Business news

Kim Adams

The latest polls show the two presidential candidates very close as election day approaches.

Political polls get special attention during a presidential race, with both campaigns and the news media laser-focused on every bit of movement up or down. But, like everything else in politics, there’s a lot of money behind the polls.

Amy Scott

In the back room of an office supply store in Grand Junction, Colorado, six guys who call themselves Soul Habit practice for a holiday tree lighting concert. Tim Breckon, 29, is on the trombone putting his education to work. He also wrote the music.

Breckon has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in trombone performance, and about $78,000 in student loans.

“This month I'll make my tenth or eleventh successful zero-dollar payment, which is what I can afford,” he said.

Why Election Day isn’t a federal holiday

Nov 2, 2016
Janet Nguyen

For decades, politicians have tried to make Election Day a day off from work — in the hopes of increasing voter turnout.

Marketplace Morning Report for November 1, 2016

Nov 1, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about last night's Colonial gas pipeline explosion in Alabama; how both presidential candidates are trying to get out the vote in Florida; and a new study that shows an increase in election-related workplace tension.  

Female CEOs get blamed more often than male ones

Nov 1, 2016
Adam Allington

There are 23 women running companies listed in the S&P 500 stock index.

That's bad enough, but there's new research out that shows women in C-suites are treated much differently by the press than their male counterparts. Women are much more likely to be called out for bad leadership in news stories when a company hits a rough patch.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

How to fold your ballot, for San Franciscans

Nov 1, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Here's a thought about direct democracy.

Californians will vote on 17 ballot measures next Tuesday. Residents of San Francisco have an additional 25 to consider.

Donna Tam

The more financial aid students lose, the more likely they are to drop out of college, according to a study released today.

EAB, an education research firm, analyzed the correlation between success and financial aid for more than 40,000 students at three universities. The EAB’s findings included:

John Jenkins

Arizona has gone Republican in every presidential election since 1952, except for one time when a guy named Bill Clinton narrowly carried the state in 1996.  Now, with another Clinton on the ballot, Arizona Republicans have fight on their hands. Polls show Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton virtually tied in the Copper State and both parties are spending big to get out the vote.

Yum Brands spins off its China business

Nov 1, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the overall state of the economy; challenges that U.S. Steel faces; England's efforts to start producing Manuka honey; and Yum Brands' decision to spin off its China business. 

Mark Garrison

The tough presidential campaign is increasingly making us miserable at work. A new study shows a dramatic uptick in election-related workplace tension. The Society for Human Resource Management reports that since the last survey on the topic, in May, the percentage of workplaces reporting higher tension has doubled. Now, a majority of companies say it's worse than they've seen in past elections.

Evren Esen, the author of the report, joined us to talk about increased conflict at the office. 

On how the election has negatively affected businesses: 

England muscles in on Manuka honey production

Nov 1, 2016
Sam Beard

Manuka is one of the world’s most expensive honeys.  Deriving from the nectar of the Manuka bush (Leptospermum Scoparium), which grows most copiously in New Zealand, the honey sells at high-end stores in London for as much as $250 a pot. The high price is due to the honey’s medicinal properties; it is powerfully anti-bacterial and is used to combat infections that cannot be treated by antibiotics.  New Zealand producers dominate this lucrative trade but they now have an, albeit small, rival: the Tregothnan Estate in Cornwall, South West England.


On today's show, we'll talk about a new UNICEF report that says 300 million children live in areas with toxic air; Baker Hughes and General Electric's new joint company; the struggles that some Delaware citizens are having with purchasing health care; and how an NFL ratings decline is affecting wings and pizza chains.

On today's show, we'll talk about CenturyLink's plans to purchase Level 3 Communications for $25 billion; chat with the owner of a shipping business based in the Port of Newark about how the election is affecting his company; and look at the fierce competition that'll ensue among networks on election night. 

Networks want to win election night

Oct 31, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour

Hillary and Donald aren’t the only ones who will win or lose on election night. Election night coverage is a viewer bonanza for TV networks, and they’ll be competing for those viewers. The ads may be paid for come election night (and they will command a premium price), but the winner gets new eyeballs that may stick around in the future. The winner also gets to brag and argue they’re more valuable to advertisers the next time around.  How does a network win the election night?  Fancy graphics, compelling personalities, and being first with the results.

What it takes to bring "back" a manufacturing job

Oct 28, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour

If you want to know what it takes to bring a manufacturing job back to the United States, the best place to start is with someone who’s done it.

Like many manufacturers, the makers of TinkerToys and LincolnLogs shifted a lot of production to China in the late 90’s. 

“The savings were dramatic,” recalls Michael Araten, CEO of K’NEX. “In the range of 40 to 70 percent in some cases. Primarily it was labor costs but it was also the supply chain – China in particular subsidized the factories, subsidized the trucks to get things back and forth.”

