Business

Around the Nation
3:47 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Gov. Scott Walker Goes Head-To-Head With Labor Over Right-To-Work

Hundreds of union members rally outside the Capitol in Madison on Tuesday to oppose a Republican-led measure that would make Wisconsin a right-to-work state.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 6:13 pm

Wisconsin is set to become the nation's 25th "right to work" state. Republicans in the state Legislature are fast-tracking a bill to Gov. Scott Walker, who is a potential 2016 presidential candidate.

The state Senate passed a right-to-work bill late Wednesday, and the State Assembly could pass it next week.

The measure aims to weaken private sector unions by letting workers opt out of mandatory dues. Wisconsin Republicans appear to be following an anti-union playbook that's been circling the Midwest.

Read more
All Tech Considered
3:50 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Recruiting Better Talent With Brain Games And Big Data

With the technology to conduct more nuanced tests, some companies say they can provide more useful detail about how people think in dynamic situations.
Marcus Butt Getty Images/Ikon Images

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 1:49 pm

The job interview hasn't changed much over the years. There are the resumes, the face-to-face meetings, the callbacks — and the agonizing wait, as employers decide based on a hunch about who's best suited for the job.

Some companies are selling the idea that new behavioral science techniques can give employers more insight into hiring.

For most of her life, Frida Polli assumed she'd be an academic. She got her Ph.D, toiled in a research lab and started a post-doctorate program before she realized she'd been wrong.

Read more
Economy
4:50 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Yellen Lays Groundwork For Interest Rate Hike In 2015

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 7:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
11:47 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Eurozone Approves Greek Overhaul Plan

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the head of the Eurogroup (right) sits next to Roberto Gualtieri, the chairman of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, during a meeting Tuesday at the European Parliament in Brussels. The European Union's executive branch said the list of Greek reform measures for final approval of the extended rescue loans is sufficiently comprehensive to be a valid starting point.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert AP

European finance ministers have approved Greece's proposed economic reforms and agreed to extend financial assistance to the country by four months.

In a statement, the Eurogroup said it would begin "national procedures" – including parliamentary votes in some member states – to give the deal a final approval.

Read more
Business
5:13 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Pacific Northwest Businesses Hurt By West Coast Ports Disruption

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 7:48 am

Copyright 2015 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit http://www.opb.org.

The Salt
3:51 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Army Corps Project Pits Farmland Against Flood Threat

A truck drives on top of a levee that protects a soybean field in New Madrid County, Mo., when the Mississippi River floods.
Kristofor Husted KBIA

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 1:26 pm

For years, some small towns and farmers along the Mississippi River have been battling each other over a flood project set up by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

On the western shore, farmers in southeast Missouri need the project to protect their valuable farmland. But small river towns on the eastern side of the river say the project protects those influential farmers at the cost of their small communities. As a last-ditch effort, the opposition to the project is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to kill the project all together.

Read more
Business
3:50 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Analysts Fear A Prolonged Drop In Oil Prices Will Hurt Oklahoma's Banks

Drilling rigs dot the landscape near Calumet, Okla., in April 2013. Oklahoma's economy blossomed during the domestic fracking boom, but as the price of crude oil drops, that could change.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 2:39 pm

In Oklahoma, a state that largely rode out the recession on a gusher of new-found oil, things may be about to change.

Now it costs more to produce most of Oklahoma's oil than it's worth on the world market. That's triggering a sharp economic reversal, one that some say has the makings of a prolonged downturn.

"Over the last five years, the stars really aligned," says Roy Williams, president of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. "The community's investment in itself just blossomed, the energy industry blossomed."

Read more
U.S.
3:42 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Washington State County Unsure If It Can Take Wave Of North Dakota Crude

Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp stands on the docks as tribal crabbers unload their catch. The tribe has vowed to fight the oil train-to-ship terminals proposed for Grays Harbor.
Ashley Ahearn KUOW

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 2:42 pm

Oil companies in North Dakota are looking for the fastest and cheapest way to get their product to refineries, and they've set their sights on moving more of their product by rail to the Northwest.

There are six new oil terminals proposed for Washington state. Half of them could be built in the small communities around Grays Harbor, a bay on the Pacific coast about 50 miles north of the mouth of the Columbia River.

Read more
Your Money
4:56 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Reining In Financial Advisers May Help — But Americans Still Aren't Saving

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 6:45 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Planet Money
11:53 am
Mon February 23, 2015

50 Years Of Shrinking Union Membership, In One Map

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Fifty years ago, nearly a third of U.S. workers belonged to a union. Today, it's one in 10. But the decline has not been the same for every state. Here is a map showing how union membership has changed across the country.

