Economy

2:05pm

Fri October 17, 2014
Economy

Drop In Unemployment Raises Debate On Optimal Rate

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 4:26 pm

A notice in a store window in New York City announces a retail job opening. Now that unemployment has slipped below 6 percent, there's renewed interest in what the Federal Reserve's target for joblessness should be.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The U.S. unemployment rate has been falling steadily over the years. Down from the recession peak of 10 percent in 2009, it reached 5.9 percent in September.

That's getting close to what economists call the natural unemployment rate — the normal level of joblessness you'd expect in a healthy economy.

But a lot of economists are asking whether the old rules about full employment still apply.

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3:11pm

Wed October 15, 2014
Economy

Turmoil Continues In Financial Markets As Dow Plunges

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 5:54 pm

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Stocks took a beating, with key indexes falling more than 2 percent before bouncing back slightly.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

It was another stomach-churning day on Wall Street. At one point, the Dow industrials were down 460 points — a huge drop that followed four consecutive days of stock market losses.

The decline more than wiped out the year's gains. But then late in the trading day, tocks started to recover. And by the close, the Dow's loss was a little more than 1 percent.

Investors are worried about a global economic slowdown, the Federal Reserve's next move and even the Ebola virus.

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3:03am

Wed October 1, 2014
Economy

Transcript: Sen. Warren's Full NPR Interview On Financial Regulation

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 7:17 am

"Who does Washington work for?" asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., after her bill that would let people refinance student debt was shot down in June. It was a question she came back to repeatedly in an NPR interview on the Goldman Sachs bailout and federal regulation of the financial sector.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

NPR's Steve Inskeep interviewed Sen. Elizabeth Warren about the audio tapes made by Carmen Segarra, a Federal Reserve Bank of New York investigator who was examining Goldman Sachs. A full transcript of the interview follows:

STEVE INSKEEP: You described what you learned from this report as disturbing. What's disturbing about it?

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1:55pm

Thu September 18, 2014
Children

Colorado's Slight Decrease In Child Poverty, In 3 Graphs

Colorado saw the sixth-largest percentage decline in child poverty among all states, with approximately 17,000 fewer children living in poverty in 2013. The decrease was part of a national drop in child poverty.
Credit Vicki Watkins / Flickr - Creative Commons

For the first time since the start of the recession, child poverty has decreased in Colorado. The child poverty rate in 2013 was 16.9 percent, down from 18.5 percent just the year before. That represents about 17,000 fewer children living in poverty, according to data released Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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1:44am

Thu August 28, 2014
Planet Money

A Mall With Two Minimum Wages

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 5:20 am

Wetzel's Pretzels employee Emperatriz Orozco hands out free samples at the Westfield Valley Fair Mall.
Steve Henn NPR

The Westfield Valley Fair Mall straddles two cities. One side of the mall is in Santa Clara, but walk a few feet down the mall, and you're in San Jose. In 2012, San Jose voters agreed to raise the city's minimum wage from $8 to $10 an hour.

Philip Sandigo manages a shoe store on the $8-an-hour side. When San Jose raised the minimum wage, he lost about half his staff.

They went to the stores on the side of the mall that paid $2 an hour more.

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