A Job in Manufacturing through a Kodak Lens

Oct 28, 2016
Kai Ryssdal and Tommy Andres

Kodak, a company once known as a titan of the manufacturing industry, bankrupt in 2012. As it fell into economic turmoil, it went from having 150,000 employees to 65,000 today. Kevin Armstrong shares his story after working at Kodak for 35 years.

Molly Wood

Everybody in the media is worried about the future of media. 

Third-quarter GDP up 2.9 percent

Oct 28, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about a boost in the country's GDP growth for the third quarter; Hillary Clinton's $500 million plan to combat bullying; and the Federal Communications Commission's new rules that'll allow consumers to limit data about themselves. 

Sally Herships

Just in time for Halloween’s candy splurge-fest, the Hershey Company is releasing its latest earnings report today. The company was in the news this summer after rival Mondelez attempted an ultimately unsuccessful $23 billion takeover bid. Hershey’s unusual structure, in which the majority of shares are held by a trust which oversees a local nonprofit school, was widely seen as a reason for the deal’s failure. We look at the company’s current status, and what the future holds in a sector where consumer taste is changing rapidly.

Clinton unveils anti-bullying plan for schools

Oct 28, 2016
Reema Khrais

Bullying has been a big problem in schools for a long time. But teachers say the the ugliness of the election has made things worse. Today, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will outline a proposal to dole out $500 million in federal funding to states that agree to develop anti-bullying programs. The funds would pay for things like school guidance counseling, social workers and an expansion of suicide prevention and mental health programs in high schools. How effective are such campaigns?

Andy Uhler

The Zika virus spread through Brazil and other parts of South America, now it's in Puerto Rico and Florida.

Congress took eight months to approve allocating $1.1 billion to help fight the outbreak. The head of the Centers for Disease Control asked for a pot of money to fight health emergencies just as FEMA has for natural disasters and terrorist attacks. But the situation is more complex than it seems.

It's Time Warner Inc., not Time Warner cable

Oct 27, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

When you first heard about AT&T buying Time Warner, you probably said "so AT&T's buying Time Warner Cable, what's the big deal?"

Well, no.

Donna Tam

The premiums for Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, insurance are expected to go up next year, but what does that look like for the Americans covered under those plans?

In North Carolina, an old mill town reinvents itself

Oct 27, 2016
Reema Khrais

Back when North Carolina was still a textile-manufacturing giant, Kannapolis was the quintessential company town. Right down to its nickname, "city of looms."

For almost a century, Cannon Mills — and its successors — defined the small city northeast of Charlotte. At one point the mill was the largest maker of sheets and towels in the world and it employed 25,000 people. 

Why there's been a rise in paid family leave

Oct 27, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the increasing number of companies that are adopting paid family leave policies; Belgium's decision to back a trade deal between the European Union and Canada; and why car washes pose a threat to autonomous cars.

Sally Herships

Cars are getting smarter, but not yet smart enough to go through a car wash. Some new cars with semi-autonomous features, like obstacle-detecting sensors and automatic braking systems, are being activated by the brushes and curtains inside a car wash, immobilizing the vehicle or even causing it to veer off the rails and collide with another car. What makes the problem worse is that every fancy new car has a different way of disabling the new features — usually buried deep within the vehicle manual. Who will be responsible for fixing the problem — car manufacturers or car wash owners?

Nancy Marshall-Genzer

How should Clinton spend her campaign money, now that her own race for the presidency is looking strong? Some are urging her to use it to get out the African-American vote, with an eye on electing Democrats in down-ballot races. But what kind of money does it take to get out the black vote, and how and where should the money be spent?

Liberal arts majors are getting paid

Oct 26, 2016
Andy Uhler

A study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers appears to indicate that employers are increasingly recognizing the value of liberal arts degrees, based on gains in full-time employment and pay acquired by graduates of those programs. Why is this happening? Does it mean that employers are now placing a greater value on critical thinking and writing skills? Is it a backlash against STEM?

Lane Wallace

Wall Street has spent $1.4 billion on donations and lobbying this election, more than twice the contributions by any other industry, according to a new study by Americans for Financial reform. That works out to $2.3 million per day from January 2015 to September 2016. And it wasn't banks that led the effort, despite the political rhetoric around their role in big-money politics. Real estate interests topped the charts, spending $66 million. Perhaps less surprising: 61 percent of financial sector contributions went to Republican candidates, and 39 percent to Democrats.

What you learn when you spend a year drinking beer

Oct 26, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

It’s Lucy Burningham’s job to write about the beer business, but she wanted to take her knowledge a step further. Burningham set out on a quest to become a sommelier of the beer world, or a Cicerone, as they’re known.