Business news

Emma Brown / for KBIA

When the first busload of campers arrived at Camp Sabra in Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks this summer, they were greeted by more than one hundred cheering, dancing and hugging counselors.

For the first time in four years, Sydney Aaranson was not one of those counselors.

Why there's less of a wage gap for women with flexible hours

Aug 3, 2016

On average, in the United States, women are paid 79 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make. That's called the gender wage gap. 

Sarah Kliff, the deputy managing editor for visuals at Vox, breaks down why that 21 cents is a lot more complicated than it seems, and what we could do about it in her piece, "The Truth About the Gender Wage Gap."

Events like the Olympics are great for local businesses, but some of those businesses may not be too savory. Reports of human trafficking go up during events of all kinds from big games to trade shows to political conventions. Trafficking is highly profitable for the traffickers, and their job’s been made a lot easier thanks to the internet. But many of the victims are underage and they’re being used against their will.

Rob Schmitz

As if being approached by a foreigner with a microphone while you’re going about your day weren’t startling enough, when that foreigner with a microphone asks you about an election on the other side of the planet, what are you supposed to say? "I don't know anything about the election in your country," said one passing man who neglects to slow down to chat.

Kai Ryssdal

Something to keep in mind before you head out to eat tonight.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is out with its annual Xtreme Eating Awards. It's a way to shine the "spotlight," on the nutritional content (or lack thereof) of chain restaurants.

The car insurance industry has a huge blindspot

Aug 1, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Last year, car insurance companies raked in over $200 billion in premiums, about a third of which were collected by the property-casualty industry. However, the car insurance business has a huge blindspot: the self driving car. Autonomous vehicles could put a significant dent in the insurance industry, which has led some companies to do everything they can to protect their profits from a wreck.

ExxonMobil's profits fall further

Jul 29, 2016
JaeRan Kim

ExxonMobil said its second quarter earnings were 60 percent lower than a year before, hitting a level not seen since Exxon and Mobil joined together in 1999.

Continued low oil prices made the company’s revenue from upstream well operations take a big hit. Downstream refining into gasoline and other products had benefitted from cheap oil prices for a long time, but a growing glut of those products shrank margins for the company’s overseas market.

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 White House Photographer Pete Souza and had him fill out our questionnaire inspired by experiences with money and work. 

Fill in the blank: Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you ________

Marketplace Weekend for Friday, July 29, 2016

Jul 29, 2016

On this episode of Marketplace Weekend, FiveThirtyEight politics editor Micah Cohen and Marketplace's DC reporter Kimberly Adams go long and short on the DNC hack, Bernie Bros, Hillary Clinton's poll numbers and the Republican party.

Plus, we hear reporting on Brexit from Lizzie and Emma Jacobs in Berlin and Paris. Then, listeners weigh in on their experiences with work-life balance.

Conventions are go-time for lobbyists and advocates

Jul 28, 2016
D Gorenstein

It's easy to think political conventions are all about the speeches and the pageantry and the sign-waving, but they're also a business opportunity.

A great chance for lobbyists to come and schmooze with decision makers trapped in one convenient location.

Suzanne Ffolkes is Vice President of Communications at Research!America, a nonpartisan group that advocates for medical and scientific research.

The organization lobbies and educates Congress on behalf of academia, patient advocacy groups, research institutions and major companies.

Boeing may retire the 747

Jul 28, 2016
Ashley Milne-Tyte

Boeing just released earnings results, and it announced its first quarterly loss in almost seven years. Write-downs related to new planes were responsible for much of that, but then the company slipped another piece of news into a regulatory filing.

Boeing said it may stop making the iconic 747 aircraft. Yes, the original jumbo jet may finally be phased out after 45 years of service. Airlines just aren’t buying it – or any other large plane – like they used to.

A 1969 PanAm ad captured the marvel people felt at the first huge passenger jet.

An evening of seersucker and 'malarkey'

Jul 27, 2016
Kim Adams, Nancy Marshall-Genzer, Andrea Seabrook, Gina Delvac and Bridget Bodnar

Day three of the DNC served as a rebuttal to the pessimistic tone present at the RNC last week. President Barack Obama said that Americans embrace the future, rather than fear it, while Vice President Joe Biden described Donald Trump's ability to empathize with the middle class "a bunch of malarkey." Secretary Hillary Clinton also made a surprise appearance, sharing the stage with Obama. Plus, we asked convention attendees some questions from our listeners.

Fed holds rates steady amid political uncertainty

Jul 27, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced at the end of its two-day July meeting that it is leaving interest rates unchanged. The Fed last raised short-term rates by 0.25 percent in December 2015, after dropping rates to historically low levels at the beginning of the Great Recession.

Twitter shares take a tumble

Jul 27, 2016

Twitter took a dive on Wall Street Today. The company's shares were down 14 percent plus after what can only be called an abysmal earnings report after the close yesterday. The social media company cited slow revenue growth, lousy predictions for future revenue growth, and stagnant user numbers in its earnings report. However, social media giant Facebook reported a wave of fresh revenue today in its earnings report.

On today's show, we'll talk about long-term returns for U.S. pensions, which are predicted to report their worst results in 15 years; Britain's economic growth; and holiday cruises that are looking to do some good. 

