Economy & Business

Business news

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Tight labor market, tight … jeans?

2 hours ago

It’s a tight labor market out there – so in a quest to attract workers, Walmart is trying out something new – allowing workers on the stores’ floors to wear jeans and solid shirts in any color. The new policy is being tested in less than two dozen stores. 

 

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Seven months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is still recovering

3 hours ago

It's been seven months since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, and the island is still facing some serious problems. This week, an islandwide power outrage left most of Puerto Rico in the dark. And teachers along with parents have been protesting the Education Department's plan to close 283 schools. Host Kai Ryssdal checks in with Marketplace reporter Lizzie O'Leary on the latest news of Puerto Rico's recovery. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

In the struggling canned goods industry, Pacific Coast Producers is a survivor, taking some 700,000 tons of fruit grown by California farmers each year and canning it for sale in supermarkets and large institutions such as hospitals.

This year the company, based in Lodi, Calif., is facing another challenge that promises to make turning a profit that much harder: President Trump's tariffs on steel imports.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The rent is too damn high, according to a new Pew report

3 hours ago

In 2015, 38 percent of renter households spent more than 30 percent of their gross income on housing, according to a new report released today by Pew Charitable Trusts. The Pew report said high rates of families living in such a precarious financial state threatens the long-term economic mobility of American families, and has implications for the economy as a whole.

Maria Walkenbach lives in Detroit with her four dogs, just around the corner from the construction site for the Gordie Howe International Bridge, being built across the Detroit River to Canada. Walkenbach’s been here, in the home she inherited from her mother-in-law, for almost 20 years.

“My husband actually passed away in this home. So, there's a lot of memories in this home. And now that I'm looking to retire in another year or two, I want to start fresh,” Walkenbach said.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

04/19/2018: Puerto Rico is still recovering

4 hours ago

Sometimes you've got a plan for reporting out a story, then circumstances change your mind. That's what happened to Marketplace Weekend host Lizzie O'Leary, who's in Puerto Rico this week. She was in the middle of reporting an update on how the island is recovering after last year's hurricanes, then the lights went out ... everywhere. We got Lizzie on the phone today to talk about how things are going. But first, the latest on the AT&T-Time Warner trial — and reminder of what's at stake. Plus: the business of a royal wedding.

President Trump doesn't like Amazon's deal with the USPS. He recently repeated an estimate that the US mail loses $1.47 every time Amazon uses it to send a package.

(Markets Edition) The International Monetary Fund — which gets called to the rescue when economies melt down — meets in Washington. We'll talk to Diane Swonk, chief economist at the firm Grant Thornton, about one especially big worry that's looming: world debt. And the leader of that happens to be the U.S. Afterwards, we'll look at why rivals Amazon and Best Buy are partnering to sell televisions, and then we'll explore how a rise in trawlers off the coast of Senegal is causing local fishermen to lose their livelihoods.

It's getting easier to find top-notch, handcrafted whiskey, bourbon, vodka, and other spirits made in the U.S. With more than 1,500 craft distillers across the country, the American spirits movement is on the rise, and in Vermont, the industry is booming.

Over the past 15 years, the number of licensed distilleries in the Green Mountain State has increased nearly tenfold: from just three to more than 24, according to Vermont's Distilled Spirits Council.

Room 615 in Vladivostok's Hotel Gavan is a cramped, two-room "business suite" with green wallpaper and carpeting. Yet when former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il traveled to Russia's Pacific coast in 2002, the modest digs served as his presidential suite.

Amazon and Best Buy are partnering to sell televisions. As part of the deal, Best Buy will sell Amazon smart TVs in their stores and on Amazon as a third-party merchant. What’s bringing two apparent rivals together to sell expensive gadgets to consumers?

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