Business

Economy
5:13 am
Fri December 5, 2014

November Jobs Report Shows Steady Growth

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 1:07 pm

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

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Parallels
3:24 am
Fri December 5, 2014

For World's Oil Exporters, Falling Prices Have A Domino Effect

A sculpture of oil workers in Caracas, Venezuela. The country is heavily dependent on oil exports, and falling oil prices have had a ripple effect on the country's already troubled economy.
Ariana Cubillos AP

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 1:07 pm

Imagine you're sitting back one evening, planning your holiday shopping list, knowing that every day you wait to get to the shops, the value of your money will be losing ground.

That's what's happening in places like Russia, Venezuela, Nigeria and other nations that rely heavily on oil exports.

Oil was more than $100 a barrel at the start of the summer. Now it's around $70 a barrel, and many forecasts say it could go lower still.

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The Salt
6:56 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

A Burger Joint Pays $15 An Hour. And, Yes, It's Making Money

A worker at Moo Cluck Moo, a fast-casual burger and chicken chain in suburban Detroit, prepares a meal. Workers at Moo Cluck Moo all make $15 an hour.
Zachary Rosen for NPR

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 11:56 am

Fast-food workers rallied around the country Thursday, calling for a minimum wage of $15 an hour. But in suburban Detroit, a small but growing fast-casual burger and chicken chain has already figured out how to pay higher wages and still be profitable.

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Planet Money
3:23 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Where Wages Are Rising (And Falling), In 1 Graph

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Job growth has been strong and steady over the past year. Wages, not so much: Average pay for U.S. workers barely kept up with inflation. But there was a fair bit of variation across different sectors. Here's a look. (In the graph, the size of the circle indicates the total number of jobs in each sector.)

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Parallels
3:37 am
Thu December 4, 2014

A Syrian Entrepreneur Looks To Build The Amazon Of The Arab World

Ronaldo Mouchawar, a native of Syria, is the founder of Souq.com, which is now considered the leading e-commerce site in the region. He says his company, which is based in Dubai, reflects a quiet transformation that is taking places in parts of the Arab world.
Courtesy of Souq.com

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 9:11 pm

When Ronaldo Mouchawar was working in a Boston engineering firm he dreamed of moving back to the Arab world. Born and raised in Aleppo, Syria, he had come to the U.S. to study, then got a high-paying job, but he believed he "owed something" to his home region.

It turned out his ticket back was a smart idea at the right time.

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Europe
5:05 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Russia Heads Toward Recession, With No Relief In Sight

Pedestrians walk past a board listing foreign currency rates against the Russian ruble in Moscow on Wednesday. The ruble was trading at about 35 to the U.S. dollar this summer. Now it's more than 50 rubles to the dollar and the currency has been hitting record lows recently.
Vasily Maximov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 12:12 pm

Russia's economy has taken a series of heavy hits in the past few months, and now it seems to be in the midst of a perfect storm.

The country depends heavily on oil exports, and prices are down sharply. The Russian currency is losing value fast. And U.S. and European sanctions, imposed after Russia's takeover of Crimea, are biting hard.

President Vladimir Putin remains defiant, saying sanctions will never bring Russia to its knees.

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Around the Nation
3:20 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Mischief Under The Mistletoe: Office Partygoers Behaving Badly

Too much partying at the office holiday bash can lead to lawsuits, firings or just plain awkwardness.
Bill Sykes Images Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Thanksgiving kicks off holiday party season, and at office holiday parties around the country, this means co-workers will make merry and mischief.

This time of year, Minneapolis attorney Kate Bischoff is a busy woman.

"I often represent clients who are handling the aftermath of a holiday party when it has gone off the rails," Bischoff says.

This includes, but is not limited to, bosses hitting on interns. There was also the case in which a manager gave a direct report a sexually explicit gift. Perhaps it was a joke, but it resulted in a harassment claim.

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Business
6:43 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Holiday Shoppers Are Filling Their Carts, Online

Workers pack items Sunday at an Amazon fulfillment center in Tracy, Calif. Cyber Monday online sales jumped 8.5 percent over 2013.
Noah Berger Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 7:45 pm

This weekend, Will Falls decided to skip the local mall near Raleigh, N.C., and shop online instead.

"No standing in line, no finding a parking spot," he says. "Just get comfortable and go at it."

Millions of Americans did the same — Falls helped contribute to an 8.5 percent increase in online shopping Monday compared with 2013, according to data from IBM.

