Yuki Noguchi

Yuki Noguchi is a correspondent on the Business Desk based out of NPR's headquarters in Washington D.C. Since joining NPR in 2008, she's covered business and economic news, and has a special interest in workplace issues — everything from abusive working environments, to the idiosyncratic cubicle culture. In recent years she has covered the housing market meltdown, unemployment during the Great Recession, and covered the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan in 2011. As in her personal life, however, her coverage interests are wide-ranging, and have included things like entomophagy and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Prior to joining NPR, Yuki started her career as a reporter for The Washington Post. She reported on stories mostly about business and technology, and later became an editor.

Yuki grew up with a younger brother speaking her parents' native Japanese at home. She has a degree in history from Yale.

President-elect Donald Trump rode to electoral victory in part on discontent with Washington. He promised to "drain the swamp" — referring to the nation's capital. And No. 2 on his "Contract With The American Voter," listing activities for his first 100 days, is a hiring freeze on all civilian federal jobs that aren't involved in public safety or public health. A freeze is not unprecedented. Other administrations — Democrat and Republican — have used them. Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Bill...

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up more than 1 percent Thursday at an all-time high of 18,807.88, as investors bet that the Donald Trump presidency will mean less regulation and more potential stimulus spending. Specific policies remain to be seen, but the president-elect pledged during the campaign to dismantle regulations, especially the Dodd-Frank financial law , which is now boosting financial stocks. Pharmaceutical stocks posted more gains Thursday, on the anticipation that the...

Come next Tuesday, millions of people will stand in line to vote; last presidential cycle, about 57.5 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. Still, that means nearly half did not. Many people stay away from the polls because they run out of time, or have a work conflict — in which case lacking paid time off to vote might be a factor. Paid leave to vote is covered by a patchwork of laws around the country. Twenty-three states require employers to offer some form of paid leave to vote. Others...

There aren't many things the two major presidential candidates agree on, but here's one: Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump say they would spend more to rebuild the country's aging infrastructure. Clinton proposes spending $275 billion over five years, and setting up a national infrastructure bank to leverage some of the funds to induce more private funding for additional projects. Trump is proposing tax credits to encourage private investment of up to $1 trillion over a decade. Their...

Sounds, particularly those made by other humans, rank as the No. 1 distraction in the workplace. According to workplace design expert Alan Hedge at Cornell, 74 percent of workers say they face "many" instances of disturbances and distractions from noise. "In general, if it's coming from another person, it's much more disturbing than when it's coming from a machine," he says, because, as social beings, humans are attuned to man-made sounds. He says overheard conversations, as well as high...

Elizabeth Allen was at a happy hour for a San Francisco tech firm a couple of years ago, when a co-worker started forcing himself on her and the few other women at the party — again and again. He was "giving us lots of hugs," Allen says, "trying to kiss me a few times; he grabbed my butt a couple of times." The women were outnumbered by men, some of whom looked on, bemused, as the women tried to signal their distress. Allen adds: "Probably the worst thing about that incident was that there...

Prepaid cards are a growing segment of electronic payment that often function like debit or credit cards, but currently aren't regulated like them. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it is changing that, requiring prepaid card providers to conduct some of the same credit checks and disclosures required of credit card providers. "This rule closes loopholes and protects prepaid consumers," CFPB director Richard Cordray said today in a statement. "And it backs up those protections...

In its latest forecast , the International Monetary Fund says it sees global growth essentially moving sideways this year, with flat to slower growth in richer countries offsetting higher growth rates in emerging economies such as India. The report comes ahead of the semiannual IMF and World Bank meeting set to kick off at the end of the week in Washington, D.C., where officials will discuss how economic policy might juice up their respective economies. The IMF cut its economic outlook for...

It's once again time for the annual ritual of fear and loathing, also known as the performance review — at least for the companies that still do them. Many have abandoned the old way of evaluating their employees in recent years. Last year, even General Electric — whose former CEO Jack Welch championed the system often known as " rank and yank " — did away with its annual review. What's taking the old system's place? A hodgepodge of experiments, essentially. According to CEB , a corporate...

Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson's $20 million settlement with Fox News was unusual in some ways; she received an apology from the network and her complaint resulted in the ouster of former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. Her high-profile case is just one of an increasing number of retaliation claims. Retaliation cases now exceed claims of race discrimination, making up about 45 percent of complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. And there are those, like Lorraine...

At 4.9 percent , the nation's unemployment rate is half of what it was at the height of the Great Recession. But that number hides a big problem: Millions of men in their prime working years have dropped out of the workforce — meaning they aren't working or even looking for a job. It's a trend that's held true for decades and has economists puzzled. In the 1960s, nearly 100 percent of men between the ages of 25 and 54 worked. That's fallen over the decades. In a recent report , President...

The idea of black capitalism goes back many decades. Civil rights activists Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey advocated African-Americans creating and doing business with their own to build wealth in their community. This summer, the killings of black men and the Black Lives Matter movement rekindled campaigns to #BuyBlack and #BankBlack — but it's a call some supporters find difficult to heed. Two years ago, Camille H decided to buy all her holiday gifts exclusively from black-owned...

