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Marketplace

Marketplace

Every weekday, host Kai Ryssdal helps you make sense of the day?s business and economic news ? no econ degree or finance background required. ?Marketplace? takes you beyond the numbers, bringing you context. Our team of reporters all over the world speak with CEOs, policymakers and regular people just trying to get by.

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Episodes

Why some builders are intentionally constructing fewer homes

Prices are high, inventory is low ? if you’re in the market for a new home, you know this has been the reality for a while now. Something else to add to house hunters’ chagrin? According to the research firm Zonda, 85% of homebuilders are purposely building fewer houses, given shortages of land, materials and workers. But first: the year of lost GDP. Later in the show: Bars grapple with the booze supply chain, and the Crocs CEO talks about the shoe many love to hate.

2021-07-30
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Millions could face eviction with the moratorium ending

More than 15 million people live in households that are behind on their rent, according to a new report from the Aspen Institute. And while Congress allocated $46 billion in federal assistance for renters during the pandemic, access to technology, language barriers and lack of information are proving to be hurdles for tenants behind on their rents. Also on today’s show: How London’s financial center is faring after Brexit, hints at a potential American hunger crisis and a resurgence in Alaska’s salmon industry.

2021-07-29
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Wall Street’s Sallie Krawcheck on the pandemic and the gender wealth gap

Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, a digital financial company for women, discusses how COVID-19 exacerbated existing inequities between men and women. She also talks about why money causes stress and the future of her company. Also on today’s show: the continuing struggles of the travel industry, shifting language in home appraisals and what washing machine sales can teach us about consumer confidence.

2021-07-28
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Why some towns might pay you to move there

Towns like Augusta, Maine; Bemidji, Minnesota; and Savannah, Georgia, are among the more than 40 communities in the U.S. incentivizing people to move there. They dangle perks like housing assistance, camping equipment or up to $20,000 in cash. The incentives are aimed at convincing remote workers to make a move, which can boost the economies of struggling locales. Also on the show: shipping bottlenecks in Chicago, the good some economists think inflation can bring and engineering restaurant menus for a QR code-friendly world.

2021-07-27
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Businesses are reopening across the U.S., especially where vaccine rates are higher

Over 60,000 businesses reopened during the second quarter, which is the highest volume of reopenings in the last year, according to data from Yelp. But there’s a distinct correlation between consumer interest and vaccination rates, meaning more Yelp searches, pictures and reviews for places like Maine, Vermont, Connecticut and New York than Arizona, Alabama and Mississippi. Also on the show: when masks are on the back-to-school shopping list, one chocolate store’s hiring struggles and why parking spots may continue to be hard to find.

2021-07-24
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When fast-fashion becomes real-time fashion

Though it may not be instantaneous, China-based online clothing brand Shein makes it pretty darn close. They’ve cut the clothing design and production process down to as little as a few days. In today’s show, we talk about one of the fastest-growing e-commerce companies in the world revolutionizing fashion and apparel. But first: rental bidding wars, California’s power-sharing predicament and why we believe economists’ predictions when they seem to get it oh-so-wrong.

2021-07-23
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Shanghai’s newsstands are disappearing. Why?

Red news booths used to dot Shanghai’s cityscape. Now, finding a newspaper in China?s financial capital is a difficult task. Newspaper circulation in China dropped by 37% between 2010 and 2019, according to government statistics. So, what does that mean for the few remaining newsstands that some say have outlived their use? Also on the show today: environmental justice guidance from the White House, hopes for Broadway’s reopening and fewer financial aid applicants.

2021-07-22
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The pandemic recession … is over?

The recent pandemic-induced recession only lasted only two months and ended in April 2020, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research?s Business Cycle Dating Committee. On today’s show, we’ll dig into why that is and why it feels like the recession is far from over for some Americans. Then, how manufacturers and retailers sneakily hide the fact that food prices are going up. Plus, what equitable infrastructure looks like for communities of color, low maintenance costs for electric vehicles and selling homemade bread straight from Grandma’s recipe box.

