Business/Economy | KERA News


Midwest farmers are wary of talk about tariffs

4 hours ago
Mark Steil

Grain companies in the midwest this year have been busy loading soybean trains for overseas sales.  Soybean exports are so good they've almost single-handedly raised the price of the commodity.  But President-elect Donald Trump's threats of trade sanctions has farmers wondering if that will continue.

What rising wages look like around the U.S.

10 hours ago
Donna Tam

The U.S. economy added fewer jobs than economists were expecting in December, but there was some good news: wages are finally on the rise.

Wages last month were up 2.9 percent over the past year. The growth rate hasn’t been that good since President Barack Obama took office in 2009.


On this week's show Marketplace's Andy Uhler and Kimberly Adams go long on Mexican energy deregulation and short on McDonald's. We talk to Steve Heely, the CEO of the vegan fast casual chain Veggie Grill, about bringing vegan food to the masses. The Atlantic's Dr. James Hamblin talks about his book "If Our Bodies Could Talk: A Guide to Operating and Maintaining the Human Body" and why we should  be weary of health claims made by businesses. Plus, musician Mayer Hawthorne takes the Marketplace Quiz.

Veggie Grill CEO Steve Heeley on expansion and 'veggie positivity'

12 hours ago

Vegan fast-casual chain Veggie Grill has found success on the West Coast. Since it was founded in 2007 in Irvine, Calif., the restaurant has opened 28 locations in California, Oregon and Washington. The chain recently completed a $22 million round of fundraising, and is now gearing up for a nationwide expansion, planning to double the number of locations in the next three years. 

Three things we learned from the December jobs report

12 hours ago
Sabri Ben-Achour and Marketplace staff

The final jobs report of President Obama’s presidency appears to be a mixed bag. On the one hand, the U.S. gained fewer jobs than expected: the economy added 156,000 jobs — around 20,000 to 30,000 fewer jobs than economists were expecting. The unemployment rate also ticked up slightly, from 4.6 to 4.7 percent.

On the other hand, wages in December rose 2.9 percent over the past year. It’s a yearly growth rate that we haven’t seen since 2009.

01/06/17: The cost of repealing Obamacare

14 hours ago

The U.S. economy gained fewer jobs than expected in December, yet wages shot up. Chris Low, the chief economist at FTN Financial, joins us to discuss what all of these numbers mean. Next, we'll explore the story of a San Francisco Bay Area house that sold for $1, and talk about the price tag of repealing Obamacare.

Trump’s Toyota Twitter feud: does it matter?

17 hours ago

Toyota is the latest company whose stock took a hit after the president-elect threatened to punish the carmaker for its plans to build Corollas in Mexico. Toyota’s planning to move production out of Canada, not the U.S. In any case, that makes Toyota his first foreign target for a tweet about tariffs.

Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst at AutoTrader, said when car companies consider where to put a factory, they have to think about costs, supply chain, where consumers are — and now, apparently, Trump tweets.

Content site Medium is laying off 50 people – a third of its workforce. Founder Evan Williams, who also co-founded Twitter, wanted Medium to be a site for great writing. But he said the ad-driven model is “broken,” emphasizing eyeballs, not quality. So he’s going to spend time and resources to find another model. What could that look like?

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.


Sam Harnett

The median price for a house in the San Francisco Bay Area is around $700,000. Even so, a place just sold there for a buck. The story behind this one-dollar house involves the loss of redevelopment funds and explosives.

Is there any hope for a manufacturing rebound in 2017? The signs haven’t looked great, with the dollar strong and strengthening. A strong dollar makes U.S. exports more expensive. Factories actually shed jobs in 2016. But manufacturers say they’re optimistic that a domestic stimulus package — the kind of infrastructure spending plan that President-elect Donald Trump has championed — could help. But if manufacturers do go looking for workers, they’ll face a tight labor market.