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Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, our flagship program is all about providing context on the economic news of the day. Through stories, conversations and newsworthy numbers, we help listeners understand the economic world around them.
289 Episodes
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More than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance since mid-March. Many of them told the Labor Department that they considered their layoffs “temporary,” that they’d been furloughed and would be back at work at some point. But “some point” seems to be dragging on, and coming back from layoffs might not happen at all for some. Today, we do the numbers. Plus: tourism, bar reopenings and problems in the supply chain.
Another 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance this week. About  55% of the people who lost their jobs last month are women, which is a contrast from the last financial crisis. Today, we’ll look at the dynamics playing out now and why benefits have been historically hard for people to get. Plus: life on the farm and on the reservation.
How to reopen colleges

How to reopen colleges

2020-05-2727:564

Most colleges in the U.S. have been shut down for months in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. But NYU’s campus in Shanghai could provide an example of how to reopen mid-pandemic. Today, we take you there. Plus: the PPP extension, a literal economic slowdown and how breweries are adapting to social distancing.
Some companies have been experimenting with the four-day workweek to improve productivity and morale. Will the coronavirus pandemic finally push more workplaces to make the switch? Plus: what it’s like to quarantine in an RV, and will Q3 be the “fastest-growing quarter in U.S. history”?
States — and counties within those states — are reopening at different stages with different rules and guidelines. Business owners are navigating the uncertainty around those rules as they try to determine which apply to their businesses. A bar owner in Boise, Idaho, thought she might be able to reopen, but realized her bar doesn’t serve enough food to meet the state requirement. Plus: a program in California focused on housing the homeless during the pandemic, high school seniors are facing a difficult decision and the life-saving properties of soap.
It’s been about two months since Congress passed the big coronavirus relief bill, and 10 weeks since President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency. We’ll talk with some of our contributors and historians about the state of the economy and the historical context. Plus: China abandons GDP targets, Americans settle into working from home for the long haul and we chat with the president of the New York Stock Exchange.
Another 2.4 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. That’s down from the week before, but still about the population of Houston. There are two ways the government measures joblessness in this country, and it’s important to keep an eye on both. We’ll explain. Plus: how emerging markets are faring in this crisis, why evictions could surge in Texas and a conversation with the CEO of the travel company Booking Holdings. By the way, this is the last day of our last fundraising drive for our fiscal year. If you can, make a donation today at Marketplace.org/donate.
Restaurants, already operating on thin margins, have to balance keeping customers safe and making them feel safe, while trying to restore some normalcy. Today, we look at how one Atlanta Vietnamese spot is doing it. Plus: How Americans spent their relief checks, the coming wave of farm bankruptcies and the fight over hazard pay.
Today we’re going to dig into some ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While companies are looking for breaks from their rent, Home Depot says sales are up, and animation is about the only entertainment production still working. Plus: How remote work in oil and gas … works.
We asked the CEO of digital education company Chegg. Plus, we’ll dig into the auto supply chain, examine how banking has changed and get a preview of the new season of “The Uncertain Hour.”
…Now they might dip into those funds. Today on the show, we’ll look at the long-term effects of this economic crisis. Plus: new retail sales numbers, travel in a reopened China and the Americans staying away from hospitals even when they need care.
As colleges and universities across the country plan virtual graduations for the class of 2020, many new graduates are looking for their first jobs in a very different world than they were planning for just a couple months ago. Today we check in with some of them. Plus: how rural libraries are holding up, how consumer spending is changing and the tense dynamic between reopening companies and employees who don’t feel safe coming back.
Fed Chairman Jay Powell is live-streaming during this crisis like everyone else, and today he warned of a prolonged recession caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Today we’ll break down his remarks and what Congress might do about it. Plus: why home prices aren’t falling and how children’s TV changed America.
Over 200 economists have signed a letter asking the Trump administration not to impose its new “Buy American” restrictions on medical supplies over fears they’ll exacerbate shortages and raise prices. Today, we do the numbers. Plus: the life of a hairstylist in a reopening state, what it would look like if a major American airline went under and a conversation with the CEO of Twitch.
Across the country, many nonessential businesses and restaurants are reopening. But when the public is scared of the ongoing pandemic, we might be opening the door for more demand shock. Plus: 78% of the people who lost their jobs last month were temporarily laid off. Should they feel optimistic about going back to their original jobs? And we’ll look at the market for masks and rental housing.
Nearly twenty-two million jobs lost and unemployment at 14.7% for April. It was a bad jobs report, no way around it. But there’s more to it then that. Today we dive into how furloughs are counted, what this means for people trying to make rent and what the “diffusion index” can tell us. Plus: We’re watching a lot of TV, but do people want to watch shows about the pandemic?
Today the NASDAQ closed up for the year. We’re not sure how you square that, except by once again digging into why the stock market is not the economy. We’ve also got Chinese trade and small business loan forgiveness on the docket today. Plus: How are you sleeping?
The economic effects of this pandemic are not equal. In our latest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll, we found a third of people have lost work, while about one-sixth of them are working more hours. Today we dig into why. Plus, the view on the ground as Texas reopens, a conversation with the CEO of Land O’Lakes and how the flower business is faring ahead of Mother’s Day.
The newest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll is out today, and it paints a stark picture of how Americans are feeling amid the coronavirus crisis. We’ll dig into one figure in particular: more than four in 10 Americans say they couldn’t come up with the money for an unexpected $250 expense. Plus, how the health care system is changing, what it’s like to be making COVID-19 tests right now and how hazard pay works.
The Small Business Administration says that as of Friday, banks have loaned out $175 billion from the federal Paycheck Protection Program. That’s good news for businesses and the banks lending to them. Today, we look at how long that money will last amid a new surge of applications. Plus, what’s going on with Texas oil, how consumer prices are changing and what to expect from Disney’s first-quarter earnings.
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Comments (28)