2021-07-21
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Teens to the (job market) rescue

The number of 16- to 19-year-olds who work jumped to nearly 32% in June, meaning teens are helping ease the economy’s worker shortage. On today’s show, we’ll hear from two teenagers about what they’re doing to earn money. Plus, the European Union’s controversial carbon tariff, the red-hot homebuilding market and the Biden administration plays a cyberattack blame game.

2021-07-20
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Return of the mask

Los Angeles County is reinstituting an indoor mask mandate starting this weekend. This might not be a shock to some, but it could have impacts on local businesses. We also talk about how the surge in leisure travel has spurred a growing need to retrain airline staffers, Canada reopening its border to nonessential visitors from the U.S. and the marketing power of TikTok.

2021-07-17
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Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo drops in to talk infrastructure, chips and the care economy

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo covered a variety of topics in today’s interview, which is the first half of our show today. Plus: Foreclosures, stadium litter and the state of the Chinese economy. Later, we check in with the post-Brexit European Union. Is Brussels trying to punish British film and TV?

2021-07-16
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Low wages are burning out federal firefighters

Firefighters working for the federal government are often the first line of defense, but near the end of the line when it comes to pay, especially compared to their peers on the state and local level. That’s led to a boiling point for many, who leave for higher-paying jobs. Also, we look at all the elements that go into a flight, examine the advertising impact of the Olympics being a no-fan zone and check in on an upcoming food hall in California.

2021-07-15
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Child tax credit payments are coming. How will Americans use them?

More than 30 million families will start receiving a new monthly payment from the government this week. On today’s show, we’ll look at how working parents might spend the money. Also, we examine a new report’s findings on clean energy, ask you to imagine a lake (it’ll make sense later) and explain what a “point” is on the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P.

2021-07-14
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Optimism soars at the prospect of a bounce-back earnings season

Analysts are projecting epic earnings growth, especially when compared to the pandemic-ravaged second quarter of 2020. We take a look at what that could mean for companies going forward. Also, some coffee (prices) talk, the movement of the Bureau of Land Management headquarters and a look at where we stand on inflation.

2021-07-13
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Will the hearing aid market pick up Biden’s message on monopolies?

The president signed an executive order today that targets anti-competitive practices. One of the items the order covers? Hearing aids, an industry where four companies control 84% of the market. Also, we discuss states’ cutoff of unemployment benefits, electric vehicles and a light pollution saga in Texas.

2021-07-10
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Workforce-ready women face down COVID-19 gap on resumes

The labor participation rate for women is now lower than it?s been in 30 years, meaning more gaps in resumes. On today’s show, we’ll spend some time talking with women and employers about how they’re approaching that challenge. Plus, a look at what separates the states that have hit pre-pandemic unemployment levels from the ones that haven’t. Later on, we’ll look at the changing credit card industry and new laws that give renters legal counsel. We wrap up today’s show with a look at the cultural and economic fallout from a much (much) older pandemic.

2021-07-09
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We’ve reached a record high in job openings. But who’s hiring?

The U.S. had a record 9.21 million job openings in May, but mix-and-matching those jobs with the millions of Americans who are out of work isn’t easy. We’ll talk about whether all those openings signal a recovering economy or a struggle to hire. Plus, grocery supply chains, stockpiling and why America can’t quit coal.

2021-07-08
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The latest forecast in the streaming wars? Dueling weather channels.

The company behind the Weather Channel announced a $5-a-month streaming service, Weather Channel Plus, and Rupert Murdoch is launching his own Fox Weather later this year. Is this what peak streaming looks like? We’ll talk about it, plus: Iceland’s short workweek and the short-term training industry. But first: Is OPEC+’s crisis an opportunity for American shale?

2021-07-07
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Is commercial space flight going where no regulation has gone before?

