Business

Economy
5:15 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Divergent Labor Markets: Private Gains, Public Losses

Job applicants meet potential employers at the NYC Startup Job Fair in September. Last month, the private sector created jobs while the public sector resumed laying off workers.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 1:00 pm

The last unemployment report before the election came out Friday, and the news was middling: Unemployment ticked up to 7.9 percent.

The private sector created more than 180,000 new jobs, but state and local governments resumed laying workers off. That discrepancy is part of a longer-term trend.

For a few years now, private sector employment has been growing, but since mid-2010, state and local governments have eliminated roughly half a million jobs.

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Presidential Race
5:37 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Obama: Jobs Figures Proof Of A Rebounding Economy

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Today's jobs numbers gave the presidential candidates something new to talk about, or at least new details for an old story. President Obama says the better-than-expected number of new jobs is evidence that his policies are working, slowly but surely. And Mitt Romney argued that the uptick in the unemployment rate to 7.9 percent shows it's time to change course.

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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.

Your Money
4:48 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Storm Leaves Many Facing Tricky Insurance Process

A tree service worker prepares to remove a giant oak tree limb that fell onto the roof of Charles Edamala's home in Elkins Park, Pa., during Superstorm Sandy.
Emma Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 5:34 pm

Mario Veas spent Monday night hunkered down with his family. But he has been running ever since.

Veas runs a tree service in Willow Grove, Pa. He says his phone has been ringing nonstop because people want trees felled by the storm chopped up and cleared.

"Everybody [is] calling and they want [the job] to be done this morning," Veas says.

Earlier this week, Veas was clearing an enormous tree branch from Preethy Edamala's patio in nearby Elkins Park.

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Economy
3:40 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Sandy, Election Could Skew Future Jobs Reports

Workers clean up debris left by Superstorm Sandy in Long Beach Island, N.J., on Wednesday. The storm may lead to layoffs as business losses mount, but also could result in hiring related to rebuilding.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 7:20 pm

Each month, the Labor Department issues an employment report. On Friday, that report showed job creation rose in October — and it revealed something more.

With its latest unemployment assessment, the government in effect took a BEFORE snapshot of the U.S. economy. It collected all of the data before Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast and before the election outcome could be known. Each of those two events has the potential to change the AFTER outlook.

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Economy
11:58 am
Fri November 2, 2012

What's The Priority: Unemployment Or Deficit?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, Superstorm Sandy might've turned out the lights along the East Coast, but Twitter was ablaze with comments. We want to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly that Sandy brought out on social media. We'll have that conversation in a few minutes.

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Economy
9:02 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Jobless Rate At 7.9 Percent; 171,000 Jobs Added

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renée Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Job Growth Beats Forecasts; Unemployment Rate Is 7.9 Percent

How many signs like this were there in October? We got a clue today.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:37 am

The nation's unemployment rate edged up to 7.9 percent in October from 7.8 percent in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

But private and public employers added 171,000 jobs to their payrolls — nearly 50,000 more than economists had expected.

So the news is somewhat mixed: While the jobless rate remained stuck near 8 percent, job growth was better than forecast.

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The Salt
5:04 am
Fri November 2, 2012

After Sandy, It's Pizza And Homemade Meatballs For The Lucky In New Jersey

While this pizzeria in Belmar, N.J., remained closed after Hurricane Sandy, Geno D's in Toms River turned out 500 pies to grateful customers on Wednesday.
Michael Loccisano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:43 am

The produce aisle may not yet be restocked at the Stop & Shop in Toms River, N.J., and other perishables may still be hard to come by. But rest assured, the local pizza joint is hopping.

"We've been busy, very busy," says Marissa Henderson, granddaughter of the proprietor of Geno D's pizzeria in Toms River. It was one of the few restaurants open in the area in the wake of the hurricane that rolled through earlier this week.

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NPR Story
4:58 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Some Economists Think Price Gouging Is Good

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. So, it was really hard to get gas in the New York area yesterday. One very simple thing could be done that might change everything: drastically raise the price of gas. Now, if that happened, we would surely consider it price-gouging. But some economists think it would be a really good idea. Here's Zoe Chace of our Planet Money team.

MICHELLE MEDINA: So, everybody here's OK? You guys OK? All right. Yeah, we're still on line with him.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Consumer Confidence Hits Highest Point In Nearly Five Years

"Black Friday" 2011 in Manhattan. Will consumers come out in force this holiday season? Their confidence was high in October.
Michael Nagle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 10:39 am

By at least one measure, in October consumers were the most confident they've been since February 2008, the private Conference Board reports.