A few notes on the map:

  • In 1964, the Midwest was full of manufacturing jobs and had the highest concentration of union workers in America. That has changed dramatically — both because the share of jobs in manufacturing has fallen, and because fewer of the manufacturing jobs that remain are held by union workers.
Read more
The Two-Way
10:34 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Honda's President Resigns, After A Troubled Year For Carmaker

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 11:32 am

Honda Motor Co., which has struggled with an air bag safety recall and a sales slump, will get a new chief executive this year. Takanobu Ito, who has led Honda since 2009, will leave in June, giving way to Takahiro Hachigo, an executive who began his career as an engineer.

Ito, who has worked at Honda since the late 1970s, will reportedly remain with the company both as an advisor and as a board member. Announcing the move Monday, Honda did not connect Ito's move to the carmaker's recent problems, which range from safety issues to lackluster sales.

Read more
Business
6:17 am
Mon February 23, 2015

White House Moves To Protect Investors From Bad Retirement Advice

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 5:51 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
NPR Story
5:02 am
Mon February 23, 2015

New Hospital Buildings Define Future Of Health Care

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 11:25 am

Copyright 2015 KERA Unlimited. To see more, visit http://www.kera.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
3:12 pm
Sat February 21, 2015

WATCH: Shipping Around The World In 1:40

Fleetmon.com video of global shipping traffic.
Fleetmon.com

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 1:27 pm

Given a deal to end to a nine-month slowdown at West Coast ports announced on Friday, we thought now might be the time to promote this new-to-us video from FleetMon.com that gives us a strong representation of just how busy are the world's shipping lanes.

Read more
Planet Money
4:46 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Bakers And The Birth Of The Minimum Wage

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 10:43 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

On January 1, 20 states raise their minimum wage and several states have additional increases planned in the coming months. Yesterday, we learned that Walmart will raise its base pay to $9 an hour this April.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Labor Secretary Perez Says To Dock Workers And Port Operators: Squash It Today

The labor disputes have been ongoing for the last nine months.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez has given West Coast dockworkers and the Pacific Maritime Association an ultimatum. If they don't resolve their ongoing labor dispute, he'll move neogotiations from the west coast to Washington, D.C.

The labor dispute started nine months ago, between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) of shipping lines and terminals and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which represents 20,000 dockworkers.

Read more
Shots - Health News
11:39 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Administration Grants Tax Time Reprieve For Obamacare Procrastinators

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 2:02 pm

The Obama administration said Friday it will allow a special enrollment period from March 15 to April 30 for consumers who realize while filling out their taxes that they owe a fee for not signing up for coverage last year.

The special enrollment period applies to people in the 37 states covered by the federal marketplace, though some state-run exchanges are also expected to follow suit.

Read more
Business
5:32 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Learning More About Longshoremen And Their Powerful Union

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 3:30 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
5:32 am
Fri February 20, 2015

U.S. West Coast Port Dispute Forces Shippers To Find Alternatives

Trucks move containers at the Port of Long Beach in California on Tuesday. Contract negotiations between dockworkers and shipping companies have led to a slowdown on the piers.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 5:52 pm

The global shipping industry is a ferociously competitive business, and the trans-Pacific route — from Asia to the West Coast seaports of the U.S. — is considered one of the most lucrative routes. Normally, cargo ships carrying everything from fruits and vegetables to cars and electronics can count on getting into a berth at one of the 29 West Coast seaports in a reasonable time.

Read more
Business
6:48 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

As Oil Prices Tank, Firms Large And Small Feel The Pain

An oil well in Garden City, Texas. With prices plunging, oil companies are laying off thousands of workers.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 8:13 pm

It's a painful time to be in the oil business. With the price of crude oil about half what it was six months ago, companies large and small are being pressured to cut costs.

On the front lines are oil services companies that do everything from drilling to providing electrical power at well sites. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are threatened as companies try to adjust.

Read more
Business
4:16 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Under Competitive Pressure, Wal-Mart To Rollout Raises

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 8:13 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
The Salt
3:26 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Chocolate Makeover: Nestle Dumps Artificial Colorings

Nestle announced that it is removing artificial flavors and colorings from all of its chocolate candy products — including the dyes used to give the inside of a Butterfinger, like this one, that orange hue.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 3:14 pm

Some of America's most popular chocolate bars — including the Baby Ruth and the Butterfinger — are about to get an ingredient makeover. Nestle USA announced it is removing artificial flavors and colorings from all of its chocolate candy products by the end of 2015.

Read more
The Salt
4:59 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Will A Tipped-Wage Hike Kill Gratuities For New York's Waiters?