That growth stands in contrast to an 11 percent drop in sales reported by the National Retail Federation at brick-and-mortar stores over the Black Friday weekend compared with a year ago.

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Planet Money
4:18 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Silk Road Drug Market Was An Economic Experiment Gone Wrong

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 3:11 pm

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

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Chicago Council Strongly Approves $13 Minimum Wage

A new minimum wage was approved Tuesday in Chicago, where fast food workers and activists demonstrated outside McDonald's downtown restaurant this summer.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 3:13 pm

By a 44-5 vote, Chicago's City Council set a minimum-wage target of $13 an hour, to be reached by the middle of 2019. The move comes after Illinois passed a nonbinding advisory last month that calls for the state to raise its minimum pay level to $10 by the start of next year.

The current minimum wage in Chicago and the rest of Illinois is $8.25. Under the ordinance, the city's minimum wage will rise to $10 by next July and go up in increments each summer thereafter.

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Goats and Soda
1:36 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

For Giving Tuesday: A Guide To Gifts That Give Back

Each item, including boots from Guatemala, a basket from Rwanda and a soda can cuff from Kenya, are handmade. And when people buy these gifts, the profits go back to the artisans and their community.
Courtesy of Teysha; Indego Africa; Serrv

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 2:18 pm

After you've seized all the deals on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, it's giveback time.

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Economy
5:20 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Drop In Oil Prices Is Being Felt By U.S. Drillers, Oil Field Firms

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 7:39 pm

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Falling oil prices have begun to hurt oil companies. This may be the point where you make a sarcastic remark - oh, the poor oil companies.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:54 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Obamacare 'Glitch' Puts Subsidies Out Of Reach For Many Families

Don Benfield is trying to get health care coverage for his family. The options at work are too expensive, but his employer's option disqualifies him from Affordable Care Act subsidies.
Courtesy of Don Benfield

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 8:50 am

Don Benfield of Taylorsville, N.C., makes $11 an hour working for a mobile-home parts business, selling things like replacement doors and windows.

Benfield, 51, doesn't have health insurance.

"I haven't had health care insurance in years, simply because I haven't been able to afford it, especially with food prices, how they went up," he explains.

Benfield's employer does offer health insurance coverage, even though, with fewer than 50 employees, the business is not required to.

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Business
3:52 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Colorado's Pot Industry Looks To Move Past Stereotypes

Brooke Gehring, CEO of Patients Choice and Live Green Cannabis, stands in one of her company's grow houses in Denver.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 9:04 am

It's been nearly a year since Colorado made recreational marijuana legal, and since then, pot has become a billion-dollar business in the state. And some growers have made it a mission to make it legitimate and mainstream.

"Change the face," says pot entrepreneur Brooke Gehring. "But really, not to be the stereotype of what they think is stoner culture, but to realize they are true business people that are operating these companies."

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Parallels
3:35 am
Mon December 1, 2014

German Government May Say 'Nein' To After Work Emails

German Chancellor Angela Merkel uses a mobile phone during a meeting of the German federal parliament in Berlin, on Nov. 28, 2013. The country's labor minister supports a call that would prohibit employers from sending emails to employees after normal business hours.
Michael Sohn AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:46 pm

All of us are familiar with the sound a smartphone makes when an email or text has arrived. Our somewhat Pavlovian response is to pick up the device, see who the message is from and read it.

In Germany, a growing number of these emails come from the boss contacting employees after work. That's not healthy, say experts on work-related stress, including psychologist Gerdamarie Schmitz in Berlin, who is feeling the technological encroachment herself.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Sun November 30, 2014

Black Friday Sales Down At Stores, Surge Online

Shoppers Manuel Orellano, middle, with his daughter Marcela, left, and her son Manuel, 6, shop for children's clothing at JCPenney at Glendale Galleria shopping mall in Glendale, Calif, on Friday.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 2:33 pm

Black Friday shopping at brick-and-mortar stores in the United States was down about 7 percent from a year ago, according to ShopperTrak, but more purchases on Thanksgiving Day nearly made up the difference. Meanwhile, online retailers recorded double-digit year-on-year increases in sales.

ShopperTrak says Friday store sales hit $9.1 billion, but that shoppers spent $3.2 billion on Thanksgiving — a 24 percent increase for sales on that day from over last year. Overall, it represented a 0.5 percent drop from last year.

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New Boom
4:57 pm
Sat November 29, 2014

Millennials Might Be 'Generation Twin.' Is That A Bad Thing?

