR codes are making a comeback and where the economy stands 11 days before Election Day.
23/10/2027m 51s

The $20 billion missing from this economy

October so far has the fewest first-time unemployment claims since March, but there are still tens of millions of Americans relying on money from the government while they’re out of work — and extra benefits keep running out. Today, we’ll look at what that’s doing to the economy. Plus: savings plans, permanent work-from-home and a conversation with Bradley & Parker CEO Wynne Nowland about coming out as transgender.
22/10/2027m 45s

What happened to Quibi?

How do you blow through $1.75 billion? We’re not sure, but today we’re going to puzzle through what happened with Quibi, the well-funded mobile-first streaming service that’s shutting down after six months. Plus: robots taking our jobs and the story of an affordable housing project in Baltimore.
21/10/2027m 52s

The antitrust case against Google

The Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against Google was a long time coming, but our tech correspondent Molly Wood says a more robust case might have taken a little longer. We’ll talk about the outlook both for the government and big tech. Plus: another lawsuit over H-1B visa rules, a new COVID-19 workplace safety law and what our poll says about the more than half of Americans afraid of losing their jobs right now.
20/10/2028m 24s

China shows what a coronavirus recovery could look like

China’s GDP rose 4.9% in the third quarter, driven in large part by a resurgence of consumer spending. Today, we’ll dig into China’s post-coronavirus economy. Plus: how the pandemic is changing pharmacies, the lithium rush and rising housing insecurity.
19/10/2027m 37s

Americans are on the move

According to our Marketplace-Edison Research Poll, more than a quarter of Americans have recently moved or are considering moving, citing flexibility to work from anywhere and the need to be closer to family. On today’s show, we’ll look at what that moving means for the economy and whether the effects will stick. Plus: the latest consumer spending numbers, the racial wealth gap and what stockpiling does to the supply chain.
16/10/2027m 37s

Could you handle a surprise $250 expense right now?

According to our latest poll with Edison Research, nearly half of Americans would find that bill at least somewhat difficult to cover. Today, we’re going to dive into more of our polling data, on household responsibilities and trust in government economic data. Plus, changes to Medicare and the problem with “optimism bias.”
15/10/2027m 0s

What you need to know about unemployment benefits right now

The unemployment benefit system is complicated, even more so after the CARES Act. But there’s an acronym you might be seeing more and more, if you’ve been watching weekly jobless numbers: PEUC, or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. But what exactly is PEUC? We’ll explain. Plus, airline COVID testing and a deep dive into two important indicators: bank reserves and the Producer Price Index.
14/10/2027m 48s

The one-child policy is history, but rules in China still restrict families

It has been nearly five years since China ended its one-child policy, but the number of births in the country last year was the lowest it’s been since 1961. On today’s show, we’ll look at why. Plus: Google without Chrome, voting rights lawsuits and Disney’s big restructuring.
13/10/2025m 0s

The holiday shopping season is already here

Each year, it feels like Black Friday sales come earlier and earlier. And this year is no different — except it’s supply chain issues driving retailers to start their holiday sales before Halloween. We’ll talk about it. Plus: airline cash burn rates, pay adjustments for our new work-from-anywhere normal and one community battling a 30% unemployment rate.
12/10/2028m 22s

So … about that relief bill

Just when you thought the coronavirus relief bill negotiations couldn’t get any sillier, here we are. We’ll kick off today’s show talking about the state of play in Washington, D.C. Plus: IBM’s pivot to the cloud, Yelp’s attempts at fighting racism and why some businesses can’t seem to hire right now.
09/10/2028m 1s

Making a COVID vaccine is one thing, distributing it is another

There are several companies racing to develop a coronavirus vaccine. But when one is ready, we’ll need a vast infrastructure of storage and labor to get it out. Today, we’ll look at the logistics of vaccination and what it will cost. Plus: workplace coronavirus testing, Zoom school substitutes and 5G. But first, how did the Biden campaign sell so many fly swatters so fast?
08/10/2027m 13s

Delaying COVID-19 relief could do lasting damage

President Trump tried to restart negotiations for a piecemeal pandemic relief bill last night, after pulling the plug hours before. Still, all signs point to no additional aid before the election. On today’s show, we’ll look at what all this politicking costs individual Americans and the economy overall. Plus: holiday shopping in a pandemic, how your grocery stores work and why bad teeth can derail your career.
07/10/2028m 6s

The economy is on its own for another month

President Trump announced today that there’d be no additional coronavirus relief talks until after Election Day — he wants the Senate to focus on getting a new justice on the Supreme Court. Today, we’ll look at the needs of state and local governments and what Fed Chair Jerome Powell has to say about fiscal policy and recovery. Plus: the trade gap, campaign contributions and a hidden civil rights issue.
06/10/2026m 55s

Let’s check in on those businesses that got PPP loans

The uncertainty surrounding the health of the president and several members of Congress has implications for this COVID economy. Especially when it comes to the next round of stimulus and the future of the Paycheck Protection Program. Today, we’ll check in with some small businesses looking for clarity on PPP loan forgiveness. Plus: movie delays, college admissions and why the luxury watch business is booming right now.
05/10/2027m 14s

The easy part of this recovery is over

The U.S. economy added a seasonally adjusted 661,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.9%. That’s not bad news, but it’s not nearly as good as what we’ve seen in previous months. That means this is the hard part of coming back from the recession. We’ll talk about what that looks like. Plus: women leaving the labor force, H-1B visas and, oh yeah, Brexit. Remember that?
02/10/2027m 30s

A new month, same ol’ bad economy

From coast to coast, unemployed workers and their families are facing an uncertain winter. On today’s show, what happens to a local economy when a major industry shuts down, and how furloughed workers are coping. Plus: the warehouse business, telehealth copays and the struggling bars in the pandemic.
01/10/2027m 51s

Recession alphabet soup

During last night’s presidential debate, you might (might!) have heard moderator Chris Wallace mention the distinction between a “V-shaped” and “K-shaped” economic recovery. On today’s show, we’ll look at what both letters symbolize. Plus: Massive layoffs at Disney parks, learning pods and taking back the streets in Los Angeles.
30/09/2027m 16s

A few weeks in, how are colleges doing?

Millions of students are in college, but not at college, this fall. They’re living and taking classes 100% remotely, but plenty more are on campus for all in-person classes or a hybrid model. Today we’ll check in on how they’re doing, and look at schools that are suspending admissions to doctoral programs for the next academic year. Plus: consumer spending, the flower business and Amtrak.
29/09/2027m 37s

“The worst crisis in the history of American aviation”

That’s how one expert described what’s happening to airlines right now. Armageddon. On today’s show, we’ll look ahead to Thursday, when carrier’s bailout terms allow them to cut tens of thousands of jobs. But first, a conversation about race and the economy with Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic. Plus: grocery store algorithms, chip wars and murder mysteries.
28/09/2027m 0s

How does a whole country go carbon neutral?