Scandal? Juda Engelmayer's seen his share of corporate scandals: "Failures, lawsuits, arrest, financial breakdowns, tainted food." All things he's handled as head of crisis communications for 5W Public Relations. It's no fun, he says, dethroning a titan over a big mistake. "Trying to counsel a client who's done something wrong and trying to convince them that, A. they've done something wrong, and B. to come out and say it to the public that's loved them and adored them for a long time — not...

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Trevor Burbank is single, 27 years old, and has been house hunting in Nashville for the last year. "My rent's going up in August, so I have to figure out what I'm doing," he says. The last time Burbank looked for a place was five years ago. He decided to use his down payment to start a business instead. "There was a house that I really liked that was going for $60,000, and I saw the house being sold in the past few months for just shy of $300,000," Burbank says. There's a big debate in real...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

More than 4 in 10 working Americans say their job affects their overall health, with stress being cited most often as having a negative impact. That's according to a new survey about the workplace and health from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. While it may not sound so surprising that work affects health, when we looked more closely, we found one group was particularly affected by stress on the job: the disabled. More than 60 percent...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

For American consumers there's a bit of economic silver-lining in the United Kingdom's vote to exit the European Union last month: Lower mortgage rates. In the week after Brexit , the interest rate on 30-year fixed mortgages fell to their lowest levels in more than 3 years. And that spurred a boom in mortgage applications that, experts expect, will continue. Spencer Cullen is a loan originator for CRM Lending in Tysons Corner, Va. Since the Brexit vote, he's seen business increase 60 percent...

Michael Lopreste imagines it would be easier if he had the sort of job that allowed him to simply walk away from a co-worker's political diatribe. But as sales manager of a high-end furniture chain, he often can't afford to. "Being in sales, we're kind of this captive audience," Lopreste says. "You know, you want to make the client feel at ease, you want to make them feel important, you want to be able to have a good rapport with them. And a lot of times that manifests itself by being able to...

A few years ago, a man came to pastor Wes Helm at Springcreek Church in Garland, Texas, and opened up about his financial troubles. Helm looked through the man's budget and noticed one major monthly expense: a payday loan fee three times more than the amount of the loan itself. "I thought, this can't be legal," Helm said. "Our church started digging into it and looking into it in our community and found not only was it legal, but that they were all over the place, that dozens and dozens of...

The blood-testing company Theranos — until recently a Silicon Valley darling — lost its largest revenue source after Walgreens terminated the companies' relationship late Sunday. Walgreens cited problems federal regulators have had with Theranos' lab testing and potential sanctions over problems found at its labs. Walgreens' withdrawal is another step in a rapid fall from grace for Theranos — and ends a partnership that was the cornerstone of its early success. Effective immediately,...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A handful of companies are offering parental benefits that go way beyond just paid leave, to include things like surrogacy reimbursement, egg freezing or breast milk shipping for traveling mothers. As competition for talent heats up, companies see it as a relatively cheap way to recruit, retain and motivate their employee base. This month, Johnson & Johnson extended fertility treatment benefits to same-sex couples and increased coverage to $35,000 for full- and part-time U.S. employees. It...

Many of the department stores that once anchored bustling shopping malls continue to close. Macy's will shutter 36 additional stores this year; 78 Kmart and Sears locations will also close. What to do with that vast, vacant space? There is no traffic, and no problem finding parking at Owings Mills Mall in Maryland. The 5,000 or so parking spaces are all vacant. A J.C. Penney closed last month and a Macy's closed last year. When it opened in 1986, it was anchored by a Saks Fifth Avenue and...

As the population of people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder keeps growing, so does the number of people with that diagnosis who aren't finding employment. Though many young adults on the spectrum are considered high functioning , recent research shows 40 percent don't find work — a higher jobless rate than people with other developmental disabilities experience. Research scientist Anne Roux , of the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute in Philadelphia, studies young adults with autism and was...

It's been a good week for employees of Chobani . They learned that they could eventually own about 10 percent of the rapidly expanding Greek yogurt company. That could potentially make millionaires of some workers, if the privately held company is sold or goes public. It's a grand gesture, and reflects a rising trend in employee ownership. Chobani's meteoric rise began in a defunct old Kraft yogurt manufacturing plant in upstate New York. Founder Hamdi Ulukaya's only experience in the dairy...

Hey! Wake up! Need another cup of coffee? Join the club. Apparently about a third of Americans are sleep-deprived. And their employers are probably paying for it, in the form of mistakes, productivity loss, accidents and increased health insurance costs. A recent Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report found a third of Americans get less sleep than the recommended seven hours a night. Another survey by Accountemps, an accounting services firm, put that number at nearly 75 percent in March. Bill...

In coming weeks, the White House is expected to finalize key new rules on overtime pay that could benefit an estimated 6 million lower-paid salaried workers. Workers' advocates say it's a long-awaited change. Most employer groups vocally oppose the new rules, because they might have to raise their minimum salaries, pay overtime — or limit their workers' hours. Much of the debate has pitted workers against employers. But at least one group is sympathetic to both sides: the American Network of...

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