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Author: Marketplace

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Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, our leading business news radio program and podcast is about providing context on the economic news of the day. Through stories, conversations and newsworthy developments, we help listeners understand the economic world around them. Marketplace makes sense of the economy for everyone, no econ degree or finance background required. Marketplace doesn’t just report on the numbers, we take it deeper, adding context to what’s happening in the stock market and how macroeconomic policy can affect you and your business. Monday through Friday, our team speaks with a wide range of industry professionals– from small business owners to Fortune 500 CEOs, Marketplace breaks down complex topics related to business and the economy without industry jargon and over complicated explanations.

487 Episodes
We got private-sector payroll numbers from the processing firm ADP today showing 170,000 new jobs — well below expectations and another indicator that this recovery may be sputtering. Which is, of course, why Congress is working on the next COVID-19 relief bill at this very moment. On today’s show: a look at the pandemic labor market. Plus, Texas is reopening, a check-in with people rebuilding after a deadly Tennessee tornado and why people are spending big bucks on “nonfungible tokens.”
The Biden administration released its trade policy agenda today, and it’s hefty, with goals including the advancement of racial equity, fighting against climate change and taking on what it calls China’s “coercive and unfair economic trade practices.” At the center of it all, though? A more worker-centric approach to trade. On today’s show: What does it mean for workers to have a seat at the table when it comes to trade policy? Plus, schools need funding to reopen safely, and which GameStop movie will be the first to hit screens?
The story of the coronavirus economy has been one of inequality — for people, businesses and even states. Many state governments have been taking in less tax revenue ever since the pandemic closed businesses and schools, and millions lost their jobs. But in 22 states, tax revenue has actually increased during the pandemic. On today’s show: How high-income taxpayers are helping some states make it through the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, Texas’ largest electricity co-op is filing for bankruptcy, and rental relief is taking a while to get to those who need it.
Stuck at home during the pandemic and unable to spend on restaurants or travel, Americans have been trying fulfill emotional needs by buying stuff. But you can only buy so many backyard trampolines, and economists are predicting a big shift back to spending on services as COVID-19 cases decline. That’s good news for the United States’ service economy. Also on today’s show: Some credit card limits are going up and a look at challenges health care disruptors face.
The unemployment rate is still high at 10%, and the economic recovery from COVID-19 is going to take a while. But as coronavirus cases begin to trend downward and vaccine distribution continues, people are getting ready for things to open up. On today’ show: Some economists think there will be a whole lot of pent-up demand let loose as things start to look up. Plus, New York’s plans for reopening, the challenges in winterizing Texas’ power grid and an update on how pandemic learning pods are working nearly one year into the pandemic.
President Joe Biden signed an executive order today designed to make U.S. supply chains more resilient and secure. The pandemic exposed problems with the current system, including shortages of personal protective equipment and semiconductors. But the order is about more than face masks and electronics; it’s about the future of U.S. competitiveness. Also on today’s show: what it might take to get back to full employment, the child tax credit proposal explained and a conversation with actor-director Regina King about her directorial debut.
The second round of the Paycheck Protection Program started about a month ago. It’s supposed to help small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic, but this round has stricter eligibility requirements, including that businesses can only apply if revenue dropped by at least 25%. On today’s show: Those restrictions are barring some small businesses that could really use the support. Plus, what the bond market is signaling about recovery, an update on the vaccine supply chain and how small businesses in Texas are dealing with the winter storm fallout.
Lawmakers are taking up President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan this week, and this third round of support is expected to face hurdles. But what if additional federal unemployment benefits didn’t need congressional approval? On today’s show: Some policymakers want to make benefits an “automatic stabilizer,” meaning they would be tied to economic data, similar to how your tax rate is tied to your income. Plus, the impact of a $15 hourly minimum wage, mortgage rates creep up with talk of inflation and how your fitness tracker could detect COVID-19 before a test.
  At the beginning of the pandemic, essential workers like those in grocery and retail stores were receiving hazard pay for toiling under hazardous conditions, aka the pandemic. Since then, for many workers, it has quietly disappeared. Today, we’ll look at how efforts to grant or replace hazard pay have been going. Plus: inflation in energy, shelter and food, Chinese students are reconsidering coming to the U.S. for college and Joe Biden makes his first international appearance as U.S. president at the G-7 summit.