Jeff Bezos is stepping down as Amazon’s longtime CEO to focus on other projects, like his Blue Origin space venture. We look at how commercial space flight is still wide open when it comes to rules for passengers. We also talk about how colleges in Maine are witnessing an influx of out-of-state students, the world’s oldest sweet shop adapting to modern times and how business travel is still shaking off the impact of the pandemic.

2021-07-06
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What happens when a whole company takes summer vacation

Burnout is rampant in this workforce, and the quit rate is accelerating. Some firms are taking companywide summer vacations, but do they actually help? Today, we look into it, plus the housing shortage and China’s solar ascendancy. But first, a deep dive into this morning’s jobs report and the “last mile” of economic recovery.

2021-07-03
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The latest roadblock for carmakers? The semiconductor chip shortage.

Because of the semiconductor chip shortage we’ve been talking about lately, the average wait time for chips is 18 weeks. That’s forced Ford to suspend or dial down production at some of its factories, adding to the roller-coaster nature of auto industry jobs. Also, recruiting the next generation of venture capitalists from historically Black colleges, surging propane prices and the vulnerable state of U.S. electric grids in a changing climate.

2021-07-02
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Biden administration sets sights on competition

As the president considers an executive order that would tighten the reins on industries ruled by a few major players, we look into  the Obama and Trump administrations’ policies on corporate  competition. Also, we talk about post-pandemic career changes, free Obamacare and what exactly trade promotion authority is.

2021-07-01
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When mental health services, and people in need, fail to connect

The pandemic has increased the need for mental health care. However, the boost in demand has shed light on the logistical challenges that may confront those seeking help. We examine the disparity between mental and physical health benefits. Also today, how a “beer game” illustrates the workings of supply chains, the consumer confidence index and the art of car haggling.

2021-06-30
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It’s sweltering in the Pacific Northwest. Can the infrastructure keep cool?

The Pacific Northwest is enduring a record-setting heat wave, which has ignited a run on air conditioners. While AC isn’t known as an essential need in that region, its sudden widespread use stirs questions about whether the infrastructure can adapt. Also today, we look at the extended child tax credit’s effect on poverty, the Fed’s housing market tightrope and the first Black woman to get a Ph.D. in economics.

2021-06-29
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When work from home isn’t really “home”

More companies are making decisions about how and if their workers will return to offices. According to one survey, more than 70% of workers want to keep the option to work remotely, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to spend all their time working from home. As people take a break from their apartments and roommates and look to other spaces to park their laptops, it’s creating a business opportunity for others. Today: the evolution of WFH. Also, the Weekly Wrap, the extension of the eviction moratorium and the shift in how we shop for clothes.

2021-06-26
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Go home, economy, you’re being weird

The economy is growing, with GDP up 6.4% in the first quarter. But that’s cold comfort to the unemployed. The Labor Department says first-time jobless claims are still much higher than pre-pandemic levels. We look into what’s going on and sift through some of the more confusing facts. We also examine the concept of the four-day workweek, the challenges businesses face training legions of new employees and whether Congress is poised to regulate Big Tech.

2021-06-25
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Airports are about to get an $8B boost. Where’s that money going?

The FAA’s $8 billion in grants is designed to help airports recover from the lingering effects of the pandemic. Will it? Also, we talk about heading back to the theaters as summer movie season gets underway, prognostications about GDP growth and how even house flippers are being priced out of the market.

2021-06-24
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Why is joblessness higher among Black and Hispanic workers?

Joblessness is not falling on all people equally, Fed Chair Jerome Powell reminded House lawmakers today. We look into the factors contributing to higher unemployment rates for workers of color. And we speak with Julie Uhrman, president of Angel City Football Club, about its mission to become a global brand that fights for equality. Also: changes coming to the meatpacking industry, logistical challenges to vaccination and … pandemic houseplants.

