Business news

Hotels and online travel sites battle on discounts

Jul 11, 2016
Annie Baxter

Online travel agencies like Expedia, Travelocity and Priceline have grown in influence in recent years. For some consumers, they're a key way to discover hotels, and they can help hotels out by removing the burden of managing reservation systems and marketing.

"They do a great job at marketing. Everyone sees the commercials," said Robert Mandelbaum of CBRE Hotels' Americas Research. 

Online travel agencies currently capture about 15 percent of U.S. hotel bookings, according to Cindy Estis Green at the market research firm Kalibri Labs.

How we get to "full employment"

Jul 8, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

The Department of Labor reported that 287,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in June, while 11,000 jobs were added in May (according to the first revision after release of the May data last month). Which is closer to being an accurate measure of the long-term capacity of the economy to create jobs?

Moby takes the Marketplace Quiz

Jul 8, 2016
Raghu Manavalan

No matter who you are, you've probably had a rough day at the office that changed your perspective, or maybe you made an impulse purchase you really, really wish you could take back. This week, we sat down with Moby and had him fill out our questionnaire inspired by experiences with money and work. 


His memoir, "Porcelain," is out now.


In a next life, what would your career be?


Donna Tam

Uber won't provide any special transportation services for the Republican National Convention, Politico reported Friday, adding to the event’s growing sponsorship issues.

The tech company said it couldn’t reach an agreement for “an official partnership” with the RNC. It’s a contrast to the DNC, where Uber will provide VIP attendees the ability to order cars from a special shuttle service versus its usual pool of drivers. But, Uber said, it will still host parties and a lounge area for both conventions.

How the Fed will view the June jobs report

Jul 8, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the June jobs report, which showed that the economy added 287,000 jobs last month; the news that Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes is banned from running a blood-testing lab for two years; and Trump's ability to unify Democrats.

Lane Wallace

Another unicorn falls flat: This time it’s Theranos, the Silicon Valley startup that a few years ago held the promise of changing the way we get blood tests.

It’s been in an ugly tailspin for about eight months since a Wall Street Journal investigation led to a variety of inspections into how effective its blood testing actually is.

Election money starts to flow down the ballot

Jul 8, 2016

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said he’ll unify the Republican party, but in the meantime, he's helping unify a strategy for some Democrats. The main fundraising group for House Democrats plans to run ads earlier than ever this campaign, and will spend more than a million dollars targeting voters uneasy with some of Trump’s rhetoric.

Marketplace staff

This story's headline and text have been updated.

From our partners at the BBC:

Five Dallas police officers have been killed and seven wounded by gunmen during protests against the shooting of black men by police, authorities say.

Three people are in custody and one man who was in a stand-off with police shot himself dead, various media in the U.S. have reported.

Molly Wood

If you are fed up with the way things are working in your town, maybe it's time to just buy your own.

Sharp-eyed shoppers noticed a listing on Craigslist this week an entire ghost town for sale.

Cabin Creek, Colorado covers about five acres and includes a gas station, an eight-room motel coupla houses and a partially working septic system.

Plus, you can make the rules. Isn't that how that works? Maybe not.

Facebook and livestreaming tragedies

Jul 7, 2016
Molly Wood

The day after police fatally shot Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Philando Castile in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota was fatally shot in a car. His girlfriend broadcast the aftermath of the shooting live on Facebook. Many people are are arguing that the live video that aired on Facebook is profoundly important to the conversation about race and violence in this country.

Deepa Seetharaman is a reporter covering Facebook and other social media at the Wall Street Journal. Marketplace host Molly Wood talked with her about the role of these live videos in our country today.

Donna Tam

The median wage of child care workers in the U.S. is $9.77 an hour, and nearly half of those workers receive welfare in some way, according to a report released Thursday.

These findings indicate that child care employees are some of the lowest paid people in the country, according to the Early Childhood Workforce Index, which analyzed the policies and working conditions affecting child care workers and preschool teachers on a state-by-state basis.

S01-6: The road not taken

Jul 7, 2016
Karen Clark, Amy Scott, Caitlin Esch and Gina Delvac

What's the best path out of poverty--work or education?

Twenty years ago, welfare reformers came to this fork in the road and had to ask the question: Is it better to encourage welfare recipients to get a job, any job? Or is it better to support them while they get training and education that will eventually help them get better-paying jobs?

In the end, welfare reformers adopted a "work-first" strategy that required most folks to work in order to receive cash welfare.

In this episode, the what if....

Monthly jobs report looking in good shape

Jul 7, 2016

On today's show, we'll look about expectations for Friday's job numbers; the world of independent contracting; and Pepsi's second-quarter earnings.

'Big yogurt' just got much bigger

Jul 7, 2016
Lane Wallace

Shares in French yogurt company Danone were up Thursday morning after the company announced plans to buy Denver-based WhiteWave foods for roughly $12.5 billion.

Danone is the world’s largest yogurt maker, and owns major brands including Evian Water and Oikos Greek Yogurt. WhiteWave produces high-end breakfast brands like Silk soymilk and Horizon Organic, as well as the salad company Earthbound Farms.

Egg producers skittish about cage-free investments

Jul 7, 2016
Annie Baxter

Over the past year, many big food companies like Wal-Mart, General Mills and McDonald’s have pledged to source their eggs from cage-free hens in coming years.

