Business

Economy
12:24 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Part-Time Work, Unpredictable Schedules: What's The Fix?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
4:56 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Atlantic City's Casino Crisis: A Cautionary Tale

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 7:51 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
4:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Congress And Biden Aim For Job Training That Actually Leads To Jobs

Vice President Joe Biden, accompanied by New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, greets Enis Sullivan, 101, during a visit to XMA Corp. in Manchester, N.H., on March 25.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 12:05 pm

Something pretty remarkable happened Tuesday afternoon in a small windowless auditorium next door to the White House. President Obama signed a new law: the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

It streamlines and updates the nation's job training programs and was 11 years overdue. The bill got overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

"Folks in Congress got past their differences; they got a bill to my desk," Obama said at the signing ceremony. "So this is not a win for Democrats or Republicans; it is a win for American workers."

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Economy
4:39 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Inflation Came In Low Again, But Are There Bubbles?

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on July 15. She said the Fed is likely to keep interest rates low "for a considerable period" since inflation remains so tame.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Want to borrow money for a car or a home this fall?

Oddly enough, the interest rates available months from now for big-ticket items may be determined by the prices you pay today for everyday consumer goods. When store prices are rising rapidly, policymakers start pushing interest rates higher, too.

But for the moment, at least, inflation appears mild enough to keep interest rates low for a long while.

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Your Money
4:14 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Money Markets: Easy To Ignore, Occasionally Dicey

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 9:12 pm

Money market accounts are so dull that many people use them like checking accounts. But they're riskier than checking accounts, and federal regulators are proposing new rules to deal with those risks.

U.S.
4:06 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Deal In Detroit Could Signal Cuts To Pensions Elsewhere

Retirees Mike Shane (left) and William Davis protest near the federal courthouse in Detroit on July 3. Workers and retirees approved pension cuts in Detroit's bankruptcy by a landslide, the city reported Monday.
Paul Sancya AP

It used to be that if you were a public employee, you knew your pension benefits could not be touched.

That's no longer the case.

Pensions have been under political attack in recent years, with some politicians arguing they can't afford to fund generous retirements at the same time they're cutting services. Numerous states and cities have trimmed the type of pension plans they're offering employees โ€” mostly new employees.

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Shots - Health News
9:43 am
Tue July 22, 2014

States Experiment With Health Savings Accounts For Medicaid

Topp Yimgrimm/iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 10:19 am

If all goes according to plan, next year many Arkansas Medicaid beneficiaries will be required to make monthly contributions to so-called Health Independence Accounts. Those who don't may have to pay more of the cost of their medical services, and in some cases may be refused services.

Supporters say it will help nudge Medicaid beneficiaries toward becoming more cost-conscious health care consumers. Patient advocates are skeptical, pointing to studies showing that such financial "skin-in-the-game" requirements discourage low-income people from getting care that they need.

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The Salt
8:13 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Some Food Companies Are Quietly Dumping GMO Ingredients

General Mills' original Cheerios are now GMO-free. But you won't find a label on the box highlighting the change.
David Duprey AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 3:35 pm

A tour of the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury, Vt., includes a stop at the "Flavor Graveyard," where ice cream combinations that didn't make the cut are put to rest under the shade of big trees.

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NPR Story
5:25 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Telecommuting Didn't Work Out For One Transplanted Worker

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:13 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This summer, we're also focusing on the high rate of youth unemployment and hearing what some out-of-work younger adults are doing to make ends meet. Christina Gastlelum is 32. She recently moved to Maine from New York City. She tried to keep doing her job as vice president of a nonprofit remotely which did not work out.

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Law
4:28 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

GOP Marks Dodd-Frank's 4th Birthday With Calls For Repeal

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 11:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Four years ago today, President Obama signed a massive overhaul of the nation's financial laws, The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The law was a response to the Wall Street bailouts and regulatory failings that sparked the financial crisis and caused the great recession. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, the anniversary is being marked by calls from some to repeal parts of the law.

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All Tech Considered
5:34 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Next To Silicon Valley, Nonprofits Draw Youth Of Color Into Tech

Taneka Armstrong, 20, is learning about different aspects of the tech industry โ€” from coding to sales โ€” through the nonprofit group Hack the Hood.
Aarti Shahani NPR

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:07 am

Twenty-year-old Taneka Armstrong wants to land a high-tech job, but her day starts at Taco Bell.

Armstrong stands behind a steel counter, making Burrito Supremes and ringing up customers. She counts pennies and quarters. She also gets orders from her bosses, who she says can be pretty condescending.

"They're just like, 'Oh, did you know that already?' Or, 'Can you do this?' " she says. "Yes, I've been doing it, for almost a year now."

