Business news

Lane Wallace

A study released by the Urban Institute finds that women are better than men at paying their mortgages.

Urban Institute researchers merged data from the federal Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and CoreLogic to look at borrowers’ characteristics and credit scores alongside their likelihood of default.

Prius sales are down in the US. Why?

Sep 8, 2016
JaeRan Kim

Toyota has reported that Prius sales are down 26 percent in the U.S. so far this calendar year. As the car represents the majority of the hybrid market, a decline in interest has significance for all highly fuel-efficient vehicles.

“The Prius, from Day 1, has really been the bellwether for the efficient vehicle movement,” said George Hoffer, who teaches automotive economics at the University of Richmond. “In essence, it has become the synonym — and has remained such — for the efficient car.”

Record-high job openings but no wage gains to match

Sep 7, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

The Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for July shows continuing gradual improvement in the labor market. Job openings hit another record high of 5.9 million.

Meet the new 'Most Interesting Man in the World'

Sep 7, 2016
Molly Wood

Some of us were saddened when the beer brand Dos Equis sent its classic pitchman character, The Most Interesting Man in the World, off on a rocket ship to Mars

The company said it needed something different, someone who could appeal to a younger, more multicultural drinking audience.

Economist Paul Krugman ponders the sci-fi economics of Star Trek

Sep 7, 2016
Molly Wood and Robert Garrova

If you were stranded in a remote sector of the Delta Quadrant this week, you might have missed the fact that tomorrow marks the 50th birthday of "Star Trek."

The original NBC series made it so on September 8, 1966, and this year Trekkies everywhere have no shortage of ways to celebrate.

The cost of criminalizing disability

Sep 7, 2016
Lane Wallace

Kevin Matthews loved to give people things. Every Tuesday he would go to Church’s Chicken and bring back a leg, thigh and biscuit for his mom, $1.69. Sometimes he would come back with the box soaking wet, sometimes early in the morning, sometimes late into the evening, sometimes having helped himself to some of the chicken.

His mom and sisters laughed as they talked about the times he’d come home with gifts he seemed to have plucked off the curb: a dirty teddy bear, pieces of paper. He loved Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, all excuses to give gifts to his mom.

Lane Wallace

Stocks in MasterCard are up following the revelation Tuesday that the credit card company will partner with online giant PayPal. The deal will make it easier to link PayPal payments to a MasterCard, if you have one, and it’s similar to an agreement PayPal already has with Visa.

Importing a beluga whale? There's a form for that

Sep 7, 2016
Sam Whitehead

Want to see a beluga whale in captivity? You might want to hurry.

The cute, white whales are on their way out of this country’s aquariums. According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are only 26 in captivity in the U.S., and their numbers are shrinking.

That’s put the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta in a bit of a tight spot, especially when you consider that 2 million visitors flock there each year to see the aquarium’s four beluga whales (and the rest of their animal collection).

Reema Khrais

This week, Southwest Airlines is bringing back a familiar slogan: “Wanna Get Away?”

The last time that tagline was featured in advertisements was nearly a decade ago. The ads typically featured people looking to skip town after humiliating themselves.

“It has broad appeal. Everybody relates to those moments,” said Anne Murray, senior director of marketing communications at Southwest Airlines. 

Murray said the airline’s newest “Wanna Get Away” ad is running in several local markets, including a debut on NBC’s Thursday night National Football League broadcast.

Good news for giant pandas

Sep 6, 2016
Molly Wood

Good news for cute animals!

Giant pandas are no longer endangered. The International Union for Conservation of Nature moved the pandas off the endangered list after a 2014 census found over 1,864 of them in the world, up from 1,596 a decade before.

Molly Wood

Although it sometimes seems like the tech industry revolves around millennials, numbers suggest that the startup market with the most potential is a few generations senior. There are an estimated 74.9 million baby boomers, according to the Pew Research Center, and there will be an additional 53 million people over 50 in the next 20 years. With that in mind, AARP says that Americans over 50 represent the third largest economy in the world making them the biggest market opportunity for start-ups.

Scott Tong

There's at least one economic issue both candidates for president support — spending money on infrastructure. Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton proposes to spend $275 billion on building and upgrading roads, bridges, electricity and water systems. Republican Donald Trump said he would spend at least twice that.

Why ITT Tech's closing leaves a big mess

Sep 6, 2016
Gigi Douban

ITT Tech, the for-profit college that has been the center of government investigations and lawsuits for years now, announced today it is closing. In a statement, the company blamed sanctions by the U.S. Department of Education freezing financial aid for students. Effective today, ITT said it cut most of its 8,000 employees. On top of that, about 40,000 students are scrambling to figure out what to do next. 

ITT Tech is shutting down

Sep 6, 2016
Tony Wagner

As students around the country start fall semester this week, ITT Technical Institutes is shutting down. It will stop classes at its 130 campuses nationwide, and let go most if its 8,000-member staff, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Donna Tam

Fox News and former anchor Gretchen Carlson have settled a sexual harassment lawsuit involving former CEO Roger Ailes, the network announced today.

Jon Kalish

The first off-shore wind farm in the U.S. is nearing completion off the coast of Rhode Island. In the past there’s been opposition to these ventures. But this one, which has been planned as a demonstration project, has managed to go forward.

