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Every weekday, host Kai Ryssdal helps you make sense of the day’s business and economic news — no econ degree or finance background required. “Marketplace” takes you beyond the numbers, bringing you context. Our team of reporters all over the world speak with CEOs, policymakers and regular people just trying to get by.

433 Episodes

Last resort

Florida-based Citizens Property Insurance Corp. wants to raise rates an average of 14%. But Citizens is the Sunshine State’s insurer of last resort — it’s backed by the state and tasked with covering homeowners who have no other options as private insurers pull out. What will Floridians do? Also in this episode: Environmentalists advocate more composting, a cyberattack forces thousands of car dealerships to go analog and oceanographers map the world’s seafloor.

Transcribed - Published: 21 June 2024

Bill Gates goes nuclear, turning a small coal town upside down

Three years ago, a town of 2,500 formed an unlikely relationship with multibillionaire Bill Gates. He had new nuclear technology and Kemmerer, Wyoming, had a declining coal industry. This week, Gates broke ground on a first-of-its-kind power plant. Will it revive a struggling local economy or upheave the small community’s way of life? Also in this episode: Summer gasoline use is down, Nvidia dominates AI chipmaking and apartment buildings aren’t being built — despite high demand for more housing.

Transcribed - Published: 20 June 2024

Credit card debt data reveals “two different Americas”

Credit card delinquencies are up overall in the past year — but that’s not the whole debt picture. Wealthier consumers can pay off their debt right now, driving up the nation’s average credit score. It’s a tale of two Americas. Also in this episode: Federal data reveals that nearly 1 in 4 Black prospective homeowners are denied a mortgage, and we catch up with a couple whose gift-giving journey was featured on “This Is Uncomfortable.”

Transcribed - Published: 19 June 2024

Will mortgage rates follow bond yields down?

With bond yields dropping, lower mortgage interest rates may be on the horizon. That’s great for people who’ve put off buying a home because they felt priced out. But will rates fall enough to make homeowners with older, cheaper mortgages consider selling? Also in this episode: Buy now, pay later attracts vulnerable consumers, electric vehicle sales growth slows and product designers chase down copycat products.

Transcribed - Published: 18 June 2024

The economy doesn’t love the heat, either

A stretch of the U.S. is under a heat advisory this week — but summer starts Thursday. When we talk about a “hot” economy, it’s usually a good thing, but in real life, extreme heat sends economic productivity downhill. We’ll get into why. Also in this episode: Retailers launch copycat sales to compete with Amazon Prime Day, Baltimore longshoremen are finally back to work and the bond market is booming.

Transcribed - Published: 17 June 2024

Will I ever own a home?

Housing affordability is on everyone’s mind — a new survey shows it’s a “somewhat to very important issue” for the majority of voters, especially younger ones. We’ll discuss whether housing has historically determined elections and get realistic about what a president can do about housing prices. We’ll also look at how the government measures housing costs for homeowners, even if their mortgages are paid off. Plus: The history of all-you-can-eat deals.

Transcribed - Published: 14 June 2024

What’s good for the economy might not be good for job seekers

The job market is weakening, according to recent data. Higher unemployment is a good sign — if you’re the Federal Reserve and want to cut interest rates. It’s bad, of course, if you’re a job seeker. We tackle this paradox in today’s episode. Plus: Cities adjust their tech-hub dreams, improved hurricane forecasting saves billions in damage, and Black workers pay a high price in the clean energy transition.

Transcribed - Published: 13 June 2024

Powell holds off on rate cuts

Well, the Federal Reserve decided to stand pat on interest rates for now — and said it may make just one cut this year. In this episode, we break down the Fed’s latest move and look at which sectors are feeling the “lag effect” of rate hikes. Plus: Daycares are likely to raise prices as federal pandemic funding runs dry, and Fannie Mae’s chief climate officer says we should prepare for climate risk to become a bigger factor in the housing market.

Transcribed - Published: 12 June 2024

One meeellion dollars!

Remember in “Austin Powers” when Dr. Evil conspires to hold the world hostage for $1 million? Not much cash, right? Well, it was a lot back in the 1960s — the last time Dr. Evil was conscious. In this episode, Dr. Evil teaches us how to adjust for inflation. Plus: Grocery stores want to be community meeting places, AI-fueled ad spending rockets up, and small-business owners aren’t sure what the future holds.

Transcribed - Published: 11 June 2024

The clean energy boom can’t come fast enough

As the Southwest prepares for 100-plus-degree days this week, we’ll look at where energy grids are prepared for a hot summer. A key factor? Whether grids have new electricity generators, like wind or solar plants. We’ll visit eastern Colorado, where clean energy jobs have been a boon for rural residents. Plus: More first-time homeowners enlist their parents as mortgage cosigners, and brands back away from trans representation, instead angling to keep both LGBTQ and transphobic customers.