That has put a lot of pressure on egg producers to ditch their cages, which means higher costs. New equipment is expensive, and labor and feed costs spike, too.  

Despite the wave of companies going cage-free, those premium eggs simply are not selling well. And that’s making producers hesitate to invest in cage-free systems.

Renata Sago

There’s a tradition in Brazil: When a kid turns fifteen years old, they either get a big party or a group trip to Orlando away from their parents.

Usually, the latter option wins.

“Everybody wants to come to Orlando. Disney is the best thing ever. It’s when you are 15, everybody dreams to see Mickey, Minnie,” Victor Costa said, who works for Pegasus Transportation. The travel company is one of more than a dozen in the city that cater to Brazilians. With more than 700,000 of them coming each year, they are Orlando’s most coveted group of Latin American tourists.

Now hiring: Hedgehog Officer

Jul 6, 2016
Adrienne Hill

A job with perhaps the world's best title: Hedgehog Officer.

If you've got a job title better than that, I want to hear about it.

According to the Telegraph, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, in the U.K. is looking for hedgehog officer who "will be the face of hedgehog conservation in Ipswich."

Turns out Ipswich is on a mission to become the most hedgehog friendly town in the U.K. Bold.

Donna Tam

When it came to the Iraq War, U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair was not able to influence President George W. Bush as much as Blair had anticipated, according to a report released Wednesday.

British pound hits 31-year low overnight

Jul 6, 2016
Lane Wallace

The pound dipped to a new 31-year low of $1.28 overnight, as part of the ongoing fallout from the U.K.’s decision last month to leave the European Union.

Thu Lan Nguyen, a currency strategist with Commerzbank in Frankfurt, said uncertainty is the main driver. The pound dropped precipitously directly following the June 23 referendum, and she expects the value to continue to fall.

Tired of urban life, young Chinese hit the road

Jul 6, 2016
Rob Schmitz

When I stopped to pick up Lu Cheng and Ye Tong along a remote mountainous road along the border of Tibet and Burma, the two friends had been hitchhiking for a couple of weeks. Thirty-six-year-old Ye Tong worked in a Japanese trading firm in one of the hundreds of office towers in the eastern city of Tianjin.

JaeRan Kim

Most Americans are used to the idea of having to wait to receive their wages until payday, often a bi-weekly or monthly affair. That’s starting to change, as more businesses are offering employees earlier access to their earnings.

The practice doesn’t really have a name yet, though some refer to it as Instant Pay. Some of the services that offer it include Activehours, FlexWage and PayActiv.

The idea is that employees can get paid for some of the hours they’ve already worked, with the balance of funds coming on payday.

Adrienne Hill

The box office made a "kerplunk" sound this weekend.

Steven Spielberg's "The BFG" outright bombed and "The Legend of Tarzan" struggled along, pulling in just under $46 million. A big budget movie fizzling out isn't unique — what's more interesting about "Tarzan" is one of the marketing strategies behind it.

Zika is moving fast. But Congress? Not so much.

Jul 5, 2016
Scott Tong

A political fight has stalled federal funding to help combat the virus. And the fight is about contraception. Democrats and Republicans are deadlocked over whether the billion-dollar Zika fund could be used by private family planning clinics, like Planned Parenthood. The current bill provides Zika funding through a grant that private clinics like Planned Parenthood cannot tap.

Explosion heat up concerns over gas pipelines

Jul 5, 2016
Reid R. Frazier

A tornado, a giant storm, an airplane crashing. That’s how neighbors describe the sound of the explosion that took place at 8:13 a.m. on April 29, in a field in Salem Township, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh. 

 “The noise was so loud — it was sickening,” Dave Alund said. “All the oxygen rushing — it consumed all the oxygen around here — you had a devil of a time  breathing.”

Where are we when it comes to job and wage growth?

Jul 5, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about what jobs numbers the experts are predicting; a campaign that wants students to go out and vote; and no-tipping policies at restaurants.

Lane Wallace

The Brexit decision is still shaking things up in the British economy, and in response to some of that volatility, the Bank of England announced on Tuesday it will make it easier for financial institutions to lend money. The central bank will lower the requirements for how much capital financial institutions need to have on hand.

In the run-up to Election Day, opponents of oil and gas fracking are seeking bans and limits at the local level. In general, though, drilling is regulated by the states. And if anything, state authority may be increasing.

Click the above audio player to hear Scott Tong's full report on the issue of fracking. 

Getting college students to vote

Jul 5, 2016
Ashley Milne-Tyte

Students have just left for home after the end of the academic year, but some colleges are already thinking about their return. Next week, a campaign kicks off to encourage universities to sign up for what’s called the All In Campus Democracy Challenge. The idea is to get their students more civically engaged, to get them to vote in November and in many elections after that. 

Molly Wood

There was a pretty big Leave or Remain vote right here in the U.S. today, concerning basketball superstar Kevin Durant.

He voted to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors, joining their all-star lineup and two-time league MVP Steph Curry creating what many are calling a "super team."

Marketplace for Monday, July 4, 2016

Jul 4, 2016

Markets are closed for Independence Day in the U.S., but some Brexit campaigners were celebrating their own "Independence Day" a little more than a week ago. But EU migrants in the U.K. aren't celebrating. Our man in London tells us all about. Plus: How circuses are trying to stay afloat, and a story from our podcast "The Uncertain Hour."