Mike (left) and Matt (right) Gragnani are 25-year-old identical twins. Together, they've been able to buy an apartment and start a business before many of their peers.
Courtesy of Mike Gragnani

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 6:29 pm

There are more twins in the "millennial generation" than any other generation, thanks partly to a twin boom in the '90s. The main reason was a new technology called in vitro fertilization, which in its early days frequently produced twins, triplets and other multiple births.

The result? A million "extra" twins born between 1981 and 2012.

And all of them might be hurting the economy.

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Movies
5:04 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Revisiting The Stories Told In Murrow's 'Harvest of Shame'

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 6:22 pm

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro, and this is CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow in 1960.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "HARVEST OF SHAME")

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Business
5:04 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Despite Cold Weather And Protesters, Shoppers Seek Black Friday Sales

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 6:22 pm

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Black Friday can signify a lot of different things. It can mean braving freezing temperatures in Minnesota like this.

SHACARAH REYNOLDS: I'm out here with everyone else for a TV.

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World
5:04 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Black Friday Crosses The Pond

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 6:22 pm

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

Economy
5:02 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Immigration Policy May Mean Better Jobs, But Impact On Labor Unclear

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 6:22 pm

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

The Two-Way
11:56 am
Fri November 28, 2014

America's Black Friday Craziness Has Crossed The Pond

Police are on guard as shoppers line up for a Black Friday sale at a Tesco store in Cardiff, Britain.
Mattthew Horwood EPA/Landov

Black Friday is in full swing in U.S. stores and online, with shoppers across the country hoping to snatch up Christmas bargains.

The National Retail Federation forecasts a 4.1 percent increase in holiday sales over the same period last year, bringing the total to $616.9 billion. It would be the biggest jump in sales since 2011. The NRF has a breakdown of shopping behavior last year posted here.

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Experts Predict Low Oil Prices Through Next Year

A Rosneft oil rig at the Vankor oil field in eastern Siberia. Russia is already feeling the pinch of low oil prices.
Sergey Ponomarev AP

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 11:29 am

OPEC's decision not to cut production continues to reverberate through global oil markets, with the price of Europe's benchmark Brent crude falling to a four-year low today — bad news for petroleum exporters in the Middle East and Russia, but good news for nearly everyone else.

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NPR Story
5:07 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Mega-Rich Invest In Works By Living Artists

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 7:16 am

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

The Two-Way
4:00 am
Fri November 28, 2014

AFL-CIO Supports Black Friday Strikes Against Walmart

The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Bargain hunters heading to Walmart, in addition to looking for holiday deals, may find workers participating in Black Friday Strikes.

Since 2012, Our Walmart, which is an employee labor group, has been staging strikes on the day after Thanksgiving.

Employees at stores in six states and Washington, D.C., plan to participate and more locations are expected to join in.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

WTO Members Approve Historic Trade Deal

The World Trade Organization has received the unanimous backing of its 160 member nations for a first-ever multilateral trade deal, an agreement that has been years in the making and that the organization claims could add $1 trillion annually to global commerce.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Oil Prices Tumble After OPEC Holds Firm On Output

The lowest gas prices in years are seen Wednesday on a fuel sign in Lawrence, Kan. A day later, OPEC decided to maintain current production levels, virtually ensuring continued low prices at the pump.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 11:53 am

Update at 5:50 p.m. ET

OPEC oil ministers have agreed to keep production levels steady, virtually ensuring continued low prices at the gas pump and lower costs for jet fuel that could translate into cheaper air-ticket prices.

Reuters reports: "Benchmark Brent futures settled at $72.58 a barrel, down $5.17, after hitting a four-year low of $71.25 earlier in the session. The contract was on track for its biggest monthly fall since 2008. U.S. crude was last down $4.64 at $69.05 a barrel."

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Around the Nation
5:09 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Energy Boom Helps Texas Commuter School Launch Football Program

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 12:12 pm

Copyright 2014 KRTS-FM. To see more, visit http://www.marfapublicradio.org/.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
5:05 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Louisiana Woos Movie Industry With Tax Credits

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 12:12 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Louisiana is known as the pelican state, but it's now trying out a new nickname, Hollywood South. Thanks to some very generous tax credits more movies are filmed in Louisiana than any other state, California included. From New Orleans, Kate Richardson of member station WWNO has the story.

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Economy
5:22 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Don't Feel Guilty — The Holidays Are A 'Macroeconomic Cheat Day'

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 6:39 pm

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

What do you mean? Wait a second. Wait a second. I'm pretty sure it starts right now.

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