Transcribed - Published: 10 June 2024

Better-than-expected job growth

May brought a surge of 272,000 new jobs, exceeding forecasts. Of those, 42,000 were in leisure and hospitality, benefitting from the summer travel season and increased wages. Also in this episode: a thousand options and nothing to watch. Netflix is getting a makeover for the first time in a decade, all with the goal of keeping subscribers hooked for longer.

Transcribed - Published: 7 June 2024

What do interest rate cuts in Europe mean for the U.S.?

The European Central Bank delivered on its promise of June interest rate cuts, its first since 2019. The U.S. Federal Reserve is still deciding whether to do the same this year. But what the ECB does won’t affect the Fed’s decision, since European interest rates don’t impact U.S. job growth or prices. Also in this episode, the history of the federal jobs report, the cost of congestion pricing and the future of tourism on the Rio Grande.

Transcribed - Published: 6 June 2024

Lone Star stock exchange

A Texas group is planning to open a Dallas-based stock exchange, it announced today. In an era when most stock trading is online, why does it matter that the exchange will be in Texas instead of New York? Also in this episode: Economists disagree on the power of the “wealth effect,” the co-working space industry tries to reinvent itself, and nanobubbles fight toxic algae in a Southern California lake.

Transcribed - Published: 5 June 2024

The “great stay”?

An April labor report released today shows that hiring, quitting and layoffs didn’t change much from the month before. In this episode, why no news is a sign we’re headed toward a pretty strong (as opposed to a once-in-a-lifetime) labor market. Plus, a traffic report of sorts: “supercommuter” rates rise, e-cargo bikes race ahead in popularity, and air travel isn’t luxurious anymore.

Transcribed - Published: 4 June 2024

Who benefits from mortgage interest tax breaks?

A tax break that started out as a way for the government to incentivize homebuying has primarily benefited the wealthy, research shows, while costing the U.S. government $30 billion a year in tax revenue. That amount may more than double in 2026. Also in this episode: OSHA works on new heat guidelines for the workplace, construction spending falls, and the Federal Reserve wants interest rates to be “neutral.”

Transcribed - Published: 3 June 2024

Slowly, but surely, the economy is cooling

The economy is cooling, based on the latest inflation report, in part because American consumers are pulling back on spending. That’s good news for the Federal Reserve and its 2% inflation target. Also in this episode: GM says goodbye to the Malibu, OPEC+ members to talk about production quotas, and teen boys flock to luxury perfume counters.

Transcribed - Published: 31 May 2024

Revised 1st-quarter GDP shows slower growth

Revised gross domestic product for the first quarter shows even slower growth than the original estimate. With U.S. GDP representing nearly a quarter of global output, what happens here can affect other economies. Also in this episode: why companies opt for machines over people, how cyberattacks affect small businesses, and what one South Gate, California, business owner thinks of prices.

Transcribed - Published: 30 May 2024

Breaking Ground: Change isn’t coming — it’s here

A small neighborhood in the Phoenix area, full of farm animals and dirt roads, is in turmoil: A huge TSMC semiconductor plant, now under construction, is bringing with it a wave of commercial development and new residents. Champions of the project say the jobs and housing are sorely needed, but locals feel the transformation threatens their way of life. In this episode, we’ll visit the so-called Golden Triangle and meet stakeholders who include longtime residents, small-business owners, a city councilwoman and a real estate developer.

Transcribed - Published: 29 May 2024

What could happen if Israel severs banking ties with the Palestinian economy

Commercial Israeli banks process transactions with Palestinian banks — about $10 billion in trade per year, and paychecks for tens of thousands of Palestinians with jobs in Israel. Normally, the government protects them legally if any funding finds its way into terrorists’ hands. Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich recently threatened to end these waivers. In this episode, what could happen to the Palestinian economy if he follows through? Plus, what’s included in “cost of living” indexes, why consumer confidence is rising, and are we in a climate change housing bubble?

Transcribed - Published: 28 May 2024

Why’s my coffee so expensive?

Nearly two-thirds of Americans drink coffee every day, according to the National Coffee Association. If you’re part of that 63%, you may have noticed coffee getting more expensive. Some of it has to do with the cost of the raw crop, which is at a 45-year high, partly due to climate change reducing yields. And it doesn’t help that global demand is growing. Also in this episode: Mexico City is in a water crisis, Zoom cashiers usher in a new wave of digital offshoring and machinery and other things-that-make-things purchases were up last month.