2021-06-23
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How Prime (spending) Day shines a light on quirks of the global supply chain

By the time you read this, there’s a chance someone you know has already mentioned Amazon’s Prime Day. Perhaps they even wished you a “happy” Prime Day. Amazon’s signature day of sales has transformed into its own kind of epic spending event, much like Black Friday. However, what does this retail surge mean for supply chains already bearing the burden of booming consumer demand? Also in this episode, we explore supply chain shortages even further, the factors involved in a racial disparity in access to unemployment benefits, a picture of the coffee business in China and low vaccination rates among autoworkers in some parts of the United States.

2021-06-22
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The cost of hygiene theater

We know now that it’s pretty rare for COVID-19 to spread through surfaces, and most Americans are at least partly vaccinated anyway, but that hasn’t stopped businesses from cleaning like they were last March. On today’s show, we’ll look at what that level of hygiene costs businesses ? and why they’re still doing it. Plus, more on inflation and wages, along with a live wrap-up of the biggest news of the week.

2021-06-19
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Consumers aren’t worried about inflation … yet

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said yesterday that the Fed is seeing some inflation ? but it?s likely transitory inflation caused by, in part, the uneven reopening of the economy. But if you’ve been tuned in to the news lately, you know inflation is a big story. So what do consumers make of prices shooting up but the Fed taking no action? On today’s show: How consumers are making sense of all this inflation talk. Also on the program: One study says automation is to blame for stagnating wages, how it works when a company’s CEO is also chairman of the board and how a Los Angeles taqueria pivoted to survive the pandemic.

2021-06-18
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The psychological toll of long-term unemployment

We?ve spent every month since the start of this pandemic picking apart jobs numbers and unemployment claims. But there?s a lot happening in the labor force that isn?t captured in that data ? like the toll long-term unemployment can take on those looking for work. A recent Pew survey says about half of unemployed adults in the U.S. are pessimistic about future employment and more than half have experienced mental health issues like anxiety or depression. On today’s show: We look at how these factors can create a less predictable back-to-work economy. Also on the program: What’s driving the housing shortage, how New Yorkers feel about COVID-19 restrictions lifting, and how the pandemic changed economic forecasting.

2021-06-17
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How the balance of power in the labor market is shifting

Businesses have been having a hard time finding people to hire, even though millions of Americans are still out of work. It seems like quite the conundrum. But that’s because half the story is left out, said Barry Ritholtz, chairman of Ritholtz Wealth Management. “Whenever I hear people say, ‘We can?t hire people,’ they?re leaving out half of the question, which is ‘at these wages,'” he said. On today’s show: How the pandemic changed the labor market. Also on the program: why retail sales are down, about that U.S.-EU truce on airplane subsidies and what lowering the Medicare eligibility age would mean for American health care.

2021-06-16
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Why inflation can be a self-fulfilling prophecy

Federal Reserve officials have some new inflation data to chew on before they head into a two-day meeting on interest rates tomorrow. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a consumer survey today that says consumers are expecting inflation above the Fed?s target of 2% over the next several years. On the show today: How inflation can be a self-fulfilling prophecy and why that makes it hard to set policy around it. Also on the program: Why restaurants say they need more financial aid, more companies are investing in cyber insurance, and Canada?s agricultural worker program is under scrutiny amid the pandemic.

2021-06-15
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How consumer behavior is affecting the economic recovery

The University of Michigan?s preliminary June consumer sentiment numbers came out today, and although Americans are a little more confident in the economy and the recovery than they were in May, they?re still worried about inflation and the rising prices of things like cars and homes. Does that change how people spend their money? We also take a look at how consumer demand changes when products are scarce due to supply chain shortages. Also on the show today: Some British executives are getting bonuses for good behavior, and whether the pandemic could change Americans’ attitudes when it comes to taking vacations.

2021-06-12
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Why people are worried about inflation

Consumer prices rose a little over half a percent in May. Over the last year, prices are up 5% ? the biggest 12-month increase since August of 2008. It’s unclear so far whether the price hikes we?re seeing are a short-term story or a long one. On today’s show, we look at what makes inflation so worrying. Also on the program: Why 5 million Americans are still receiving extended federal unemployment benefits, a look at the economic challenges of ramping up wind energy production, and a conversation about the Biden administration?s debt relief for Black farmers.

2021-06-11
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About those wine and cheese tariffs

President Joe Biden arrived in Europe on Wednesday, kicking off a week of meetings. One item high on his agenda: trade, especially the tariffs levied by the U.S. and European Union. Yes, those are still a thing, and U.S. consumers are still paying for them. If you?re fond of provolone or a fan of Bordeaux, you?ve felt their sting. On today’s show: What’s next for U.S.-EU tariffs. Also, the Senate is allocating $250 billion to technology R&D, a study finds work requirements for SNAP benefits don?t lead to more people working and Chinese families are stressed by the demands of extracurricular classes.

2021-06-10
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The racial gap in appraisals devalues homes owned by people of color

Explicit racial language was removed from the process of determining home values in the late 1970s, but a recent study found that a racial lens on appraisals still harms Black communities. On today’s show: How that gap is contributing to racial inequality. Also on the program: The Joe Biden administration announces a strategy to strengthen supply chains, labor and supply shortages are raising costs for consumers and Las Vegas is hosting its first major business convention since the pandemic.

2021-06-09
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What will it actually take to achieve global tax reform?

Representatives from G-7 countries agreed over the weekend to back a minimum corporate tax rate of 15%. A global minimum tax rate has a long way to go to get from theory to reality. But behind that theory is hundreds of billions in potential revenue from multinational corporations. On today’s show: What it would take to get to a global minimum tax. Also on the program: Why some states are dealing with a tax revenue surplus, the SelectUSA trade show is trying to bring foreign investors back to the U.S., and Mohamed El-Erian on inflation and the economic recovery.

2021-06-08
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Jobs are up, but the labor force participation rate is down

The U.S. economy added 559,000 jobs in May as the recovery from the pandemic recession continues. But there remain millions of Americans unemployed, and some have stopped looking for work entirely. This means the labor force participation rate has dropped to its lowest level since the late 1970s. On the show today: Why Americans aren’t reentering the workforce. Also on the program: Why Facebook decided to suspend former President Donald Trump for two years, why used car prices are surging, and what one teen worker is looking for in a job this summer.

2021-06-05
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The long-term challenges of long-term unemployment

Although the U.S. labor market has recovered dramatically from the peak of pandemic unemployment, millions of workers remain on the sidelines. Forty-three percent of jobless workers are long-term unemployed, and economists warn that elevated long-term unemployment may persist for years after this recession is behind us. Also on today’s show: How the airline industry sees the future; Ally Bank’s decision to permanently end overdraft fees; and we check back in with a pasta restaurant owner in New York City.

2021-06-04
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The jobs available aren’t necessarily the ones people want

The big economics story recently has been about why businesses are having trouble hiring workers when there are still millions of Americans who are unemployed. Employers are getting desperate while workers are in no hurry to go back to jobs with lousy compensation or bad work environments. At the same time, states are trying to push folks back into the workforce by cutting unemployment benefits and by requiring people to prove they?re actively looking for work. ?There?s a big mismatch between what job seekers are looking for and what?s really available,? one expert said. On today’s show: the employer-employee mismatch. Also on the show: how one small business is dealing with supply chain issues, and how the role of videoconferencing could change in the post-pandemic workplace.

2021-06-03
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What’s going on with the American workforce?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a report released today that we are in a workforce crisis. There’s an all-time high of 8.1 million job openings ? and there are not enough available workers able, or willing, to take those jobs. At the same time, teenagers are now employed at levels that haven?t been seen in more than a decade, and signs point to an even bigger teen job boom this summer. On today’s show, we take the labor market’s temperature. Also on the show: President Joe Biden is trying to tackle racial inequality in home appraisals, lumber shortages are making the reclaimed wood market hot, and how tough pandemic decisions are paying off for some restaurants.