Diners fill Riverpark, a New York City restaurant, in January. Restaurateurs fear that the tipped-wage hike being proposed in New York will force them to get rid of tipping altogether.
Brad Barket Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 7:59 pm

The restaurant economy of New York City may be nearing a tipping point.

State officials are recommending a big hike in the minimum hourly wage for people who work for tips. But that idea is giving many restaurateurs indigestion in New York City, home to more than 20,000 restaurants. Some say a tipped-wage hike could upend the whole system of tipping.

And many servers say tips are the No. 1 reason they started waiting tables.

Read more
Business
4:56 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

From Jobs To Car Parts, Port Dispute Rippling Through The Economy

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 6:59 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
The Salt
3:49 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Heaps Of Oranges Could Rot As West Coast Dock Dispute Drags On

Oranges sit in crates at the Rancho Del Sol Organics farm in San Diego County, Calif., in 2014. A labor dispute at major West Coast ports has left millions of pounds of California oranges stranded in warehouses and on half-loaded boats.
Sam Hodgson Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 2:23 pm

California citrus growers are caught in the middle of a labor dispute between dockworkers and shipping lines that could end with millions of pounds of rotten oranges.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:55 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Blind Boy's Quest Prompts Australia To Plan Tactile Cash

The next generation of Australian dollar notes will include tactile features to help people with visual impairments differentiate between them, says the Reserve Bank of Australia. Last year, the agency met with a boy who started a petition asking for the change.
Torsten Blackwood AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 2:13 pm

It started with frustration at Christmas, says Connor McLeod, 13. Blind since birth, he couldn't tell how much money he'd been given. So he started a petition — and now the Reserve Bank of Australia says it will create bank notes with tactile features to help visually impaired people tell the difference between denominations.

McLeod explains to Australia's ABC network what prompted him to act:

Read more
Business
4:37 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Why Slow Electronic Payments Can Cause Cash Flow Problems

Richard Cordray, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, wants payments to catch up with real-time life.
Josep M Suria iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 2:17 pm

Electronic messages can circle the globe in an instant these days. But electronic payments can still take days to complete, and that slow pace puts consumers at greater risk of getting hit with late payments, overdraft fees or other costs.

Now, regulators are pushing for faster electronic payments.

Jasmine Dareus, a college freshman, is scrolling through some recent bank statements. "A lot of it was books and stuff like that, like textbooks," she says.

One of those books cost $3.

Read more
Economy
6:16 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Study Suggests Recession, Recovery Have Not Left The Rich Richer

Maggie Barcellano prepares dinner in January 2014 at her father's house in Austin, Texas. Barcellano, who lives with her father, enrolled in the food stamps program while she works as a home health aide and raises her 3-year-old daughter. A study suggests that social safety nets, including food stamps, helped cushion income losses for middle- and working-class Americans during the recession.
Tamir Kalifa AP

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 2:56 pm

The Great Recession exacted a huge toll on people in every income group, and recovering from it has been a long and grueling process.

To some economists, the recovery has exacerbated the very real trend toward income inequality in the United States. French economist Thomas Piketty has noted that between 2009 and 2012 incomes have grown, but almost all of those gains have gone to the wealthiest 1 percent.

It's a claim that has been repeated often, but Steven Rose of George Washington University says it needs to be put in perspective.

Read more
Parallels
4:15 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

EU-Greek Drama Deepens As A Deadline Approaches

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addresses lawmakers at the Parliament in Athens on Tuesday. Greece is in talks with European finance ministers over its debt.
Simela Pantzartzi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 5:52 pm

This time, they're done. Through. They're walking out the door on Friday.

Unless they aren't. Unless they renew their vows and their union grows ever closer.

That's basically where Greek officials and European finance ministers are in their complicated relationship. After years of possible-breakup drama, a real deadline will arrive Friday and the parties must decide: Are we in this thing together or not?

Read more
Your Money
4:07 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Despite Recovery, Many Find Home Loans Still Hard To Get

A realty sign hangs in front of a home for sale in Orlando, Fla. Housing advocates say banks, stung by the housing crisis and its fallout, remain reluctant to lend.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 7:08 pm

It's been seven years since the housing crash. The housing market and the economy are both recovering. But housing advocates say you still have to have a near perfect credit score to get a loan from a major bank.

At first look, it seems like the trouble in the housing market has quieted down. There are fewer foreclosures. Home prices have stabilized and risen. But, as any parent with young kids will tell you, when things get too quiet that can be a bad sign.

Mike Calhoun, the president of the Center for Responsible Lending, says that's basically what's going on here.

Read more

Pages