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Rubio: Small Government Can Help Fix Economic Inequality

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, shown here at an event in Washington last month, spoke with NPR's Morning Edition about the country's economic challenges.
Molly Riley AP

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:07 am

Sen. Marco Rubio, a potential 2016 GOP presidential contender, is concerned about issues of access to affordable education, availability of job training and prospects for economic mobility. While shunning the "income inequality" language of the left, he insists that those problems need to be viewed through the lens of limited government.

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Code Switch
5:15 am
Mon July 21, 2014

The Youth Unemployment Crisis Hits African-Americans Hardest

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:50 am

Young people are being chased out of the labor market. Though the national unemployment rate has fallen steadily in recent months, youth unemployment remains stubbornly high, and the jobless rate is even higher among young minorities. For young people between the ages of 16 and 24, unemployment is more than twice the national rate, at 14.2 percent. For African-Americans, that rate jumps to 21.4 percent.

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Business
4:42 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Temporary Tenants Give Luxury Homes A Lived-In Look

Alan Shuminer lives on two acres of land in a house with a current list price of $3.3 million in Miami รขย€ย” and he only pays $2,600 a month. He is a home manager for Showhomes, a home staging company.
Showhomes

Bernie Schupbach needed to sell his home in the height of the real estate crash.

His home in Yorkville, Ill., was unoccupied. It had lingered on the market for a long time โ€” and Schupbach, a radiologist in Aurora, Ill., was growing uncomfortable.

"To me, you worry about a pipe breaking in winter. You worry about the heat going out. You worry about vandals. You worry about animal infestation," he says. "My big concern was: There's nobody there, I'm 30 miles away."

Then somebody mentioned Showhomes to Schupbach and his wife, Lynn.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

States That Raised Minimum Wage See Faster Job Growth, Report Says

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (right) and Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess cut a cake to celebrate city's raised minimum wage.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 6:42 pm

New data released by the Department of Labor suggests that raising the minimum wage in some states might have spurred job growth, contrary to what critics said would happen.

In a report on Friday, the 13 states that raised their minimum wages on Jan. 1 have added jobs at a faster pace than those that did not. The data run counter to a Congressional Budget Office report in February that said raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, as the White House supports, would cost 500,000 jobs.

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Business
5:52 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Microsoft Announces Biggest Layoffs In Company's History

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 8:00 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's Business News starts with a downsized Microsoft. Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its history yesterday. It's cutting 18,000 jobs worldwide over the next year - that's 14% of its workforce. The company's new CEO wants to adapt to a society and an industry increasingly dependent on mobile devices. From member station KPLU, Bellamy Pailthorp reports.

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All Tech Considered
3:37 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Better Culture Could Have Prevented Viral Comcast Call

The call center of Zappos.com gets high marks from consumers for strong customer service.
Shashi Bellamkonda Flickr

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 11:13 am

This week, one man's customer service call to Comcast turned into a badgering โ€” a simple request to cancel his service was repeatedly beaten back by the employee on the other end of the line. It was a familiar feeling for a lot of us, which perhaps explains why more than 4 million people have listened to it in less than a week.

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Economy
5:36 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Latest Wrinkle In The Jobs Debate: Blame The Boomers

Participation in the workforce has dropped significantly since 2007, and economists say more than half of the dropouts may never return.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 1:46 pm

Since late 2007, the U.S. labor force has shrunk significantly, raising questions about where former workers have gone and why.

Now the White House Council of Economic Advisers says it has found answers and has compiled them into a detailed research report released Thursday.

As it turns out, most of the missing workers have been hiding in plain sight: They are retiring baby boomers.

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Business
5:55 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Treasury Secretary Calls For Corporate Tax Code Overhaul

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 11:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says, there has been an uptick in the number of U.S. corporations moving their headquarters overseas in an effort to pay less tax. In a moment, we'll talk to David Wessel about what's allowing these moves to happen. We begin with NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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Politics
5:55 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Proposal To Allow State Tolls On Interstates Hits Roadblocks

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 2:42 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's talk a little more now about the effort to refill the federal highway trust fund, which is expected to run out of cash later this summer. A short-term fix passed the house earlier this week, and the Senate is said to consider a similar measure - that's the short term. Then there's the question of the longer-term. One possible solution from the White House would let states collect tolls on interstate highways. They've been prohibited from doing that for decades. Here's NPR's Brian Naylor.

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Business
5:33 am
Thu July 17, 2014

U.S. Firms Beat Corporate Taxes By Moving Their Headquarters Abroad

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 11:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We're joined now by David Wessel with the Brookings Institution. He's also a contributor to the Wall Street Journal. Good morning.

DAVID WESSEL: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: Now, American corporations have been complaining about the tax code for decades. Why are we seeing more companies looking at moving overseas now?