2021-06-02
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Tourist destinations are bracing for post-pandemic summer crowds

This weekend traditionally marks the beginning of summer vacation season. It?s the moment when a lot of tourist destinations in the U.S. start to see crowds. And when folks who work at tourist attractions ? and hotels and restaurants near them ? start getting busy. On today’s show, we check in with businesses in South Dakota preparing for a busy summer season. Also on the show today: Restaurants are still struggling to attract workers, how rent relief efforts are going in Houston and a conversation about inclusivity in economics.

2021-06-01
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More than a year into the pandemic, rent relief is finally reaching those who need it

Come Tuesday, rent is due for millions of Americans. After more than a year of the pandemic, a lot of renters have fallen behind and are struggling to pay their rent. Congress appropriated $50 billion to help renters in the last two COVID-19 relief packages. So where is it? On today’s show: That money is just starting to make its way to tenants and landlords. Also, what’s in store for consumer spending this summer, alcohol-to-go will still be on the post-pandemic menu in some states and a small British theater company makes its way back to the stage.

2021-05-29
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What’s driving rental car prices so high?

Planning on renting a car this Memorial Day weekend? It’s going to cost you. A lot of people have been unpleasantly surprised lately when trying to book rental cars, with average rates now topping out around $134 a day. On today’s show: Three reasons why rental car prices are surging. Also on the show: Nearly half of U.S. states are cutting federal jobless benefits short, what corporate governance has to do with climate change, and we take a tour of a “ghost kitchen.”

Your support powers nonprofit news. Become a Marketplace Investor today to help us reach our fundraising goal: marketplace.org/donate

2021-05-28
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Women are bearing substantial burdens from long-term unemployment

It’s clear now that the pandemic has disproportionately affected women when it comes to employment. About 2.8 million women have left the labor force since COVID-19 hit in March 2020, compared to 2.4 million men. And there are a lot of obstacles preventing women from returning to work. On today’s show, we hear about one woman’s struggle to overcome long-term unemployment. Also on the show: Amazon is buying MGM Studios for $8.45 billion, how the role of chief sustainability officer is changing, and a look at the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average on its 125th birthday.

Your support powers nonprofit news ? become a Marketplace Investor before Thursday to help us reach our fundraising goal: marketplace.org/donate

2021-05-27
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Why Black entrepreneurship surged during the pandemic

New-business formation exploded during the first year of the pandemic. But a paper  from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that those new businesses were concentrated in Black neighborhoods and that Black Americans were more likely than white Americans to take steps toward entrepreneurship during lockdown. Also on the show today: overcoming fear as a first-time homebuyer, how the pandemic changed city streets and a new company is enabling anyone to buy and lock up pollution permits.

Cheers to making it through this year! Donate today and celebrate the Marketplace way, with our stock market-inspired drink recipes: marketplace.org/donate

2021-05-26
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Have businesses kept their promises for racial justice?

Tomorrow marks one year since George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. Protesters across the country demanded racial justice, and a lot of big companies said they were committed to racial equity. Banks, tech companies and major retailers pledged monetary investments, retail shelf space and increased diversity in many ways. One year later: Have those companies kept their promises? Also on the show: Memorial Day weekend could be a test for the movie industry, how the COVID-19 vaccine is affecting consumer spending, and the return of the power lunch in London.

Cheers to making it through this year! Donate today and celebrate the Marketplace way, with our stock market inspired drink recipes: marketplace.org/donate

2021-05-25
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The Federal Reserve is thinking about a digital dollar

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Thursday that the Fed will publish a report on central bank digital currency this summer. A central bank digital currency is kind of like Bitcoin, minus the chaos and volatility. So how would that work in the U.S.? Also on the show today: What shoe sales are telling us about the economic recovery, President Joe Biden is asking federal agencies to gauge the financial risk of climate change and the cash-free model might be here to stay.

Cheers to making it through this year! Donate today and celebrate the Marketplace way, with our stock market-inspired drink recipes: marketplace.org/donate
2021-05-22
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