The Biden administration is unveiling a sweeping immigration bill, which includes a path to citizenship that could grant legal status to an estimated 11 million undocumented people. Today, we’ll look at what joining the formal labor force could mean for them and the economy. Plus: the proposed $350 billion aid package for state and local governments, mom and pop landlords facing a COVID crunch and why looks matter in economics.
The House Financial Services Committee will meet Thursday about the market volatility caused by the short selling of stocks like GameStop. Today, we’ll catch you up on what you need to know. Plus, more fallout from the freeze in Texas, Puerto Rico’s coffee industry and the latest in our ongoing series “United States of Work.”
Thousands of people in the South are without power as electric grids strain to keep up with heating needs. Today, we’ll look at why power grids weren’t up to the task and how it’s affecting people trying to work from home. Plus: Life in North Dakota’s oil fields, “Young Rock” and this thing we used to call “employment.”
The federally run Obamacare exchange reopened Monday for a three-month special enrollment period. President Joe Biden ordered the move to get more people signed up for health care during the pandemic, especially those who have lost jobs and health insurance. The administration is planning to spend $50 million on a marketing campaign to get more people to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Plus, LGBTQ people are now protected under the Fair Housing Act and how racism led to the closing of public pools across the U.S.
Today is the delayed start of the tax-filing season, and it’s likely to be an especially stressful one for IRS employees and filers alike. Processing two rounds of COVID-19 relief has put a strain on the already short-staffed tax agency. And a lot of filers might not realize they have to pay taxes on unemployment benefits. On today’s show: how to manage the crazy tax season ahead. Plus, Maryland is set to become the first state to tax digital ad revenue, online alcohol sales are way up during the pandemic and we check in with U.S. companies trying to break into the Chinese market.
Another 793,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, and more than 20 million are currently claiming unemployment benefits. A new Pew Research study shows that 66% of unemployed adults in the U.S. have seriously considered changing their occupation or field of work. On today’s show: We hear from people who are trying to make that switch. Plus, how COVID-19 is affecting Mardi Gras in New Orleans, new federal guidance on workers’ right to refuse work that isn’t safe and checking in on America’s data infrastructure.
This week’s big news is happening in the Senate, but the what-happens-next-with-this-economy? news is happening over in the House, where committees are hammering out details of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The goal is to close the gap between the current state of the economy and its condition if there hadn’t been a pandemic. On today’s show: Where the economy might be when the relief money starts getting out. Plus, how mothers are particularly penalized in the workplace, what a jobs recovery might look like as the pandemic fades and what happens when you’re vaccinated, but your partner isn’t?
“The issue is that if you do too little, that means that people are going to go hungry,” Bharat Ramamurti, deputy director of the National Economic Council, told “Marketplace” today. We got him on the phone after President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met with top business executives to get support for Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. Also on today’s show: How the end of slavery led to two different minimum wages, a new study on fossil fuels causing premature deaths and small business optimism is at an eight-month low.
Several schools are currently trying out “pooled testing,” which occurs when multiple swabs are tested collectively. This approach lets schools monitor many students and teachers who may be asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus while preserving scarce testing supplies. The economic argument for pooling is that it can keep schools open and enable more parents to get back to work. But there are drawbacks, too. On today’s show: how one school is implementing pooled testing. Plus, the risk of inflation from COVID-19 financial relief, House Democrats’ plan to ease child care burdens and a conversation with the writer-director of “Miss Juneteenth.” The story in this episode about testing in schools has been updated. For more information, visit the episode page at
Today’s show is all about jobs — or lack thereof. There are 10 million fewer jobs in the U.S. economy than there were a year ago, and people in the hardest-hit sectors are especially suffering. With 40% of unemployed Americans out of work for at least six months, long-term unemployment is a growing concern. Plus, what counts as a small business, unspent money from the last COVID-19 relief bill and one job counselor’s story of job hunting.
Like most things these days, consumer sentiment is a partisan issue. The 2020 election, and the election-related disinformation and unrest that followed, have led to a stark reversal in consumer confidence by party affiliation. Democrats’ confidence has soared since the election, while Republicans’ formerly buoyant sentiment has plummeted, according to Morning Consult. On today’s show: Even the economy is becoming politically polarized. Plus, how Democrats plan to take on tech megafirms, Big Oil’s big losses and making investing boring again.
Comments (36)

Lewis Sunflower

how about Asian men or women vs Black women, or does that uncomfortable truth refute your white supremacy narrative?