At the United Nations General Assembly this week, China, which is the world’s largest polluter, pledged to become carbon neutral by 2060. Today, we’ll look at how that might work. Plus: California’s gas ban, piped-in crowd noise in sports and the history of voter suppression in the United States.
25/09/2027m 34s

Thousands of workers are literally stuck at sea

You might feel adrift in the pandemic and its resulting recession, but not more than the 300,000 commercial ship workers who are stranded at sea right now. On today’s show, we’ll look at their situation. Plus: free speech online, socially distanced Fashion Week and Hollywood’s comeback.
24/09/2027m 0s

Florida is a battleground for voting rights too

Florida voters said formerly incarcerated people should be able to vote. But the state’s courts said no — not unless those people pay off fines and fees. Now money is pouring into the state to pay off those fees and for the legal fight. We’ll talk about it. Plus: homeschooling, the FinCEN Files, airline bailouts and PPP fraud.
23/09/2027m 34s

At least the government isn’t shutting down

There’s a lot going on in the United States right now. The death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic has reached 200,000. The election’s in 42 days. There are fires in the West, storms in the South and in D.C., and a bitter fight over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court. Amid all that, negotiations over additional aid for farmers almost pushed the government into a shutdown. We’ll talk about it. Plus: TikTok, Quibi and the looming holiday shopping season.
22/09/2028m 4s

What we know (and what we don’t) about the TikTok deal

In an unexpected move, Oracle is partnering with Walmart to take over U.S. operations for TikTok, but it’s not completely clear how much of the company’s technology they’ll control. Plus: wildfires, meat prices and COVID-19’s impacts along racial lines in Chicago.
21/09/2027m 0s

Teens are on TikTok, businesses are on WeChat

… And both are banned under a new executive order from President Donald Trump. Today, we’ll talk about the ripple effects both on consumers, businesses, U.S.-China relations and the broader internet. Plus: futures contracts for water, remote learning and how museums are faring in the pandemic.
18/09/2027m 56s

Remember the trade war?

Due to pandemic recession and political friction, investment between the U.S. and China may have fallen to its lowest level in nine years. Plus: the LGBTQ economy, gyms going out of business and why Chuck E. Cheese wants to destroy seven billion prize tickets.
17/09/2027m 0s

Wear a mask, people

Starting this week, not wearing one on the New York City subway could cost you $50. We’re talking about the behavioral economics in a pandemic today. Plus: retail sales, all the movies being pushed back and, of course, the latest from Fed Chair Jerome Powell.
16/09/2027m 27s

The COVID-19 diet

No, not that kind of diet. We’re kicking off the show today talking about food: where we go out to eat it, where we buy it. First up, we’ll examine the hiring slowdown in restaurants, then we’ll look at the rise of online-only “dark” grocery stores. Later, we’ll look at N95 mask laws to protect agriculture workers and others who are in the smoke right now. Plus: election money, dentists and college esports.
15/09/2026m 31s

The tick-tock on TikTok

In the saga over the Chinese video app TikTok, Walmart and Microsoft are out and Oracle is in. They’re close to a deal, but Chinese media is reporting that Oracle won’t be getting TikTok’s algorithm. We’ll take you through what that would mean. Plus stories about volunteer firefighters, frequent fliers and Black women entrepreneurs in Detroit.
14/09/2027m 55s

Six months in, how are you doing?

It’s been 184 days, or six months, since the coronavirus pandemic started. Today, we’re gonna check in on how things are going with our personal economies, with the stalled federal relief plan, with Brexit (remember Brexit?) and more. But oh, that all sounds like a drag, let’s get excited for the next “Verzuz.”
11/09/2027m 55s

Churn, baby, churn

More than 800,000 people filed new state unemployment claims last week, but job gains are way up, too. Today on the show: what churn in the labor market can tell us about this economy. Plus: Voting at arenas, wildfire insurance and why homeowners are better equipped for this recession than renters. The story about voting in arenas in this episode contained an error that has been corrected. For more information, visit the episode page at
10/09/2028m 20s

Change is in the air

And not just because it’s nearly fall. Today, we’re looking at how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed all kinds of businesses, like trans-Pacific trade, luxury retail, petroleum barges and takeout. Plus, we’ll follow several workers as they journey back to the office after months away to pick up their stuff.
09/09/2026m 52s

Reed Hastings on his vision for Netflix

Long before he’d start Netflix, consider selling it to Blockbuster for a song and get a 10-year head start in the streaming wars, Reed Hastings was getting coffee at a dot-com company. On today’s show, Hastings will tell us about Netflix’s path to dominance and where it’s going next. Plus: “Tenet’s” box office performance, the thousands of furloughs turning into layoffs and Angela Merkel’s economic legacy.
08/09/2027m 7s

Sweating out the summer heat at home

For workers who have been at home all summer, many of whom lack AC, the heat this summer has been a bigger problem than the past. And it’s only getting worse with a record-breaking heat wave hitting California this Labor Day weekend. Electricity use has decreased overall during the pandemic, but residential energy use is up. Basically, workers — for the most part — are paying for AC themselves. But some states have strict reimbursement laws for working-at-home costs. Plus: hotels are still struggling, only 3% of financial regulators in the U.S. have been Black and talking to kids about money requires honesty.
07/09/2027m 18s

What to make of a good (not great) jobs report

Under normal circumstances, gaining 1.4 million jobs in August would have been incredible for this economy. But this isn’t any other August, and it comes a few months after the U.S. lost a full 15% of its jobs. On today’s show, we’ll look at the progress the country is making digging out of that hole. Plus: home refinancing, Campbell’s soup and the life of a children’s entertainer in the age of Zoom birthday parties.
04/09/2026m 23s

The Adjustment Bureau

First-time unemployment claims were down last week to about 881,000, their lowest point since the pandemic started. But last week was also the first report since the Bureau of Labor Statistics changed how it does seasonal adjustment. That’s a formula the bureau uses so it doesn’t seem like the sky is falling when thousands of seasonal jobs disappear in January. But now the sky really is falling, so the adjustment needed adjusting. We’ll explain. Plus: Farmers’ economic outlook, racial inequities in health and what it’s like running a mall right now.
03/09/2027m 0s

Long-term unemployment is looming

It’s been nearly six months since the COVID-19 pandemic slammed the U.S. economy. Economic recovery remains sluggish and, as of July, only 40% of the newly unemployed were working again. Now, workers who were temporarily furloughed face permanent layoffs and long-term unemployment, defined as lasting more than 26 weeks. At that point, jobless benefits begin to run out. Plus: E-scooters are back, remittances are rebounding and manufacturing is surging.  
02/09/2027m 1s

Centering Black women to make this economy more equal

Last year, Black women earned 62 cents on the dollar compared to white men. Now, Black women are among the hardest hit in this recession, and some economists want policy to reflect that. We’re going to spend much of the show today talking about how to rebuild the economy to be more equitable and fair. But first: the economics of K-pop, weighting blankets and Walmart vs. Amazon.
01/09/2027m 0s

Cash back on streaming and wine?

Credit card balances were down $76 billion in the second quarter as Americans cut back on spending. Chase is trying a different tack to get clients during the pandemic: cash back on groceries and drug store purchases. U.S. Bank recently launched a card with perks for takeout and streaming services, and another new card, called Grand Reserve, offers points when you buy wine. Plus: Americans are producing a lot more residential trash and how New York subway cuts could hurt essential workers.
31/08/2026m 56s

Back-to-school stress on another level

Schools across the country are welcoming students back in person, online or some hybrid of the two. But how are schools handling students’ mental health during this extra-stressful time? Some are using mental health hotlines and virtual counseling while others are offering socially distanced in-person help. Plus: Personal incomes were surprisingly up in July, yet another retail bankruptcy and what trucking has to do with economic recovery.
28/08/2026m 11s

Athletes have so much more than symbolic power

They have real power, too, and they’re using it. As pros in at least five leagues decline to play in protest of police brutality, we’ll look at what kind of leverage athletes have and what could be coming. Plus, we’ll look at how several small businesses are coping right now and check in with an Iowa farmer after the devastating storm there a couple weeks ago.
27/08/2027m 0s

Life on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic

Experts say the country needs to be testing for COVID-19 at over five times its current rate. Today, we’ll talk with a testing lab manager in Washington state about how things are going. Plus: The latest durable goods numbers, the economic impact of storm evacuations and a conversation with a Black banker.
26/08/2027m 0s

Let’s take Americans’ temperature

Not literally. But, you know, that couldn’t hurt. No, today we’re talking about consumer confidence, which is now at a six-year low. We’ll talk about why consumers are feeling worse, and what it means for the economic outlook. Plus: changes in the Dow, the hottest summer ever and a conversation with a doctor who’s also school board president.
25/08/2027m 13s

The stock market is surging, benefiting very few

Three decades ago, the wealthiest 10% of Americans owned 79% of the stocks and mutual funds in the market. Now they own 87%. So when Wall Street hits record highs, like it is now, the millions of Americans laid off, furloughed or just squeaking by are largely left out. We’ll talk about it. Plus: Trump’s second-term agenda, the new unemployment benefits now available in two states, that Zoom outage and … yeah, we need a drink. We’ll take you to a new Black-owned brewery in Inglewood, California.
24/08/2027m 13s

We’re in a SNAP boom

Use of federal food assistance like SNAP has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic, and bringing the service online is likely to drive even more to use it. Today we’ll talk about how the pandemic is changing consumer habits, especially at the supermarket. Plus, the cybersecurity risks of online college and the disproportionate household duties that are pulling women out of the workforce.
21/08/2027m 50s

The coronavirus recession is bad, but just how bad is it?

Today, on the heels of big market gains and unemployment numbers that seem to be moving backward, we’re reconvening our panel of economic history experts to talk through where things stand. Plus, what political fundraising looks like in a recession, a Portland bar’s final days and the uphill battle facing reopening movie theaters.
20/08/2027m 35s

Black capitalism, then and now

After George Floyd’s death at the hands of police, business owner Aurora James called for major retailers to pledge 15% of their shelf space to products made by Black-owned companies. Today, we’ll look at how it’s going. Plus, the story of Soul City, falling rents in New York and San Francisco, and whether college students can expect a tuition refund for canceled in-person classes.
19/08/2027m 42s

Back-to-school makes it hard for parents to go back to work

All the kids being schooled at home in the coming weeks will need watching, as well as help with their online learning. And parents — predominantly mothers — will provide that supervision, making it very hard for them to keep working and earning a living. Those out-of-work parents are supposed to qualify for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, but those benefits aren’t easy to get. We’ll talk about why. Plus: the changing pizza market, Walmart’s big earnings report and what it’s like to publish your first book in a pandemic.
18/08/2026m 40s

What happened to the Postal Service?

Long before it became a flashpoint in the upcoming election, the United States Postal Service has been in deep trouble because of its deep debt. Today, we’ll dig into how pension obligations and congressional pressure have squeezed the USPS. Plus: remote learning for disabled students, rolling blackouts in California and why you really should take a vacation.
17/08/2027m 0s

This is an important week for the pay gap

Yesterday, Aug. 13, represents how far into 2020 Black women would have had to work to earn as much as white men did by the end of 2019. On today’s show, we’ll talk about why. Plus: The toll the COVID-19 pandemic is taking on mental health and some parts of the retail sector.
14/08/2026m 41s

Grand opening, grand closing

Outdoor retailer REI had plans to open a brand-new headquarters in Seattle this summer. But with employees working from home, the company is looking to sell its new building before it’s even moved in. Today, we’ll look at the lessons learned by REI and other companies looking to cut costs in the pandemic. Plus: Some states are requiring companies to pick up the cost of employees’ Wi-Fi and home office supplies. But first, the latest unemployment claim numbers and cities’ budget shortfalls.
13/08/2027m 30s

How problems at USPS could affect its workers

Recent changes at the U.S. Postal Service are causing mail to slow down. The delays could lead to more business shifting to private-sector competitors — and that could have consequences for workers. Most private competitors are less generous with pay and benefits than USPS, which has long been considered a provider of “solid middle-class jobs.” Plus: Bankruptcies are on the rise, apartment vacancies could lead to less affordable housing and a look at the perils of industrial farming and the risk to food.
12/08/2026m 47s

From vacant buildings to a community of Black women homeowners

One of the consequences of structural racism in the U.S. economy is the persistent gap between Black and white homeownership. Black Women Build is working to change that. The group is converting some of Baltimore’s 16,000 abandoned buildings into a community, working with Black women to refurbish the homes and then selling the homes to them at affordable prices. Plus: another potential rise in tariffs on the EU, an end to easier SNAP benefits and how the pandemic has changed the back-to-school shopping experience.
11/08/2027m 49s

What would a payroll tax holiday look like?

President Donald Trump ordered a payroll tax deferral on Aug. 8, but it only applies to workers who make a certain amount of money, and it’s going to be really complicated for employers. And it’s unclear how payment would work after the deferral period ends in January. Plus: What the consumer price index means for your wallet, how airports are suffering and one scientist’s experience with sexism in academia.
10/08/2027m 24s

Jobs aren’t coming back for everyone

We got a decent, not great, jobs report to kick off the weekend. The U.S. economy added 1.8 million jobs last month, and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2%. But jobs aren’t coming back equally. We’ll tell you what you need to know and break down the week with our expert panelists. Plus: the latest on President Trump’s potential ban on Chinese apps, why Kodak was tapped to help make coronavirus treatments and how one family is getting through months in lockdown.
07/08/2027m 39s

Unemployment is bad, but we don’t know just how bad

As we await the July jobs report, we’re going to spend some time today talking about how those monthly jobless numbers are compiled, and why figuring out that number can be so challenging. Plus: The recording industry’s legacy of exploiting Black artists, the decline in household debt and how robots can help with distance learning.
06/08/2027m 28s

America’s ‘caste system’

We’ve talked a lot on this program about structural economic racism, but what if the word “racism” isn’t even enough to describe the inequities in this country? Today we’re talking with author and journalist Isabel Wilkerson, whose new book argues just that. But first: What’s CFIUS and what does it have to do with TikTok? Plus the market for caregivers who have survived COVID-19, the ongoing legal battle over gig worker classification and how “creative accounting” works.
05/08/2027m 0s

The pandemic has been especially hard on Black-owned businesses

A new report from the New York Federal Reserve confirms that Black-owned businesses have been having more trouble during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a lot of it comes down to relationships with banks. We’ll look at why those relationships are so important. Plus: pay disparities in the video game industry, CEOs put pressure on Congress and a view from a college campus preparing to reopen.
04/08/2027m 0s

Unemployment benefits vary wildly in this country

That’s not exactly breaking news, but it’s important because more than 30 million people started facing their economic futures this week without an additional $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits. We’ll look at what that means depending on where you live. Plus: the inflationary and deflationary pressures on this economy, the disconnect facing students this fall and what’s going on with the White House, Microsoft and TikTok.
03/08/2027m 0s

What it means to plant your flag in a coronavirus vaccine

The Trump administration today announced a blockbuster, $2.1 billion vaccine-development deal with two drug companies, giving the United States dibs on 100 million vaccine doses. Hours later, the European Union struck a similar arrangement for even more doses. On today’s show, we’ll dig into fears around so-called “vaccine nationalism.” Plus: What’s going on with the economy (and whether Americans’ savings accounts are ready for it), how loss leaders work and the state of labor organizing in a pandemic.
31/07/2028m 8s

Let’s (sigh) do the numbers

We expected a bad GDP report today, but that doesn’t make the historic contraction easier to swallow. Ditto for the 17 million continuing unemployment claims for the week ending July 18. Today, we’ll dig into what it all means for the economy. Plus: defining “disinflation,” the economics of the NBA’s Florida “bubble” and Ron Howard talks about “Rebuilding Paradise.”
30/07/2028m 44s

What you need to know from the Big Tech hearing

Today the CEOs of Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon faced a (virtual) grilling from lawmakers over a whole slew of issues. We’ll run down everything you need to know about that, plus the latest from the Federal Reserve. Later, we’ll look at big retailers’ Black Friday plans, why a gap year isn’t an option for most college students and how some Americans are faring at the end of the month.
29/07/2028m 25s

What’s holding up more coronavirus relief?

We’re talking a lot about negotiation today, in your household and in Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there won’t be a new COVID-19 relief package without liability protections for companies. It’s just one of many fault lines in the bill, and we’ll spend some time today talking about it and others, like unemployment benefits. Plus: America’s new multigenerational homes, what comes after “Our Black Year” and the behavioral economics of wearing a mask. We’ll also bring you a preview of our new podcast for kids and their families, “Million Bazillion.” Subscribe on your favorite podcast app!
28/07/2027m 55s

A gold rush means nothing good for this economy

Stocks have been on a run since March’s lows. But gold, the investor’s last resort, is hitting a record high. So what gives? Today, we’ll look at what a surge in the precious metal means for confidence in this economy. Later, we look at China’s live-streaming marketplace and reopened box office. Plus: How do you enforce a mask mandate?
27/07/2028m 39s

Get ready for a wave of evictions

The federal moratorium on evictions expires today. As you may have heard, the federal government’s unemployment benefits expire at the end of this month, too. Today, we’ll look at what it means to have an eviction on your record, and how long those effects last. Plus, we’ve got three stories on state and local politics, playing out in grocery stores without hazard pay, city-run cooling centers and on the streets in places without stay-at-home orders. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at
24/07/2027m 0s

When the U.S. sneezes…

Well… you know the rest. Today we’ll talk about how America’s struggle to slow down COVID-19, and the resulting recession, could ripple through the global economy. Plus, we’ll tell you about the merger between two clickbait companies and the specific struggles facing minority-owned businesses and gig workers seeking coronavirus relief. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick, anonymous survey at
23/07/2027m 56s

What happens when you take billions out of the economy overnight?

We’re about to find out. Unless Congress has a new plan in place by next week, tens of millions of people are going to lose an extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits — around a 60% cut for most. A few days later, rent is due. Today, we’ll continue our look at the impact that loss will have on American households. Also set to change: requirements in many places for getting benefits at all. Plus: the coin shortage and what it takes for a company like Apple to become carbon neutral. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick, anonymous survey at 
22/07/2027m 40s

Pod save America?

With many school districts going to online learning this fall, some parents are teaming up to hire private educators to tutor their “pod.” Today, we’ll look at how the system could work — and who it could leave behind. Plus: What you need to know about the government’s new COVID-19 tracking site and the coronavirus relief bill’s potential payroll tax cuts. Later, we’ll introduce you to Marketplace’s brand-new podcast, “Million Bazillion”! By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at 
21/07/2027m 35s

What will out-of-work Americans do without that extra $600 per week?

More than 25 million Americans stand to lose $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits at the end of July if Congress and the White House can’t agree to extend them. Today, we talk with some people for whom that extra money has been a lifeline. Plus: The decline of Black-owned insurance companies, how the pandemic is affecting the auto industry and why this crisis could be the end of tipping. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at 
20/07/2029m 0s

The coronavirus vaccine economy

Nearly two dozen coronavirus vaccines are currently in clinical trials. With hundreds of groups racing to create their own, today we’ll look at how COVID-19 treatments could be priced. Plus: The upcoming “tsunami of evictions,” the viral hot spots along the border and another fierce competition in this pandemic: food delivery. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at 
17/07/2027m 0s

Two weeks until the bottom falls out

Maybe less. Today we’re talking about that extra $600 per week going to the more than 30 million people claiming unemployment benefits. That extra money, set to disappear at the end of the month, is keeping a bad economic outlook from getting worse. Plus: The latest on yesterday’s big Twitter hack, this year’s political conventions and how parenting in the pandemic hurts women’s careers. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at Correction: (July 17, 2020): This podcast misstated the number of people currently receiving the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits. The text has been corrected.
16/07/2027m 31s

America’s debt “time bomb”

JPMorgan Chase announced it’s setting aside more than $10 billion to cover losses on loans for borrowers hurt by the coronavirus. Today, we’ll look at all the debt Americans have accumulated and how some of them are coping. Plus: More streaming services, more money in electric cars and more states and cities name racism a public health crisis. Later, an interview with the CEO of shared scooter company Lime.
15/07/2026m 42s

How clothing can be a ‘tool of resistance’

Protests against racism and police brutality are continuing across the country — and what protesters wear when they take to the streets has long played a role in social movements. Today, we’ll look at the history of activism and fashion and where they intersect. Plus: the latest economic picture, new demand for Black therapists and the Huawei saga continues. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at
14/07/2027m 27s

The COVID-19 pandemic’s global ripple effects

Coronavirus cases are surging around the U.S. They’re also surging in Honduras, where one of our guests today runs a yarn factory. Today, we’ll look at the ripple effects moving through textiles, trade and the global economy. Plus: earnings season, marketing masks and the market for fracking sand. By the way, please help us out by taking a quick anonymous survey at
13/07/2026m 55s

Welcome to the “low-touch” economy

COVID-19 cases are on the rise, and communities that were on a path to reopening their economies are now facing renewed shutdowns and restrictions. Businesses have had to adapt their operations for the pandemic. That’s not easy, because it turns out (appropriate) touching is a pretty big part of the economy. Plus: the Goya boycott, college sports and back-to-school shopping when it’s not clear who’s going back to school.
10/07/2026m 45s

The struggle facing parents working from home

The pandemic has exacerbated the challenges of juggling full-time work with caring for and home-schooling children. Uncertainty around school reopenings has many families facing the prospect of doing double duty indefinitely, which could have an effect on job security. Plus: What’s ahead for airlines, pharmacies and retail as the pandemic stretches into another month.
09/07/2026m 31s

Baltimore’s deadly vacant housing problem

There are millions of vacant and abandoned houses around the country. But in some parts of Baltimore, vacant buildings have become an intractable, even deadly, problem. Today, we take a deep dive into why. Plus: How some states are starting to close the racial pay gap, what bankrupted Brooks Brothers and why Disney World is reopening as COVID-19 cases spike.
08/07/2027m 0s

Who got all that PPP money, and how’d they spend it?

The federal government has released the names of companies that received loans of $150,000 or more through the Paycheck Protection Program. There are some surprisingly big names in there. Today, we’ll look at how one business spent its  $90,000. Plus: Why test shortages persist, what fall holds for foreign students and the problem with the Beige Book.
07/07/2027m 8s

The complicated history of McDonald’s and Black America

All the way back to the civil rights era, McDonald’s has had a strange relationship with unrest and Black Americans. Today, we’ll explore what the Golden Arches has and hasn’t done for Black business owners. Plus: Corporate debt, home equity and other things that will help businesses and families survive this crisis.
06/07/2026m 32s

COVID-19 is bringing back the road trip

Cheap gas coupled with uncertainty about traveling by air or rail during COVID-19 has vacationers turning to their cars. But summer travel decisions continue to be complicated during the pandemic. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut just issued a two week quarantine on any out-of-state visitors. Plus: the story of Janet’s List and the continuously rising cost of cord-cutting.
03/07/2027m 0s

What does it take to get a break on rent?

Nearly four months into this pandemic, and we’re starting to see evidence that the rental market is softening, if only in the highest-price cities. Today, we’ll do the numbers on New York real estate and what might happen to the rest of the country. Plus: The ongoing ad boycott at Facebook, arts organizations’ turn to streaming and the June jobs report.
02/07/2026m 51s

How the BLS does the numbers

We’re getting the June jobs report Thursday, a little early because of the holiday. The unemployment rate is expected to drop for the second month in a row, but the picture might not be as accurate as we’d like. That’s partly because since the start of the pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has said it might be  undercounting furloughed workers. Today, we’ll dig into the BLS survey and what you should make of it. Plus: How enforceable are interstate travel restrictions?
01/07/2028m 19s

What happens when the coronavirus relief runs out?

The $600 a week in extra benefits provided to every jobless worker who’s on unemployment insurance right now — about 29 million Americans — is set to expire by July 31. And if Congress doesn’t do something before then, things could get ugly in this economy. Plus: Why black-owned banks are undercapitalized and a conversation with Visa CEO Al Kelly.
30/06/2027m 0s

As COVID cases spike, let’s look at the PPE supply chain

Coronavirus cases are surging in Arizona, Florida, Texas and California, and hospitals are becoming overwhelmed with patients. Other parts of the country have been there — and we all saw what happened. Today, we spend some time checking in on N95 masks, gowns and other protective gear. Plus: The latest Paycheck Protection Program loan deadline and what it’s like reopening a museum right now.
29/06/2028m 19s

Black Americans are far more likely to be denied a mortgage

As we continue exploring structural economic racism, today we’re looking at a huge source of the wealth gap between Black and white Americans: homeownership. Plus: Facebook’s about-face on ads and Texas’ influx of Californians.
26/06/2027m 8s

Why isn’t racism in Economics 101?

Systemic economic racism is fundamental to understanding this moment, so why not teach it that way? Today, we talk with Gary Hoover, chair of the economics department at the University of Oklahoma, about why he folds race into his intro courses. Plus: Virginia is set to become the first state mandating COVID-19 workplace safety measures, and bars are adapting to takeout cocktails.
25/06/2025m 53s

As COVID-19 cases surge, reopenings could become reclosings

Arizona, Florida, California, Texas and other states are seeing sharp increases in coronavirus cases as they reopen restaurants and other businesses. So what happens when those places have to shut their doors all over again? Today we look at it. Plus: The IMF’s grim forecast, unemployment data as sound and “The Great Indoors.”
24/06/2026m 32s

Visa restrictions could lead to more offshoring

We’ve said it before: Immigration is a labor force story. So today we’re going to look at the ways the White House’s new restrictions on H-1B visas could ripple through this economy: offshoring jobs, worker shortages and so on. Plus, a look at the history of discriminatory and family-based immigration policies in the 20th century.
23/06/2025m 39s

Forget the rally — TikTok and K-pop fans will cost Trump money

Those big online groups are giving themselves some credit for spamming ticket reservations and driving down attendance at President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this weekend. It’s not clear how much that (and COVID-19 fears) depressed turnout, but they definitely did give the Trump campaign a whole lot of bad data. Today we look at how expensive that data is to clean up. Plus: drive-ins across the pond, racist film classics and “Diversity, Inc.”
22/06/2025m 43s

What happens when COVID-19 aid runs out?

The fiscal relief for the coronavirus pandemic is set to run out at the end of July, but many Americans are still out of work. Today, we’ll look at what could happen to this economy if Congress allows that aid to expire. Plus: How companies decide which holidays, like Juneteenth, to take off and Tulsa’s eviction problem.
19/06/2026m 21s

Immigration is a labor force story

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the White House’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants today. We’re going to look at the role those Dreamers play in this economy. Plus: Checking in on the financial health of historically black colleges and universities, and we talk with Howard University professor William Spriggs about his open letter to economists about systemic racism in their field.
18/06/2027m 22s

Hollywood is back to work, but TV and movies won’t look the same

The CBS soap “The Bold and the Beautiful” was one of the first scripted series to turn cameras back on after officials allowed filming to resume in Los Angeles with restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. But movies and TV produced during a pandemic will look a little different. Plus: Racism in tech, unemployment in the U.K. and the difference between the debt and the deficit.
17/06/2026m 48s

The view from a COVID hot spot

Just down the road from the Smithfield pork-processing plant where hundreds of employees are off the job after a coronavirus outbreak is Grand Prairie Foods. They make eggs and breakfast sandwiches for hotel chains and convenience stores. Today, we’ll talk with the CEO about how they’re managing, along with a Black business owner in Utah who’s seeing a boom. Plus: Chinese unemployment and why the Fed started buying corporate bonds.
16/06/2027m 0s

Discrimination has steep economic costs

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic wrote recently that “systemic racism is a yoke that drags on the American economy.” We’ll spend much of today’s show talking with Bostic about that essay and what’s next for the economy in a turbulent year. Plus, today’s big Supreme Court ruling on LGBTQ workplace discrimination, online internships and the transparency (or lack thereof) around who gets half a trillion in Paycheck Protection Program money.
15/06/2027m 22s

Why diversity and inclusion programs often fall short

The national outcry over systemic racism has pushed employers big and small to examine their own failings in diversity and inclusion. Today, we’ll look at why so many companies’ efforts haven’t worked — some have even made things worse — and whether this time could be any different. Plus: Some people are getting lax on masks even as COVID-19 cases rise, and we’re short on contact tracers.
12/06/2026m 53s

Small businesses struggle with protests and reopening

It’s not just big corporations feeling the pressure to respond to the protests against police violence around the country — small businesses are trying to figure out what to do, too. And, oh yeah, there’s still a pandemic going on. Today we’ll follow two different businesses to see how they’re managing. Plus: cops on TV, Zoom in China and annualized GDP, explained.
11/06/2027m 0s

Can researchers work on anything besides COVID-19?

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, all other research froze. Some scientists packed it in, others pivoted to searching for a vaccine. Now, along with the rest of the economy, labs across the country are looking to reopen. Today, we’ll look at what that means. Plus: Hollywood inequality past and present, and a recap of Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s press conference.
10/06/2026m 55s

The legacy of slavery in this economy

In order to understand the structural economic racism that lead to this moment, you need to know your history. So today we head to Thomas Jefferson’s plantation to look at business strategies of slaveholders, and the legacy of those strategies today. Plus: How the National Bureau of Economic Research makes a call on what’s a recession, and the racial wage gaps at Bon Appetit and beyond.
09/06/2027m 0s

What it means to defund police

Almost two weeks after George Floyd was killed in police custody, a veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council has come out in favor of dismantling the city’s police department. Today, we look at how reallocating cities’ large police budgets could work. Plus: Why the jobs report needed a correction, how aggregated economic data contributes to racial inequality and the problem of child care during a pandemic.
08/06/2028m 3s

Where’d those 2.5 million jobs come from?

If there’s one lesson to take from today’s show, it’s that economists are just as confused as you are. We’ll talk with experts and analysts about what to make of the May jobs report, how much of it has to do with PPP loans and what it says about the changing state of the economy. Plus: The New York Times’ Wesley Morris calls in to talk about why the protests against the police killing of George Floyd feel different.
05/06/2026m 30s

Big companies say they’re anti-racist, but what are they actually doing?

After more than a week of protests following the death of George Floyd in police custody, businesses small, large and super-massive are declaring solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. But words are one thing, action is another. Today, we’ll take you beyond the PR of it all. Plus: America’s overnight food deserts, who’s paying overdraft fees and COVID-driven state budget cuts.
04/06/2027m 0s

How communities rebuild after protests

From coast to coast, communities are coming together to clean up after protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody. But some neighborhoods are better equipped to recover than others. Today, we take you inside one rebuilding effort in the Bronx. Plus, why black women entrepreneurs are missing out on startup funding and a conversation with the director of “Do Not Resist.”
03/06/2027m 0s

Structural economic racism

George Floyd’s death in police custody sparked nationwide protests, but the kindling has been building for decades. Today we’re going to take some time to talk about the deep racial economic divide in this country. Plus: we do the numbers on states of emergency, what brands are and aren’t saying around Black Lives Matter and the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street right now.
02/06/2026m 47s

How bail activism works

As protesters across the U.S. call for justice in the death of George Floyd, people are showing support by donating to bail funds, known as bail activism. The Minnesota Freedom Fund has received $20 million in donations and is focusing on the hundreds of activists being arrested nationwide. The argument is that the bail system disproportionately affects low-income people and people of color. Bail activism is just one component of the current protests against police brutality. Plus: Activists call for cuts to police budgets, the U.S.-China trade war has continued during the pandemic and the long recovery communities face after protests.
01/06/2026m 0s

Some of those temporary layoffs might become permanent

More than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance since mid-March. Many of them told the Labor Department that they considered their layoffs “temporary,” that they’d been furloughed and would be back at work at some point. But “some point” seems to be dragging on, and coming back from layoffs might not happen at all for some. Today, we do the numbers. Plus: tourism, bar reopenings and problems in the supply chain.
29/05/2026m 58s

Why so many women are losing their jobs

Another 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance this week. About  55% of the people who lost their jobs last month are women, which is a contrast from the last financial crisis. Today, we’ll look at the dynamics playing out now and why benefits have been historically hard for people to get. Plus: life on the farm and on the reservation.
28/05/2027m 0s

How to reopen colleges

Most colleges in the U.S. have been shut down for months in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. But NYU’s campus in Shanghai could provide an example of how to reopen mid-pandemic. Today, we take you there. Plus: the PPP extension, a literal economic slowdown and how breweries are adapting to social distancing.
27/05/2027m 0s

Can we have a 4-day workweek every week?

Some companies have been experimenting with the four-day workweek to improve productivity and morale. Will the coronavirus pandemic finally push more workplaces to make the switch? Plus: what it’s like to quarantine in an RV, and will Q3 be the “fastest-growing quarter in U.S. history”?
26/05/2027m 22s

As states reopen, which rules apply to which businesses?

States — and counties within those states — are reopening at different stages with different rules and guidelines. Business owners are navigating the uncertainty around those rules as they try to determine which apply to their businesses. A bar owner in Boise, Idaho, thought she might be able to reopen, but realized her bar doesn’t serve enough food to meet the state requirement. Plus: a program in California focused on housing the homeless during the pandemic, high school seniors are facing a difficult decision and the life-saving properties of soap.
25/05/2025m 49s

8 weeks after the CARES Act… how are we doing?

It’s been about two months since Congress passed the big coronavirus relief bill, and 10 weeks since President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency. We’ll talk with some of our contributors and historians about the state of the economy and the historical context. Plus: China abandons GDP targets, Americans settle into working from home for the long haul and we chat with the president of the New York Stock Exchange.
22/05/2026m 38s

How to read those unemployment numbers

Another 2.4 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. That’s down from the week before, but still about the population of Houston. There are two ways the government measures joblessness in this country, and it’s important to keep an eye on both. We’ll explain. Plus: how emerging markets are faring in this crisis, why evictions could surge in Texas and a conversation with the CEO of the travel company Booking Holdings. By the way, this is the last day of our last fundraising drive for our fiscal year. If you can, make a donation today at
21/05/2027m 0s

What will dining out look like post-COVID?

Restaurants, already operating on thin margins, have to balance keeping customers safe and making them feel safe, while trying to restore some normalcy. Today, we look at how one Atlanta Vietnamese spot is doing it. Plus: How Americans spent their relief checks, the coming wave of farm bankruptcies and the fight over hazard pay.
20/05/2025m 16s

Home improvement and animation are up, commercial rent is down

Today we’re going to dig into some ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While companies are looking for breaks from their rent, Home Depot says sales are up, and animation is about the only entertainment production still working. Plus: How remote work in oil and gas … works.
19/05/2027m 0s

What does education look like after coronavirus?

We asked the CEO of digital education company Chegg. Plus, we’ll dig into the auto supply chain, examine how banking has changed and get a preview of the new season of “The Uncertain Hour.”
18/05/2027m 0s

Most Americans’ retirement savings were low before the pandemic

…Now they might dip into those funds. Today on the show, we’ll look at the long-term effects of this economic crisis. Plus: new retail sales numbers, travel in a reopened China and the Americans staying away from hospitals even when they need care.
15/05/2027m 0s

So you’re graduating into a pandemic. Now what?

As colleges and universities across the country plan virtual graduations for the class of 2020, many new graduates are looking for their first jobs in a very different world than they were planning for just a couple months ago. Today we check in with some of them. Plus: how rural libraries are holding up, how consumer spending is changing and the tense dynamic between reopening companies and employees who don’t feel safe coming back.
14/05/2027m 0s

Powell warns of “lasting damage” without more aid

Fed Chairman Jay Powell is live-streaming during this crisis like everyone else, and today he warned of a prolonged recession caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Today we’ll break down his remarks and what Congress might do about it. Plus: why home prices aren’t falling and how children’s TV changed America.
13/05/2027m 0s

Buy American? Not so fast

Over 200 economists have signed a letter asking the Trump administration not to impose its new “Buy American” restrictions on medical supplies over fears they’ll exacerbate shortages and raise prices. Today, we do the numbers. Plus: the life of a hairstylist in a reopening state, what it would look like if a major American airline went under and a conversation with the CEO of Twitch.
12/05/2027m 0s

Even when stores reopen, will anyone go?

Across the country, many nonessential businesses and restaurants are reopening. But when the public is scared of the ongoing pandemic, we might be opening the door for more demand shock. Plus: 78% of the people who lost their jobs last month were temporarily laid off. Should they feel optimistic about going back to their original jobs? And we’ll look at the market for masks and rental housing.
11/05/2027m 0s

We knew that unemployment report was coming, but it still hurt

Nearly twenty-two million jobs lost and unemployment at 14.7% for April. It was a bad jobs report, no way around it. But there’s more to it then that. Today we dive into how furloughs are counted, what this means for people trying to make rent and what the “diffusion index” can tell us. Plus: We’re watching a lot of TV, but do people want to watch shows about the pandemic?
08/05/2027m 0s

The stock market is — say it with us — not the economy

Today the NASDAQ closed up for the year. We’re not sure how you square that, except by once again digging into why the stock market is not the economy. We’ve also got Chinese trade and small business loan forgiveness on the docket today. Plus: How are you sleeping?
07/05/2027m 0s

A third of workers got their hours cut, and a sixth are working more

The economic effects of this pandemic are not equal. In our latest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll, we found a third of people have lost work, while about one-sixth of them are working more hours. Today we dig into why. Plus, the view on the ground as Texas reopens, a conversation with the CEO of Land O’Lakes and how the flower business is faring ahead of Mother’s Day.
06/05/2027m 0s

41% percent of Americans can’t handle an unexpected $250 bill

The newest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll is out today, and it paints a stark picture of how Americans are feeling amid the coronavirus crisis. We’ll dig into one figure in particular: more than four in 10 Americans say they couldn’t come up with the money for an unexpected $250 expense. Plus, how the health care system is changing, what it’s like to be making COVID-19 tests right now and how hazard pay works.
05/05/2027m 0s

There’s still money left for small businesses, but for how long?

The Small Business Administration says that as of Friday, banks have loaned out $175 billion from the federal Paycheck Protection Program. That’s good news for businesses and the banks lending to them. Today, we look at how long that money will last amid a new surge of applications. Plus, what’s going on with Texas oil, how consumer prices are changing and what to expect from Disney’s first-quarter earnings.
04/05/2027m 0s

Work won’t be the same after COVID-19

Even as the economy reopens, returning to work could mean more than just changes to the physical space. Workers could be on staggered schedules and shorter weeks with scheduled remote days. Today, we look at office life post-coronavirus. Plus, fiscal vs. monetary policy, the crush of customer service calls and where those $1,200 checks are going.
01/05/2027m 0s

Keep an eye on the labor force participation rate

We now know that more than 30 million people have filed for unemployment since early March. That’s roughly 1 in 5 people who had a job back in February, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But when we get unemployment numbers for April, the rate will likely be far below 20%. So what gives? Today we do the numbers. Plus: AMC bans Universal Pictures, corporate earnings are terrible and influencers are still … influencing.
30/04/2027m 0s

This crisis will get worse before it gets better

We’re starting to get a picture of just how much damage the pandemic is doing to the economy: GDP fell 4.8% in the first quarter, and this is the beginning. Plus: Why businesses don’t see the point in applying for emergency loans, the power and limitations of OSHA, and Michael Schur talks about bringing back “Parks and Recreation.”
29/04/2027m 0s

China may be back to work, but the supply chain isn’t

With China a little further along in restarting its economy, it might be reasonable to assume that a company whose supply chain is deeply intertwined with China might have a leg up right now. But it doesn’t really work that way. We’ll take a deep dive into those supply chains today. Plus, how Hollywood productions might work around COVID-19 and a conversation with the CEO of GoFundMe.
28/04/2027m 0s

Will round two of small businesses loans go smoother?

Banks began accepting applications for $320 billion in new emergency payroll protection loans this morning. Last time, the process was unclear and bottlenecked. How’d things go today? We spent the day calling banks and small businesses to find out. Plus: The view from Shanghai, surprising essential businesses and why the stock market is not the economy.
27/04/2027m 0s

Face masks become a lifeline for retailers

Throughout the economy, you’re seeing businesses pivot in response to COVID-19. Auto plants are making ventilators, distilleries are making hand sanitizer and many clothing retailers are making masks. Plus: that Congressional Budget Office report about how bad things will get, what happens when bodegas close down and love in the time of coronavirus.
24/04/2027m 0s

We need to change our economic indicators to keep up with the crisis

With 27 million jobs vaporized in just five weeks, economists, analysts and other observers are realizing that quarterly and monthly economic data just isn’t cutting it anymore. Today, we look at how looking at the economy has changed. Plus: the need for more contact tracers, the states leading on small business loans and putting a dollar value on human life.
23/04/2027m 0s

Americans aren’t very good at saving money

How’s your savings account looking? According to the data, not great. But it’s not your fault. Today, we’ll look at the cultural and economic forces that make Americans bad at saving money. Plus: how businesses are preparing to reopen, state funding in a crisis and Netflix is (surprise!) doing pretty well right now.
22/04/2027m 0s

Some home health aides are on duty 24/7

Home health care workers are fighting COVID-19 by trying to keep their clients out of emergency rooms, which sometimes means quarantining with them. Plus: Oil’s storage shortage, declining home sales and how we talk to each other on Venmo now.
21/04/2027m 0s

How do you end up with negative oil prices?

U.S. crude oil prices plunged into negative territory today for the first time, falling to minus $37.63 per barrel. That’s possible because storage is the most valuable commodity in the commodity market. We’ll explain. Plus: how experts reckon with COVID-19’s impact on GDP and a conversation with a banker who’s giving small business loans.
20/04/2027m 0s

China and the U.S. are growing (or not growing) apart

China’s first-quarter GDP contracted for the first time since 1992, and a new survey shows more American executives seeing the two countries “decoupling” economically. Today we look at another dimension of the pandemic and what it means for global supply chains. Plus: what it’s like to run an unemployment insurance program right now.
17/04/2027m 0s

The real number of unemployed Americans is even higher

Five million more people filed for unemployment insurance last week, bringing the total past 20 million for the month. But the real number is actually much higher. Today, we look at who isn’t counted. Plus, earnings season’s new “COVID metrics,” the New Yorkers not paying rent and the high delivery app fees squeezing restaurants.
16/04/2027m 0s

Small businesses are still waiting for relief

As of today, the Small Business Administration’s pandemic emergency lending program has approved more than 1.3 million loan applications worth nearly $300 billion. We’ll check in on the state of the program and some businesses that have applied. Plus, the spring clothing stranded in stores, coronavirus’ effect on college admissions and the country’s yeast shortage.
15/04/2027m 0s

It was supposed to be Tax Day tomorrow

In a normal year, the nation’s procrastinators would be firing up tax software or digging around for a W-2 tonight. But now that tax day is delayed three months, there’s a different kind of chaos unfolding for accountants. Plus: a new IMF outlook, the challenges of managing staff remotely and an unexpected essential business: livestock auctions.
14/04/2027m 0s

When will toilet paper be back in stock?

Whether it’s TP or a Nintendo Switch, if you’ve had trouble finding an item in stores or online recently, it all comes back to the supply chain. Today, we’ll break it down. Plus: The U.S. Postal Service’s financial trouble, how social distancing is changing the urban landscape and a conversation with the CEO of Feeding America.
13/04/2027m 0s

Will insurance cover telehealth?

As state after state encourages people to stay home, therapists and psychiatrists have moved their practices onto the internet and over the phone. While mental health care can make that switch relatively easily, getting it covered is another matter. Plus, America’s truck driver shortage and the psychology of app-based tipping.
10/04/2027m 0s

Unemployment is even worse than it looks

About 17 million Americans filed unemployment claims in the past three weeks and the actual number of jobs lost is almost certainly higher. Today, we’ll try to figure out how high unemployment might go by the summer. Plus: how food banks are coping with the crisis and how credit markets might indicate recession.
09/04/2027m 0s

COVID-19 is not “the great equalizer”

People of color are being hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic, in part because they are disproportionally represented among frontline workers. Today, we do the numbers on this country’s labor force and how workers’ families are affected. Plus, converting hotels into homeless shelters, when unemployment turns recession into depression and our new embrace of processed food.
08/04/2027m 0s

Who’s getting hazard pay in a pandemic?

With so many “essential” workers putting themselves at risk, hazard pay has become a national topic of debate. Today, we’ll spend some time looking at exactly what it is and how it’s used. Plus, we explain deflation, the new distressed property market and why unemployment numbers are even higher than the data suggests.
07/04/2027m 0s

When can the economy “reopen”?

A new report from the American Enterprise Institute offers a roadmap — today we’ll talk with a co-author. Plus: consumer spending’s drop-off, what happens when retailers stop paying rent and how social distancing can lead to social media overload.
06/04/2027m 0s

What happens when millions of people can’t make loan payments?

We got the March jobs numbers this morning — 4.4% unemployment, more than 700,000 jobs lost, and it’s going to get a lot worse. Lenders are bracing themselves for missed mortgage payments and investors are avoiding loans that aren’t backed by the government. Today, we’ll dig into the economic ripple effects. Plus, small businesses trying to apply for emergency loans and the impact of COVID-19 on both funeral homes and the ad industry.
03/04/2027m 0s

Pay cuts spread further down the ladder

Unemployment claims passed 6.6 million last week, more than double the week before. Many workers who still have their jobs are now doing them for reduced pay. We’ll ask how those pay cuts might ripple through the economy. Plus: the huge number of immigrants who will miss out on checks from the government, and the logistical challenge of giving small businesses emergency loans.
02/04/2027m 0s

Why ventilators are getting more expensive

States and FEMA are separately competing for ventilators, which is driving prices up to roughly $25,000 each. Today, we look at the market forces at work. Plus: What it’s like to run a barge company right now, why employers are backing off 401(k)s and how the housing market is adapting to low interest rates and no in-person showings.
01/04/2027m 0s

How the COVID-19 crisis compares to the Great Depression

We’re starting to see some devastating economic indicators around the coronavirus pandemic. But just how bad are things going to get? Today we assembled a group of historians to talk about the economic crises of the past, and why it’s unlikely this one will look like the Great Depression. Plus, Britain’s ventilator shortage, insurance hikes and the science of setting the markets to music.
31/03/2027m 0s

Is it ethical to shop online right now?

If your inbox looks anything like ours, you’re seeing a bunch of ads for online sales. With nonessential businesses closed all over the country, many retailers are doing what they can to drum up business. It’s true that consumer spending is a primary engine of this economy, but is it right to splurge on fancy sweats right now? Plus: how deep this recession will get, how Americans are confronting the bills due this week and a conversation with rapper, singer and writer Dessa.
30/03/2027m 0s

Small businesses are barely hanging on

Lawmakers have finally passed a $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package. When it comes to saving small businesses, will the aid be enough? We talk with some business owners who are barely getting by. Plus: the new economies of Canadian border towns, retailers’ rush to staff up and a conversation with the president of the Dallas Fed.
27/03/2027m 0s

Those medical supplies hospitals need? They’re overseas.

Ventilators, masks, gloves and other supplies American hospitals need are produced in China, Italy, Malaysia and elsewhere. That puts the U.S. at a disadvantage in its fight against COVID-19. We’ll look through the supply chain and potential solutions. Plus: the new lifestyles of working parents and the non-traditional workers being hit especially hard by this crisis.
26/03/2027m 0s

Is this country ready for 2.5 million jobless claims in a week?

Tomorrow’s first-time unemployment claim numbers are expected to be exponentially higher than a typical week, and many states have cut back on unemployment insurance in recent years. What about the people losing employer-sponsored health care? Today we’ll do the numbers and check in on the status of the stimulus bill that could provide some relief. Plus: What a 90-day tariff deferral would do for the people paying (that’s us).
25/03/2027m 0s

What’s the difference between being laid off and being furloughed?

When you’re losing work because of COVID-19, it might not feel like there’s much difference between getting laid off and furloughed. But it’s an important distinction. We’ll talk about it, plus the unemployment claim numbers coming this week, how the repo market works and the nationwide mask shortage.
24/03/2027m 0s

Ben Bernanke on saving the American economy

When you’re staring down a financial crisis, you want to talk to someone who’s been there before. So today we called up Ben Bernanke, who’s both a scholar of the Great Depression and ran the Federal Reserve during the Great Recession. He says fiscal policy is going to have to “get its act together.” Plus: what an economic “restart” looks like, how small businesses in China are still under pressure and encrypted social platforms’ struggle to fight COVID-19 misinformation.
23/03/2027m 0s

How will we know when the coronavirus crisis is over?

We have pretty good, near-real-time data on the COVID-19 virus, the number of new cases, tests and so on (you can find daily updates on our website). But the economic impact? Not so much. Today, we’ll tell you what to keep an eye on. Plus: A few stories from a tidal wave of layoffs, and is Boeing too big to fail?
20/03/2027m 0s

Even traders are working from home because of COVID-19

The floor of the New York Stock Exchange is usually full of people, but on Monday it will move to electronic trading only to combat coronavirus. Today, we talk about how that will work and ask Nasdaq President and CEO Adena Friedman why markets are still open at all. Plus, the state of mental health benefits, economic impacts of the 1918 Spanish flu and a conversation with “World War Z” author Max Brooks.
19/03/2027m 0s

How work has changed under COVID-19

In just a few weeks, coronavirus has completely reshaped the way Americans are working. Today, we’re looking at the layoffs, the newly housebound office workers and the folks who still have to go out and risk spreading the virus, sometimes for minimum wage. Plus, more listener questions, like: What’s the difference between a recession and a depression? And can’t the Fed just pay for a stimulus?
18/03/2027m 0s

What a coronavirus recession would look like

President Donald Trump acknowledged Monday that the economy may be headed toward a recession. Is that just due to the coronavirus, or is it the recession economists have been predicting for years? Today we talk a bit about the difference and what’s on the horizon. Plus: remote education in the digital divide, Americans stocking up, and why stocks are up.
17/03/2027m 0s

What happens to the economy when COVID-19 throws on the brakes?

We’re answering more of your questions about the coronavirus pandemic today. Starting with: What exactly did the Fed do this weekend, and what would happen to the global economy if activity in the U.S. shut down? Plus, how China’s 270 million students are learning at home, what’s changing for supply chains along the border, and why working from home is great for hackers. Of course, we’ll also talk about stocks, which had their biggest single-day drop of the crisis so far.
16/03/2027m 0s

Your coronavirus questions, answered

The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t causing an economic slowdown in the United States, it’s causing an economic stop. You probably have a lot of questions, like where the Fed’s $1.5 trillion went, how algorithmic trading is affecting volatility and what numbers to watch as we prepare for a recession. We’re going to answer all of them and more. Plus: What it’s like to run a movie theater right now and the increased risks for the hundreds of millions of homeless Americans.
13/03/2027m 0s

This was a terrible day for markets. Here’s what comes next.

Stocks had their worst day since 1987 and the economy is experiencing uncertainty unseen since 2008. Today, we’ll help you understand what’s happening and what’s coming. We’ll talk with experts, business owners, a farmer and a doctor (who’s also school board president) about how they’re feeling the spread of COVID-19 and what they’re bracing for. Plus: the millions of uninsured or underinsured Americans who can’t afford to see a doctor even if they suspect they might have the new coronavirus.
12/03/2027m 0s
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