A Rhode Island company, Deepwater Wind, is behind this nearly $300 million project. The five turbines were recently finished after more than a year of construction.

Lane Wallace

General Electric wants to spend $1.4 billion on two European 3-D printing companies. German company SLM and Arcam of Sweden both specialize in 3-D printing metal for things like auto manufacturing, aerospace and health care products.

GE already makes metal fuel nozzles using 3-D printers, and the inside of the nozzle can be built with specialized features that would be hard to construct any other way.

Dump the gas tax — instead pay by the mile

Sep 6, 2016
Liam Moriarty

Better mileage means less gas tax to build roads. California and others are checking out a new approach that Oregon's been piloting.

States' gas tax revenue is slumping. California and other states are looking to an innovative approach pioneered by Oregon: pay by the mile.

The gas tax you pay at the pump isn’t cutting it anymore. Does a new approach being piloted in Oregon offer a solution?

More people than ever are working from home

Sep 6, 2016
Mark Garrison

The latest benefits survey from the Society for Human Resource Management finds 60 percent of companies offering telecommuting, working from home on an occasional or regular basis. Two decades ago, a mere 20 percent offered it. Employee demands for flexibility, improved remote working technology and cost-savings opportunities are all driving more companies to support telecommuting.

The original DVR, retired

Sep 6, 2016
Sabri Ben-Achour

TiVo, the company that ushered in the age of the DVR, will be phasing out support for its Series 1 DVR at the end of this month. That was the granddaddy of the TV recording software — once so prevalent it became a verb – first launched in 1999.

“Honestly I would put it up there with the iPhone as one of the key products of the new century quite frankly,” said John Falcone, executive editor of 

Bram Sable-Smith

Catching raccoon is all about location, and David Schlemeyer is slogging his way to a primo piece of trapping real estate. It’s a little pond in the backwoods on his neighbor’s land outside Columbia, Missouri. Raccoons come here to scavenge food.

“I’ve probably caught seven or eight raccoons right here this year,” he says as he checks his traps. Today, they sit empty.

It's a great year for ice cream

Sep 5, 2016
Molly Wood

According to Bloomberg,  Ice cream has had an outstanding 2016.

It went experimental: One LA flavor — Hawaiian Pizza  — featured spam and pineapple.

It got a pop-up ice cream museum in Manhattan. Both presidential candidates got custom sundae creations. 

Top stories in education to start the school year

Sep 5, 2016
Molly Wood and Amy Scott

The Tuesday after Labor Day is traditionally the start of school for K-12 and higher education students. But not all of them. Several districts across the country start earlier in the summer. The reason why is just one of several stories that Marketplace’s Senior Education Correspondent, Amy Scott, is following this year. 

Top Education Stories to Watch this School Year

Kim Adams

Over the weekend, Pope Francis canonized Mother Teresa. Although she was known for her tenderness with children and the poor, to some … she was a bit of a handful. Along with the many nuns and other staff supporting her, she had a team of doctors struggling to keep up with her, especially as she got older.

Pokemon a no-Go in rural areas

Sep 5, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about a growing push for paid sick leave; how starting school before Labor Day could hurt tourism businesses; and the struggle rural residents are having with the game Pokemon Go.

Without Trump, Taj Mahal workers face their fate

Sep 5, 2016
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

Donald Trump doesn’t own the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City anymore.  His stake in the casino was wiped out when it declared bankruptcy and billionaire investor Carl Icahn took over. But the casino that still bears the Trump name is in trouble. 

Just under 1,000 workers there are on strike.  They walked off the job on July first.  Now the casino says it’ll close next month.

James Mays has been a cook at the Trump Taj Mahal for 15 years.

“I’m an excellent cook," he said. "I’m probably one of the best cooks in this whole building.”

The movement for paid sick leave

Sep 5, 2016

On Labor Day last year, President Barack Obama gave good news to about 800,000 Americans. He signed an executive order requiring paid sick leave for employees of federal contractors. Over the past year, the issue has gained further momentum, especially among states and municipalities.

Click the above audio player to hear the full report. 

In some rural areas, Pokemon not such a go

Sep 5, 2016
Alex King

Jim Heising and his family live on a farm way out in southeast Washington. Their crops skirt the dramatic Columbia River and a sprinkler click, click clicks away over vibrant green alfalfa. They recently moved here from the Bay Area. And then Pokemon Go came out. And then when they tried the new game, it became instantly frustrating, Heising said.

“It seems like everyone else in the world is having this great fun with it,” he said. “But out in the middle of nowhere — it’s not that easy.”

Clinton drug plan: is it enough?

Sep 2, 2016
D Gorenstein

At first glance, it may sound like Hillary Clinton's plan is an attempt to tackle drug prices overall.

It's not.

Clinton economic policy advisor Mike Shapiro said it's to go after an insidious problem where a subset of drug makers (think Turning and Mylan) crank up prices on generics, just because they can.

Melting smartphones shed light on lithium-ion batteries

Sep 2, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

Samsung has announced it is recalling new Galaxy Note 7 smartphones because of “battery cell issues.” The recall reportedly affects 2.5 million of the phones worldwide shipped since the new version was launched in mid-August. Pictures posted online by consumers show the phones with what appears to be damage from overheating: the phones look melted or scorched.