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The Two-Way
9:02 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Some Mixed Signals From Latest Jobs Numbers

Job seekers were on line at a career fair in Manhattan back in August.
John Moore Getty Images

Three closely watched employment indicators are out this morning:

-- Unemployment Benefits. There were 363,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down from 372,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. So, as they have all year, claims remain in a range between 350,000 and 400,000.

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Business
5:06 am
Thu November 1, 2012

The Complicated Economic Impact Of Sandy

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 6:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Sandy is likely to go down as one of the costliest storms in U.S. history. The initial estimates of the losses are anywhere from $20 billion to $50 billion. But as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, the impact on the economy is more complicated than it may appear. Some companies will even make money.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Economist Greg Daco has been tallying the potential costs of Hurricane Sandy and he says there's no question it's going to hurt the economy more than it will help it.

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Success Factors: Rich, Poor And Everybody Else
5:53 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

At The Economy's Bottom Rungs, Striving To Climb Up

Johnita Ellerby, a single mother of four, is studying social work while working full time.
Art Silverman NPR

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 6:53 pm

As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, taxes, dependency and the role of government.

While it may be uncomfortable to admit, some Americans are simply more financially successful than others. But why do some achieve wealth, while others struggle? Why does one woman make it to the executive suite, while another man drives a taxi? And what do we think explains our prosperity — or lack thereof?

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Planet Money
9:10 am
Wed October 31, 2012

America's Most Expensive Storms

A firefighter surveys the smoldering ruins of a house in the Breezy Point section of New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

While we're on the subject of devastating storms, consider a report published last year by the National Hurricane Center. The title alone makes it worth a look:

THE DEADLIEST, COSTLIEST, AND MOST INTENSE UNITED STATES TROPICAL CYCLONES FROM 1851 TO 2010 (AND OTHER FREQUENTLY REQUESTED HURRICANE FACTS)

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Economy
5:21 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Sandy's Economic Toll Stretches Far And Wide

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:45 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Preliminary estimates of the destruction that Sandy left in its wake are that economic losses could total between 30 and $50 billion.

NPR's John Ydstie reports on the economic effects of the damage to infrastructure and disruption to business caused by this huge storm.

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Success Factors: Rich, Poor And Everybody Else
5:07 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Paid In America: The Road To The Middle

Sarah Bidgood is managing editor of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. She says her parents helped her start adult life with no debt, giving her a leg up.
Art Silverman NPR

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 11:07 pm

As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, taxes, dependency and the role of government.

And while it may be uncomfortable to admit, some Americans are simply more financially successful than others. But why do some achieve wealth, while others struggle? Why does one woman make it to the executive suite, while another man drives a taxi? And what do we think explains our prosperity — or lack thereof?

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Keeping Sandy's Economic Impact In Perspective

A truck drives through a flooded street caused by Hurricane Sandy in New York City's Financial District on Tuesday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 10:32 am

When Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast on Monday, the fragile U.S. economy was just sitting there, stuck in a sluggish-growth mode.

Now, as the massive cleanup begins, business owners, workers and investors are wondering what impact the megastorm ultimately will have on their wallets. Did Sandy weigh down economic activity enough to drown the recovery? Or will the rebuilding efforts boost growth over the longer term?

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Business
1:23 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

New York Stock Exchange To Reopen Wednesday

The floor of the New York Stock Exchange was empty of traders Monday, as New York's financial district braced for the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy.
Richard Drew AP

The New York Stock Exchange will reopen for regular trading Wednesday after being shut down for two days because of Hurricane Sandy.

The exchange said in a statement Tuesday that its building and trading floor are fully operational.

Tuesday marks the first time since 1888 that the NYSE remained closed for two consecutive days due to weather. The last time was due to a massive snow storm.

Sections of Manhattan were inundated with water and power was shut off to thousands of people and businesses.

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Your Money
11:39 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Why One Extreme Couponer Gave Up Clipping

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 4:55 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now for our conversation about personal finance. Especially in these lean times, savvy shoppers have been told never to leave the house without their coupons. Those who take it to another level call themselves extreme couponers. These big savers can load shopping carts with hundreds of dollars of merchandise and pay just a fraction of that for it. That's because they spend hours online writing companies and even dumpster diving to get as many coupons as they can.

Here's a clip from TLC's reality show "Extreme Couponing".

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
6:03 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Are The Rich Taxed Enough?