Transcribed - Published: 27 May 2024

For female workers, an ailing feeling about financial health

Per Bank of America’s annual workplace benefits report, more full-time workers are feeling secure in their jobs compared to last year. But there’s a catch: Those upbeat responses came from men, while the percentage of women who feel financially stable dipped slightly. Plus, the Federal Reserve’s inflation frustration, the SEC’s near-approval of spot ether ETFs and the federal tax code’s post-election future. Our fundraiser ends Friday, and we need your help to reach our goal. Give today and help fund public service journalism for all!

Transcribed - Published: 24 May 2024

Bad housing news comes in threes

This week, we got some gloomy news on the housing market: In April, new homes sales fell 4.7% and existing home sales dropped about 2% from the month before, and in May, homebuilder confidence took a dive. The most likely culprit? High mortgage rates. Also in this episode: Why DuPont is splitting its company into three, what Olympic and Paralympic athletes are doing to raise funds for Paris, and how business is going for a maker of custom cowboy boots in Virginia. Our May fundraiser ends Friday, and we need your help to reach our goal. Give today and help fund public service journalism for all!  

Transcribed - Published: 23 May 2024

Accommodations for long COVID

About 7% of U.S. adults have long COVID, according to a new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of those nearly 18 million people say their symptoms affect their ability to work. Disability accommodations could be the answer. Also in this episode, competitors work on catching up to AI chipmaker Nvidia, companies offer 401(k) matching of student loan payments and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau starts regulating buy now, pay later platforms.

Transcribed - Published: 22 May 2024

The complexity of succession planning

On Monday, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon hinted at retiring soon after running the banking powerhouse for 18 years. But finding replacements for veteran CEOs can be a tricky business. Also in this episode: New research finds that Native households are more financially stressed. Plus: Lowe’s invests in professional contractors, and Chicago vendors scramble after grocery stores shutter. Our May fundraiser ends Friday, and we need your help to reach our goal. Give today and help fund public service journalism for all!

Transcribed - Published: 21 May 2024

The future of dining

Fast-casual sit-down restaurant chains have a lot on their plates right now. They’re unpopular with Gen Z customers, struggling to maintain reasonable prices and can’t compete with made-to-DoorDash options like Chipotle. Meanwhile, at the other end of the restaurant spectrum, reservations at trendy spots are hot tickets in resale markets. Also in this episode: The Port of Baltimore hopes for a return to normalcy, Texans gear up for a sweltering summer and homeowners in extreme weather-prone areas turn to state governments for insurance. It’s your last chance to double your impact during our May fundraiser — the Investors Challenge Fund is matching donations up to $25,000 today! Give right now.

Transcribed - Published: 20 May 2024

“The granddaddy of all stock indices”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 40,000 for the first time on Friday. As we say regularly on this show, the stock market is not the economy. But it can still be a good indicator of how some folks are feeling about the state of the economy. Also in this episode: Competition for small-business spending heats up, EV sales take a dip, and purchasing power for all income levels rises. Marketplace is behind for this budget year — that means listeners like you can make a critical difference by investing in our journalism today.

Transcribed - Published: 17 May 2024

Walmart, Wayfair and . . . wool?

Staying ahead is tough if you run a business — especially in this odd economic moment, where even affluent shoppers are picking low-cost alternatives. Whether you’re selling furniture, home goods or sheep’s wool, sometimes you have to adapt by targeting new markets. In this episode, three businesses doing just that. Plus, what a dip in weekly jobless claims might signal, why currency carry trades are risky, and how the bees made a comeback. Marketplace is behind target for this budget year — that means listeners like you can make a critical difference by investing in our journalism today.

Transcribed - Published: 16 May 2024

The inflation cooldown we’ve been waiting for?

Looking at fresh economic data, retail sales were flat and some categories of food dropped in price from March to April. That indicates both falling inflation and a consumer spending pullback — good things if you’re the Federal Reserve. We’ll dig into the consumer price index and hear from Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee about the stickiest part of inflation right now. Plus, more women are employed than ever. Could that change as pandemic support programs expire? The next $50,000 in donations to Marketplace will be matched, thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Joe Rush of Florida. Give now and double your impact.

Transcribed - Published: 15 May 2024

Biden hits Chinese goods with new tariffs

President Joe Biden announced a slate of new tariffs on $18 billion worth of Chinese goods today, including electric vehicles, semiconductors, steel and aluminum. We’ll look at how the tariffs compare to those implemented under the Donald Trump administration and what they mean to business owners. Plus, the latest on salvage efforts in the Port of Baltimore, and a new federal rule encourages more long-distance power lines.

Transcribed - Published: 14 May 2024

Consumer sentiment slumps

Americans are feeling worse about the economy. And that’s partly to do with fears about lasting inflation. According to the latest data, consumers expect inflation to rise three-tenths of a percentage point a year from now. Also in this episode: Why people are eating less fast food, how employers are helping workers with addiction recovery and what lower demand for second homes means for the general housing market.

Transcribed - