Yuki Noguchi

Yuki Noguchi is a correspondent on the Business Desk based out of NPR's headquarters in Washington D.C. Since joining NPR in 2008, she's covered business and economic news, and has a special interest in workplace issues — everything from abusive working environments, to the idiosyncratic cubicle culture. In recent years she has covered the housing market meltdown, unemployment during the Great Recession, and covered the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan in 2011. As in her personal life, however, her coverage interests are wide-ranging, and have included things like entomophagy and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Prior to joining NPR, Yuki started her career as a reporter for The Washington Post. She reported on stories mostly about business and technology, and later became an editor.

Yuki grew up with a younger brother speaking her parents' native Japanese at home. She has a degree in history from Yale.

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Economy
4:35 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Latest Figures Suggest U.S. Housing Recovery Is Still On Track

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 2:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Home prices were either up or down, depending on how you read the latest Case-Shiller survey, which was released this morning. Prices were down a bit in November from the previous month, but up sharply compared to the previous year. Taken together, most analysts say the housing recovery is still on track. And joining us now to discuss the housing market is NPR's Yuki Noguchi. Hi there, Yuki.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
5:53 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Homebuilding Is Booming, But Skilled Workers Are Scarce

New homebuilding reached a 4 1/2 year high in December, welcome news for an industry that lost 2 million jobs during the downturn. Despite those job losses, the sector is experiencing a labor shortage in some parts of the U.S.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 6:29 pm

The construction industry in the U.S. is staging a comeback. In one indicator, the Commerce Department announced Thursday that new homebuilding has reached its highest level in 4 1/2 years.

While that's a promising sign for the industry, more than 2 million construction jobs have been lost in the sector since employment hit its peak. While some might expect that means plenty of people are ready to fill the new jobs, many markets around the country are actually experiencing a shortage of construction workers.

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Business
5:37 am
Thu January 17, 2013

New Rules Issued For Mortgage Servicing Companies

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 11:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Consumer Protection Financial Bureau is unveiling today the second half of its new mortgage rules. It will outline how the mortgage industry must manage loans that are delinquent or in the process of being foreclosed.

NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports that these rules, among other things, aim to make it easier for borrowers to communicate with the people handling their mortgages.

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Your Money
3:24 am
Thu January 10, 2013

New Mortgage Rules Would Limit Risky Lending

New federal mortgage rules come at a time when regulators and banks are trying to find a middle ground between overly lax and overly tight lending standards.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:04 pm

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is releasing Thursday much anticipated new mortgage rules, which will restrict the kind of subprime lending practices that caused both the financial and housing sectors to crash five years ago.

The new rules come at a time when regulators and banks are trying to find a middle ground between overly lax and overly tight lending standards.

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Business
4:34 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Real Estate Market Is Expected To Improve In 2013

For the first time in five years, the U.S. housing sector contributed to economic growth in 2012. The foreclosure crisis is evolving and working its way through the system, although there are still lingering concerns.

Economy
5:11 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Businesses, Not Consumers, Sour On Economy

Shoppers carry bags during Black Friday sales at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, Mass. Right now, consumers are feeling positive, but the mood among businesses is at recession levels.
Allison Joyce Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 6:40 pm

When it comes to the economy, consumers and business owners have very different takes right now. Consumers are feeling positive, but the mood among businesses is at recession levels.

In a word, business owners are bummed.

"What we've found is that a lot of that optimism is not there right now," says Dennis Jacobe, chief economist for Gallup, which polled these small-business types just after the election.

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Your Money
2:22 am
Wed December 5, 2012

More Large Retailers Ease Customers' Path To Credit

Home Depot has long offered credit cards, partly to serve customers who have just suffered major house damage. The company has recently widened those efforts. Here, a Tampa, Fla., customer buys a generator and bottled water, preparing for Tropical Storm Isaac's arrival in August.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Retailers are finding more ways to offer their customers financial products — mortgages, loans and the like. In the past, people looked to banks for this kind of product. But big-box stores are trying to find new ways of getting money to those who cannot use banks, or want to avoid them altogether.

Costco may be best known for pallets of bottled water or bulk toilet paper that can last a family an entire year. But earlier this year, it also added mortgages to its growing array of financial offerings.

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Business
5:37 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

A Bet Or A Prediction? Intrade's Purpose Is Debated

Ireland-based Intrade lets users bet money on all manner of predictions — like if a particular film will win an Oscar. The site is ceasing operations in the U.S.
NPR/Intrade screen grab

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 6:02 pm

The popular website Intrade allows its users to bet on the odds of almost anything — like whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will get ousted by a certain date, or whether the movie Argo will win best picture at the Oscars.

This week, Ireland-based Intrade announced that U.S. users will have to unwind their bets and shut down their accounts by the end of the year. That's after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Intrade for operating an unregistered exchange.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
4:35 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Foreclosed Homeowners Getting Back In The Market

Millions of U.S. families have a recent foreclosure on their record. Typically, that means waiting at least seven years before securing another home loan. But some families say they are having luck buying again — sometimes in as few as three years.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 6:15 pm

Buyers are coming back into the housing market after losing their homes during the financial crisis — returning to homeownership more quickly than lenders have typically allowed.

With millions of families with recent foreclosures on their records, some report that they are having luck buying a house — in some cases within three years.

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Economy
4:28 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Opportunities Emerge For Vets In Tough Job Market

Last year, Congress passed legislation that — among other things — gave employers tax credits for hiring vets.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 6:28 pm

Many veterans aren't just looking for a job; they're looking for a career, a calling and, of course, financial stability. Those recently separated from the military have to confront what is still a fairly weak civilian job market.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
12:15 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Insurance Companies Rethink Business After Sandy

This aerial photo shows destruction in the wake of Superstorm Sandy on Wednesday in Seaside Heights, N.J.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 4:56 pm

Superstorm Sandy capped what's been a pretty impressive couple of years for U.S. natural disasters. There have been wildfires, tornadoes, floods and derechos. And insurance companies are on the hook to pay billions in related claims.

"We're seeing more of everything, and what we're doing is trying to factor that in going forward as we work with others to have a better sense of what the future holds," says State Farm spokesman David Beigie.

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Economy
5:35 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Romney, Obama Take Different Spins On Jobs Report

Both candidates seized on Friday's jobs report to make the case for why they should be elected next Tuesday. Employers added a better than expected 171,000 jobs in October. But the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent as more Americans entered the labor force to look for work.

Around the Nation
5:16 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Losses From Sandy Could Reach $50 Billion

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Homeowners, businesses, and insurance companies are still assessing the damage from the storm in much of the eastern U.S. But some early estimates are in.

And as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, Hurricane Sandy inflicted heavy economic damage.

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Economy
5:21 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

New Home Sales At Highest Level In Over Two Years

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 2:24 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

While federal prosecutors sue Bank of America for its alleged role in the housing crisis, things are looking up for the housing industry. Government numbers out today show that new home sales rose almost 6 percent in September, and that comes on the heels of other promising data out last week on construction activity.

Joining me now to discuss what appears to be a housing recovery is NPR's Yuki Noguchi.

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Presidential Race
5:51 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

'Binders Of Women' Becomes Viral Sensation

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 7:09 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Presidential campaigns have a way of conferring instant popularity on certain people and phrases.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Big Bird.

BLOCK: Joe the Plumber.

SIEGEL: The economy, stupid.

BLOCK: You didn't build that.

SIEGEL: Well now, add another. During last night's debate, it came from Mitt Romney talking about recruiting women to his cabinet when he was governor of Massachusetts.

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NPR Story
4:52 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Manufacturers Financially Support Hiring Vets

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 10:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And four major manufacturers say they will start offering financial support for the training of military veterans. The corporations are taking part in a program called Get Skills to Work Coalition. It has said its initial goal at training 15,000 vets.

NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Unemployment among veterans has been falling, as it has for everyone else. The jobless rate among vets serving after 2001 now stands at 9.7 percent, but that's still about 2 percentage points higher than the general population.

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Economy
5:34 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Foreclosure Activity Wildly Different Across U.S.

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:13 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The housing market may well play a role in tonight's debate and we got word today that foreclosure activity declined to a five-year low in September. The website RealtyTrac says the national average for the number of default notices, auctions and repossessions declined 7 percent month over month. Still, as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, that does not mean the entire country is seeing declines.

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Economy
8:05 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Jobs Report Has Surprising Results

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 7:55 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The jobless rate fell sharply to 7.8 percent in September, which happens to be exactly where it was when President Obama took office. That's according to the U.S. Labor Department's latest monthly jobs report. But even though the unemployment rate dropped, the Labor Department's payroll survey reveals that businesses did not significantly hire new people. NPR's Yuki Noguchi has this report on how experts are interpreting the numbers.

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Economy
4:51 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Apprenticeship, Social Support Keys In Job Training

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 11:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The new jobs report, out today, shows a sharp drop in the unemployment rate. But millions of Americans are, of course, still looking for work. Often, the bridge between them and a good job is a training program to help give them a new set of skills. Programs to retrain America's workforce got quite a bit of attention in Wednesday's presidential debate, and NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports on one of them here in Washington.