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U.S.
6:59 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Lotteries Take In Billions, Often Attract The Poor

A customer holds his Mega Millions lottery ticket at Tobacco Plus in Muncie, Ind. Researchers say lotteries often draw low-income gamblers who are on welfare.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 10:13 pm

Santo Domingo Liquors in Lawrence, Mass., has two cash registers. But sometimes only the lottery register has a line.

Elizabeth Correia, eight months pregnant, is running that register with her mother โ€” her family owns the store.

"We do this seven days a week. Seven days a week. My mom, sometimes she'll do it open to closing," Correia says.

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All Tech Considered
4:45 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Visa Makes Big Move To Boost Consumer Spending Online

Visa Checkout will store customers' credit card numbers and billing addresses once without their having to re-enter the information each time they shop online.
Visa

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 11:28 am

Here's an experience many of us have had: You're shopping on your smartphone. You click on the shoes or books you want. But then, when you get to the shopping cart, you abandon ship.

Visa says that's a big problem for retailers. On Wednesday, the credit card company announced it's rolling out a brand new system designed to get us to spend more money online.

One Password, Many Tokens

Visa is actually trying to fix two problems with one swipe.

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Law
4:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

With New Virtual Currency Rules, N.Y. Regulators Tread A Fine Line

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 7:31 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Banking regulators in New York State are expected to release new rules this week governing Bitcoins and other virtual currencies. From member station WSHU Charles Lane reports that many industry experts welcome the regulations but some worry that they could end up limiting the creative potential of this new way of doing business.

CHARLES LANE, BYLINE: In many ways virtual currencies are just like old-fashioned money. You can buy furniture, books, beer, whatever. But some say it's even better than money.

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Goats and Soda
12:00 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Move Over Hong Kong: The World's Priciest Cities Are In Angola And Chad

Photos of Luanda, Angola, tell a tale of two cities: sprawling poor neighborhoods and a glitzy waterfront.
Saul Loeb/Getty Images; Michael Gottschalk/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 1:23 pm

Ask someone to guess the world's two most expensive cities and it's a safe bet that the capitals of Chad and Angola โ€” two of Africa's more impoverished nations โ€” won't leap to mind. Geneva, perhaps, the home of Rolex watches, or one of those moneyed Asian capitals โ€” Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore or Tokyo โ€” or maybe, if you're thinking Nordically, somewhere in Scandinavia, somewhere like, say, Oslo, where a beer in a pub can famously set you back $15.

But Luanda? N'djamena?

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Wed July 16, 2014

EEOC Announces Tougher Rules Protecting Pregnant Workers

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's new guidance states that employers who allow parental leave must provide it to men and women equally.
Yuri Arcurs iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 10:32 am

Discrimination against female workers who might get pregnant in the future, or have been pregnant in the past, is against the law, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said this week. For the first time in 30 years, the agency has updated its rules against pregnancy discrimination.

The agency clarified several policies, including one that spells out when businesses may have to provide pregnant workers light duty and another that bans employers from forcing a pregnant worker to take leave even in cases when she's able to continue on the job.

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Shots - Health News
3:27 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Coping With A Co-Worker's Body Odor Takes Tact

We can all work up a stinky sweat โ€” welders, ballerinas and number-crunchers alike. Would you want to know?
emreogan/iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 1:14 pm

It's summer. It's sweaty. And sometimes that means people are trailing some pungent body odors that their colleagues can't help but smell. But how do you tactfully inform co-workers that they stink and need to address it? As Cath Ludeman-Hall will tell you, it isn't easy.

She was just out of college and a newbie at a staffing firm when she was asked to gently talk to an older worker in a retail warehouse after his colleagues complained that he stank.

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It's All Politics
6:54 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Temporary Fix For Highway Money Is Well-Traveled Road

The I-75 highway modernization project in Dayton, Ohio, in April 2014.
Skip Peterson AP

If kicking the can down the road were a competitive sport, the championship trophy would never leave Washington.

When the need to make a difficult choice collides with an unyielding deadline, the tendency in a city where partisan gridlock is the norm is to put the tough decisions off for another day.

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Economy
4:58 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Despite Brightening Signs, Fed Is Likely To Stay The Course

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 7:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Business
10:58 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Citigroup Settlement Offers Former Homeowners 'Cold Comfort'

The Citigroup Center is viewed in midtown Manhattan. Critics say the U.S. settlement with the banking giant will do nothing for those hurt most by the foreclosure crisis: people who lost their homes.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 11:10 am

Should you be watching your mailbox for a check from Citigroup?

The banking giant says it will pay out $2.5 billion to provide "consumer relief" to help settle charges brought against it by the U.S. Justice Department. The government said Monday that "defects" in Citi's mortgage securities had fueled the financial crisis that triggered the Great Recession.

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