The Looming L-pocalypse

Jul 26, 2016
Sally Herships

Hipsters beware. The L-pocalypse is close at hand. But it's not just the young and bearded who will be inconvenienced. Almost no one is looking forward to the New York transit authority's plan to shut down the L subway line for repairs. Just ask 38-year-old Brooklyn resident Kevin Lin.

“I’m going to move,” he said while standing on the L train platform at the 14th Street/Union Square station.

Marketplace for Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Jul 26, 2016
Sally Herships

Facebook has pledged to build 1,500 units for general public housing in response to major housing shortages in Silicon Valley; New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority announced plans to shut down the L train for 18 months to repair damage from Hurricane Sandy; and why New York City may be at risk of losing its title as the world's financial capital.

Marketplace Tech for Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Jul 26, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about Apple's anticipated earnings report; the possibility that Russia may have been behind the hack on the Democratic National Committee; and a rise in the number of young travelers. 

Starbucks loosens up its dress code

Jul 25, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

Changes are coming to your local Starbucks.

The company's out with a new dress code. There's an official lookbook and everything, in which we learn hair coloring is now OK, fedoras are fine but not bucket hats with patterns, slouchy ski caps yes — but not if they have a pompom.

Shorts work, but not leather pants.

Socks with a pop of color are fine, but not if they distract from your outfit.

After Brexit vote, luring London businesses to Berlin

Jul 25, 2016
Lizzie O'Leary

Not long after the Brexit vote, a truck with a billboard on its side started driving around London, with the message: Dear Startups, Keep Calm and Move to Berlin. It was sponsored by a German political party trying to get companies based in the U.K. to shift their operations to Germany. The big question now is, will they?

Germany, and to some extent France, are trying to pull off what you might call "economic land grabs" — wooing companies, and people, who would otherwise have been based in Britain.

How do authors make money from library books?

Jul 25, 2016
Andy Uhler

You’ve probably got some music on your phone, or you might stream it through apps like Spotify or Pandora. Every time you click on one of those songs, the artists gets a little bit of money. And yet, it's called your music “library.” But when you check out a book from the library, it's free. Well, it's sort of free.

Marco Marin was looking through the online catalog at a kiosk in the lobby of the Los Angeles County Central Public Library. He said he goes there to check out books at least once a week. He likes apocalyptic tales.

Donna Tam

A well-paid CEO does not necessarily equal a high-performing company, according to a study released Monday. In fact, it seems more likely you're getting a lot less bang for your buck.

Research firm MSCI tracked roughly a decade of performance and pay for some of the highest-paid CEOs in the U.S., and found that higher-paid CEOs underperform when comparing their companies to those of their lesser-paid counterparts.

The financial role of a party's political chair

Jul 25, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, and the broader question of how a political chair can affect fundraising efforts; China's decision to shut down several online news operations; and a North Texas town run entirely by students. 

Economy is fodder for politics

Jul 25, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

The state of the economy will affect voters’ decision making in November and also provide talking points for both parties’ presidential candidates on the stump.

Economist Michael Strain at the American Enterprise Institute said that a midsummer snapshot shows a pretty healthy U.S. economy.

“For July 2016, I think you’d have a very good grade,” said Strain. “The last jobs report was extremely good. The unemployment rate is quite low. Stock prices are looking good.”

And consumers appear confident, as their spending has been very strong in recent months.

Verizon to purchase Yahoo for $4.8 billion

Jul 25, 2016
Lane Wallace

Verizon Communications has confirmed it will purchase the main core of Yahoo’s internet business for $4.8 billion, a paltry sum compared to Yahoo’s value in its heyday.

Paid internships more likely to lead to job offers

Jul 25, 2016
Ashley Milne-Tyte

It’s summer, and interns are trying to make their mark at workplaces all over the country. A lot of them hope their efforts will lead to a job offer. A new student survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers says your chances of getting that offer vary depending on the type of internship you take. 

Almost three-quarters of paid interns in the corporate world got a job after finishing an internship. About 44 percent of unpaid interns did.

2 killed, 17 shot at Florida nightclub

Jul 25, 2016

Two people have been killed and more than a dozen shot at a nightclub in Fort Myers, Florida, authorities said.

As many as 17 people have been shot in the early Monday shooting at Club Blu, police Capt. Jim Mulligan said.

Three people have been taken into custody and there are two active crime scenes, Mulligan said.

The area was later deemed safe, but Mulligan said a street was still closed as authorities investigated.

VCRs are about to be officially out of production

Jul 22, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

This will make some portion of you say, "Wait, what are you talking about?" and some other portion of you feel really, really old.

Reports in the Japanese Nikkei Asian Review say that later this month the very last VCR ever is going roll off the assembly line at the last company making them: Funai Electric.

Parts are too hard to find, apparently.

In other news, Funai Electric sold 750,000 VCRs last year.

Marketplace Weekend Staff

In our latest Marketplace Edison Research Poll we found that a lot of you aren't taking vacations regularly.

That's why for this week's conversation, we're talking about vacation and work-life balance.

How do you balance your work and personal time?

Are you decisions based on money? Family? Guilt?

Overcoming racial and economic struggle in Philadelphia, Mississippi

Jul 22, 2016
Kai Ryssdal and Daisy Palacios

The 2016 Democratic National Convention begins Monday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Delegates of the Democratic Party will officially announce the nominee for president and vice president of the United States in the election.