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Business
4:20 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Homeowners Facing Foreclosure Get New Protections

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 10:14 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Solve This
3:32 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Candidates Say Little On Difficult Issue Of Housing

Despite millions of troubled mortgages around the country, housing hasn't been a major issue in the presidential race so far.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:08 pm

Housing continues to be a big issue for the economy, and for many voters. But so far it hasn't been a major issue in the presidential campaign. Perhaps that's because both sides agree that there's no easy fix for the problem of millions of troubled mortgages.

The Problem:

Cathy Busby and her husband co-owned a realty office in Denver when they bought their house in 2006. The next year, the market for houses dried up, leaving them with little income as their house lost value.

Now, she says, she considers herself "poverty level."

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Business
4:49 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Hiring Outlook For College Graduates Improves

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 8:29 am

The report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers says hiring for the upcoming class of graduates will jump 13 percent from a year ago. But the improvement won't get the job market for new grads back to where it was before the recession.

Economy
4:50 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

U.S. Housing Market Starts To Show Hints Of Growth

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. In recent years, the housing sector has faked out economists, inspiring premature optimism. But this year, housing experts say things are different. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports the housing sector that brought the economy down is now showing real signs of stability, even growth.

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Economy
4:24 am
Fri September 14, 2012

Discouraged In Hunt For A Job, Many Stop Looking

A job fair was held at the The Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., last month. The U.S. unemployment rate declined in August in part because the number of "discouraged workers" climbed.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 11:43 am

The U.S. population is growing. In normal times, the labor force — working or not — would be growing too. But these are not normal times, and the labor force is actually smaller than it was four years ago, meaning millions of people who should be there aren't.

The reasons people drop out of the workforce are myriad. People go back to school. Others have health issues or family priorities that keep them from looking for work. But some stop looking because they are discouraged.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
5:56 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Democratic Convention Draws Troubled Homeowners

David Sole rode a bus from Detroit to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., to protest how the Obama administration and the nation's banks have handled the foreclosure crisis.
Yuki Noguchi NPR

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 7:03 pm

Charlotte, N.C., host of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, is the nation's biggest financial center outside of New York. But Charlotte and surrounding Mecklenburg County have the highest foreclosure rates in the state, and many thousands of homeowners owe more on their homes than the properties are worth.

As thousands of Democrats converge in Charlotte for the convention, some troubled homeowners have also gathered, lamenting that the foreclosure crisis has not been sufficiently front and center in the presidential campaign.

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Election 2012
4:46 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Senate Hopeful Elizabeth Warren To Address DNC

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:19 am

Elizabeth Warren takes the podium during prime time at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday. A new poll has Warren trailing in her bid to unseat Republican Scott Brown for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat.

Economy
6:31 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Democrats' Convention To Focus On Jobs, Economy

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:38 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, as you can hear from Scott's report, the economy is a top issue in this campaign.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

So it's fitting that the Democratic Convention was preceded by Labor Day and will be followed by Friday's release of the latest employment numbers.

INSKEEP: NPR's Yuki Noguchi talked with voters about jobs on Labor Day.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: This year, Labor Day festivities came to Charlotte in the form of a huge street party.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

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Business
5:56 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Mortgage Settlement Overseer issues Report

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 7:42 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's follow up on another story. Earlier this year, five big banks settled the so-called robo-signing case, admitting they rushed the foreclosure processes for thousands of homeowners. Now, those banks are working to forgive and modify $20 billion worth of home loans.

As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, yesterday was the first chance to look at how banks are handling this part of the settlement.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Joseph Smith's first full report wasn't due until November, but he was eager to keep the issue top of mind.

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Business
4:28 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Bank of America To Donate Some Foreclosed Homes

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 5:47 pm

Bank of America announced this week it will give away 2,500 distressed homes to military vets and to other charities for people who are in need.

Economy
2:46 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Low Mortgage Rates Boost 'Serial Refinancers'

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 2:35 pm

Refinance activity continues to boom, fueling the home-loan market. Low interest rates have created a class of "serial refinancers" — those lucky enough to borrow at lower rates — and given them new opportunities to spend their freed up cash.

Settlement attorney Robert Gratz never used to be on a first-name basis with his clients.

"In the past, our practice was such that you'd see people, and that was the end of it," he says.

Gratz now sees the same faces all the time, of clients refinancing again and again — these days in the mid-3 percent range.

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