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Marketplace All-in-One

Author: Marketplace

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Marketplace® is the leading business news program in the nation. We bring you clear explorations of how economic news affects you, through stories, conversations, newsworthy numbers and more. The Marketplace All-in-One podcast provides each episode of the public radio broadcast programs Marketplace, Marketplace Morning Report®and Marketplace Tech® along with our podcasts Make Me Smart, Corner Office and The Uncertain Hour. Visit for more. From American Public Media. Twitter: @Marketplace

2529 Episodes
The liquid workforce

The liquid workforce


Over a quarter of the world’s largest employers don’t just make or sell products — they also rent out workers. Let’s talk about how we got here. For even more of “The Uncertain Hour,” subscribe to our newsletter! Each week we’ll bring you a note from host Krissy Clark and explain some terms that have come up in our reporting. This week we’re looking at “core competence.”
This week we’re finally going to tell you what happened to Jerry Vazquez — and how his story relates to the 1930s case of a hotel chambermaid. Jerry and some of his fellow Jan-Pro franchisees decided to sue the company, saying they’d been misclassified as independent contractors when they should have been employees (and entitled to minimum wage, over time, and other protections). But the argument over what defines an employee has a long and strange legal history. So, we’ll dive in and explore the origins of the federal minimum wage, why lawmakers wrote the law as broadly as they did, whom it applied to and whom it excluded. And we’ll tell you about this odd but powerful phrase, “to suffer or permit to work,” that’s at the heart of lawsuits like Jerry’s. For even more of “The Uncertain Hour,” subscribe to our newsletter! Each week we’ll bring you a note from host Krissy Clark and explain some terms that have come up in our reporting. This week we’re looking at “misclassification.”
Who’s the boss?

Who’s the boss?


Jerry Vazquez was in the cleaning business now, and his clients liked him. They’d leave him notes, some with smiley faces drawn in. But, he says, he was barely getting by on the rates negotiated by Jan-Pro. He started feeling like had little control over a business that he owned. As Jerry would soon find out, some of Jan-Pro’s other franchisees felt similarly — they were stuck. So Jerry decided it was time to fight back. For even more of “The Uncertain Hour,” subscribe to our newsletter! Each week we’ll bring you a note from host Krissy Clark and explain some terms that have come up in our reporting. This week’s word is “franchise.”
Jerry Vazquez always dreamed of working for himself. So when he saw a notice in the PennySaver advertising janitorial franchises, he decided to go all in. Pretty soon after, he was in debt to the company and earning less than minimum wage doing a really dirty job. He’d wanted his own business — and on paper, he did — but it felt like something entirely different. Correction (Feb. 4, 2021): A previous version of this podcast description misspelled Jerry Vazquez’s name. The text has been corrected.
Employment as we know it is changing. The kinds of jobs where one person works for one employer for years — with health insurance, sick days, paid vacation and a retirement fund — are getting harder to find. Throughout the economy, companies have pivoted to outsourced, subcontracted, freelance, temporary or gig workers. Many of those jobs don’t have benefits; some of them don’t even pay minimum wage. And while it’s accelerated during recent recessions, the trend has been decades in the making.  This season, “The Uncertain Hour” is looking at this thing we used to call employment: what happened to it, why it happened and what a workforce made up of “nonemployees” means for our future. The new season starts Wednesday, Feb. 3. Here’s a preview.
We’ve spent the past five weeks trying to make sense of this moment, where the inequalities of our society have been suddenly set in high relief. In that time, you all have written in with a bunch of questions big and small. Today, we’re going to cap off this pop-up season by answering a few of them. Questions like: What would chicken cost if plant workers got better wages and benefits? And how did health insurance get tied to our jobs anyway? We’ll also look back at two very clear moments, both after pandemics, when economic inequality started to fall dramatically. Thanks so much to everyone who listened and sent in questions. We’ll be back later this year with new episodes. Until, then, there’s always our first three seasons.
On any given night last year, half a million people in the United States were experiencing homelessness, and more than 60% of them were staying in emergency shelters or transitional housing programs. Now, those same facilities are hot spots for COVID-19. It’s hard to social distance when you’re cramped, sharing bedrooms and sharing locker-room style communal showers. Today, we’ll look back at the history of how America has sheltered unhoused people, and how those approaches can make it hard for them to get back on their feet even when there’s not a pandemic going on.
The COVID-19 pandemic arrived at a moment when the gap between rich and poor in this country had hit a record high. One place that inequality is most visible is in the neighborhoods where we live. Generations of discriminatory housing policy, and lending practices that favored white borrowers, have entrenched segregation in American cities. This week, we’ll examine the housing policies that emerged from past economic crises, policies that excluded black people and other people of color, preventing them from building the wealth that middle class white families built.
Millions of Americans who are out of work don’t receive unemployment benefits. That’s by design. Today, we’ll look at the history of the United States’ unemployment insurance system, how this country defines “unemployment,”and why the program was never intended to cover everyone who’s not working.
As long as there’s been such a thing as quarantine, each person’s experience under it has depended largely on their economic status. On this week’s show, we take a tour of quarantines through history, from the bubonic plague outbreaks in 14th and 17th century Italy, to the a typhoid outbreak in New York in the early 1900s and a few other stops along the way. Those quarantines looked very different if you were, say, an immigrant, or a Jewish textile merchant, or a sex worker. Crises like the COVID-19 pandemic shine a spotlight on all the inequalities already lurking in the system, and ideas of what the government owes to people in quarantine have changed over the centuries too. Long gone are the days of the government sending your family fennel sausage, cheese and wine to make it through.
Chicken is America’s most popular meat. But chicken supply chains — in fact, many of our food supply chains — are in danger of breaking down. Part of the reason is the workers who process and package those goods are getting sick. In some cases, they’re dying. For the first episode of our new season, “A History of Now,” we focused on America’s chicken supply chain because it raises a huge, looming question: How is it that essential workers don’t have essential protections? How do we get through a crisis — any crisis — if we can’t be sure our food-producing workforce is safe?
There’s not much more uncertain than our current moment. Our day-to-day lives and our economy have been upended by the coronavirus pandemic. On this season, “A History of Now,” we’re digging into the history and policies that help make sense of this current moment, a time where issues of wealth and poverty feel even more stark than usual. New episodes start May 13.    
We live in a world that rewards us for producing, and producing, and producing. But why is it that no matter how much we do, it never feels like enough? This week, we’re going to look at our obsession with productivity — the exhausting effort to be completely optimized in work and outside of it.
Pandemic motherhood