Panelists Glenn Hubbard (left) and Arthur Laffer argue for the motion "The Rich Are Taxed Enough."
Samuel LaHoz

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 7:07 am

Tax policy has been a divisive theme throughout the presidential campaign. At the core of the debate are divergent philosophies about what the economy needs — and how to get it.

In this Oxford-style debate from Intelligence Squared U.S., a panel of experts dissects the motion "The Rich Are Taxed Enough." The term "enough," in this case, is determined by three factors: fairness, sufficiency and efficiency.

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Business
5:33 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Travel At A Near Standstill Along The East Coast

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 1:20 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The transportation industry is also taking a hard hit. Travel is at a virtual standstill along the East Coast because of Sandy. Up to 15,000 flights have been canceled. Amtrak service in the Northeast is shut down again today. And crews are just beginning to assess the extensive cleanup work needed to clear tracks and roads.

NPR's Tovia Smith reports.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: Travelers across the Northeast have been going nowhere fast. Some who thought they were getting lucky, got half way home before hitting the end of the road.

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The Two-Way
4:42 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy's Economic Impact Likely To Be Immense

Waves crash over a road as Hurricane Sandy comes up the coast Monday in Winthrop, Mass. Economists are predicting the storm will cost tens of billions of dollars.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 5:12 pm

Economists will need many days — maybe weeks or months — to assess the financial harm being done by Hurricane Sandy. But whatever the final figure, it will be huge, well into the tens of billions of dollars.

More than 60 million Americans are feeling the impact of the weather monster slamming New York, New Jersey, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and many other states. The howling mix of wind, rain and snow is causing massive direct losses, i.e., the destruction of private homes, stores, boats and cars.

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Around the Nation
4:38 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Want To Be Rich? Be Lucky, Know The Right People

Michael and Amy Tiemann estimate their personal wealth at about $25 million — and say luck played no small part in their financial success.
Art Silverman NPR

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 11:42 am

As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, dependency and the role of government.

And while it may be uncomfortable to admit, some Americans are simply more financially successful than others. But why do some achieve wealth, while others struggle? And what do we think explains our prosperity — or lack thereof?

Read more
Election 2012
5:14 am
Mon October 29, 2012

What Type Of Economy Will Next President Inherit?

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama debate on Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 1:29 pm

Later this week we'll get another snapshot of the U.S. job market: the last unemployment report before next week's presidential election.

Forecasters expect another sign of slow but steady job growth. Whoever is in the Oval Office next year will have to cope with a sluggish U.S. economy and confront some urgent policy decisions.

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Economy
6:51 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

Bust To Boom: Why Housing Matters, Economically

A construction worker finishes a roof in Chicago on Oct. 12. Signs of recovery in the housing market are springing up nationwide, but there's still a ways to go.
Nam Y. Huh AP

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 7:45 pm

The economy has peppered political speeches for much of the presidential campaign. But talk of creating jobs has stolen thunder from the housing market.

The epic housing collapse four years ago was a key ingredient in creating the Great Recession in the first place. Plus, boosting the housing market can be a boon for overall economic recovery.

Beginning A 'Long-Term Cycle'

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Law
4:43 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Time Is Running Out To File Suits Over 2008 Crisis

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 5:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Justice Department filed a $1 billion mortgage fraud case this week against Bank of America. To be clear, it is a civil case; the only thing at stake is money.

And as NPR's Carrie Johnson reports, this may be the most accountability tax payers ever see from the 2008 financial crisis. That's because the statute of limitations to bring a criminal case is expiring, and no major Wall Street bank executive has been convicted of a crime.

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It's All Politics
4:23 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Why The Economy Won't Help Obama — Or Romney

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 4:37 pm

The U.S. economy remains in a gray area, so it's no wonder that the presidential race is essentially tied.

Gross domestic product grew at a 2 percent annual rate between June and September, according to figures out Friday. The White House says this means the economy has been growing for 13 straight quarters.

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It's All Politics
4:20 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Economists: Romney's 12 Million Jobs Target Realistic, Even If He Loses

Alan Shull attends a job fair in Portland, Ore., on April 24.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 5:57 pm

As the election draws closer, the economy and jobs remain top issues in the presidential race.

President Obama points to the improvement in the labor market since he took office in the midst of a downward spiral.

Both he and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have five-point plans for improving the economy, although their strategies differ.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Economic Growth Picked Up Slightly In Third Quarter

A GM assembly line in Lansing, Mich.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 10:31 am

The U.S. economy grew at a 2 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis says.

That follows growth (at annual rates) of 1.3 percent in the second quarter and 2 percent in the first.

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