Dec 11th
Reply (1)

Patrecia Sapulette

That woman on your show, Karen or whoever her name is seemed so upset Kai 😁 especially towards the end. I'm an observer and still I like this podcast Kai and Molly!!

Oct 11th

Abigail Bomba

audio is messed up & unlistenable

Sep 23rd

Patrecia Sapulette

plot twist: Girl is brokenhearted about her home destruction etc. and wants to flee the area,but accepted the engagement in confusion about the situation. Later on the girl leave,and Brandon stay in his home...😋 haha.

Sep 15th



Jul 16th


Kai, why don't you say: Whites control the reigns of America's economy. Whites are behind the inequities in housing and the justice system. Whites are responsible for the poor medical outcomes for many minorities. All of this is true but its weird to say it that way. So why did you keep calling black people "blacks". You did it over and over. Why did you do that?

Jun 3rd

Louis Reynolds

The design of the American economy doesn't allow its majority of its workers to be sick and stay financially healthy.

Feb 28th

Vernon Shoemaker

My first thought was that tax cuts can be paid for with more Iranian sanctions, but I'm unsure of that. Then I wondered why you need to pay at all since the government is only creating a medium that circulates, why demand a returned portion with earned value. That is, printed money is worthless until it's immersed in an economy that creates value. Then there's the aspect of time. Expenditure is a timeline and revenue is a separate one and the difference is government debt, at each concurrent point. Unlike the Kansans who play that movie and close schools, the federal government doesn't have to annually balance because it's budget is included in the entire economy and if it's not too great a loser the economy supports it. Increased debt derived from shortfall that supposedly creates conditions for growth is dependent on growth to be negligible as a dead, unproductive portion. It's necessary because the private sector doesn't support and invest in certain necessary services, like war. I suppose tax has the same effect as inflation, but I'm unsure of that too.

Jan 22nd

Timothy Webb

love this show #NPR

Jan 1st
Reply (2)



Oct 22nd
Reply (1)

Dharam Sookram

love the new segment "Kai Explains"... why then do I rename it "Man-splaning, with Kai" everytime it comes

Oct 4th

Shani Lynn

Thanks! Loved it!

Jul 29th
Reply (1)

Mark Matthieu

Farmers are nervous and need help, but they will vote Trump again. Damn those ideologues

May 11th

Dharam Sookram

the podcast has long stretches of no audio

May 8th
Reply (3)

Mark Matthieu

This is such a great podcast. I'm always amazed at what they are able to do in such a short time.

Apr 26th

Mel Vis

Very disappointed in the cavalier and dismissive comments from Kai regarding the Mueller report. He lost his credibility as a journalist and gained a reputation for condoning illicit behavior. Confirms the belief that Wall street supports corruption.

Apr 20th


hell yeah El Ten Eleven used as intermission music! for anyone that wanted to know the song that starts at 12:15, its called My Only Swerving

Feb 15th


lol what a disingenuous and ridiculous assessment of this issue. are you kidding me? "yeah the federal government forces me to get their tenuous licensing and approval for my small business, but now the govt is shut down. they won't approve me, but they'll fine me or shut me down if I keep working, it really sucks." WELL WELL WELL, SOUNDS LIKE SMALL BUSINESSES LOVE REGULATIONS!! how STUPID is that logic. clearly this doesn't show that we need government regulators, it shows that we need competition in the regulatory and standards market (3rd party testing and licensing) because the government regulatory monopoly is unreliable and fails the second the idiots in Washington can't agree on how much further debt they're going to put our country in.

Jan 17th

Benjamin Lyon

known unknown = the rest of the story :)

Jan 15th

Zach Johnson

The sound does not work 100%. can hear but it's hard.

Dec 26th
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