Pandemic motherhood


The pandemic has been brutal on working moms. In September alone, women left the workplace at four times the rate that men did. The numbers are shocking, but behind them are real, human experiences. This week, we hear some of those stories. Your support makes our podcast possible – become a Marketplace Investor today to keep us going strong.
One woman pursues her idea of the American dream — home ownership — only to have it completely backfire.
Most of us tell little white lies at some point or another to make things less weird about money. But what happens when disaster strikes, and your money situation becomes impossible to hide? This episode originally aired in August 2019. We’re working on an episode and we need your help. What’s getting you through those long days in lockdown? Big or small, as long as it doesn’t have to do with work, we want to hear about what’s bringing you joy and why. Drop us a line at (347) RING-TIU, or (347) 746-4848. You can also send us a voice memo at, or fill out the form below.
The student loan trap

The student loan trap


Jessie Suren grew up hearing the same advice over and over: College would be her ticket to the middle class, even if it meant taking out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans. But when the job she applied for after graduation fell through, she ended up working at a call center to hound people who had fallen behind on their loan payments. She feared she was staring at a window into her future, and she would spend the rest of her twenties doing whatever it took to get her balance to zero.
The WNBA is a workplace with a track record of standing up for its rights and beliefs. And this year, players went up against an unlikely opponent: a U.S. senator who co-owns one of the league’s teams. Plus, we take a look at the WNBA’s fight for fair pay.
Can’t buy me love

Can’t buy me love


After hooking up with her roommate, one woman can’t seem to avoid him — or his spending habits. Then, a couple tries showing their love for each other … in a way neither of them actually loves. This episode originally aired in our first season, in September 2019. We’re off this week working on some new stories, and we need your help: A lot of ideas about who we’re meant to be as adults get instilled into us at an early age, by the things we see our parents do or the expectations they set for us. We’re curious: Growing up, what did success look like to you? And how has that changed as you’ve gotten older? Let us know by calling us at  (347) RING-TIU, or (347) 746-4848. You can also send us a voice memo at
This Halloween, we have listeners’ spooky stories about good ideas gone bad, from giving a hormonal teen a debit card to getting into business with a scammer. Plus, a Backstreet Boys obsession that goes awry.
Comments (3)

Traveling Cello

Just eat vegan. Problem solved.

Dec 12th


If everyone would drive electric cars and install solar panels the way Elon Musk wants everyone to do, this would go a long way towards the US's energy independence. ☺️

Sep 12th

Bridget Collins

What state is Kai traveling in where he thinks the rest stops are gross? NJ, CT, MA & PA all have rest stops with clean bathrooms except immediately after a collection of buses - and someone is usually cleaning.

Jul 10th
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