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
Reply

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
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Timothy Webb

love this show #NPR

Jan 1st
Reply (2)

BeantownJewels

YES, YES, AND YES!

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 on...lol

Oct 4th
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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
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Dharam Sookram

the podcast has long stretches of no audio

May 8th
Reply (2)

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
Reply

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
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Strang3rDang3r

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
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Strang3rDang3r

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
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Benjamin Lyon

known unknown = the rest of the story :)

Jan 15th
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Zach Johnson

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

Dec 26th
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John Roberts

What is the assertion that "another reason the medical industry relies fax machines; it's more secure than e-mail" based on? The entire story before that was about how insecure fax machines are, and then instead of a conclusion we get tossed an unsupported claim. If it's more secure than email then I would have hoped the rest of the story would have been "stop sending email and start using your fax machine again" but it wasn't because that doesn't make sense to anybody.

Aug 15th
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Matthew Chagan

30

Aug 8th
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Chris Horton

Mr. Kudlow's prognostication sounds all green grass and high tides. But he always left an a carefully placed out should he be wrong. He only seems to look at the big GDP numbers and ignores the scores of businesses that are currently being hurt by tariffs. The possibility that these tariff hurt businesses can result in lower future GDP is something he would not acknowledge. Lastly, it is almost impossible for the EU to take all the soybeans that China was taking simply due to the shear volume that China was taking.

Aug 4th
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John Slavin

Your interview with Ken Lango, Home Depot co-founder skillfully revealed a chilling insight into how the top one percent view the growing chasm between the weathly and the rest of society. Your gentle probing and (rightfully) respectful questions revealed a mindset that is rooted in an implicit bias. The foundation of the "we deserve to have nearly all and if they aren't rich they don't bias" seems ironclad....No matter how respectfully you guided Mr. Lango... He was unable to move towards a path outside his bubble of wealth and privilege. Women and men of great accomplishment deserve respect, even admiration. However, the disconnect from empathy and the sometimes harsh realities of the rest of society is omninous. That particular reality bubble floats beyond the reach of those below... Below reason itself.

Jun 2nd
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Richard Schoen

this did not happen overnight. Where were these guys a year earlier. Evidently nobody wanted to do anything until the house burnt down

Mar 20th
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iTunes User

Marketplace has been my PM drive home choice since David hosted the show (no, the other one). Kai and the current gang of reporters are the strongest ever, and now I grab the podcast at work and listen on the way home, no matter when I leave the office. I don't have to miss a thing. THIS, and The Onion :-), showcase what the deilvery method of podcasting can be; It's great for listeners, great for content providers, and great for advertisers (er, I meant underwriters. Those 30-second mentions with full contact information and product descriptions on NPR are not ads, you see. That would be illegal).

Aug 30th
Reply
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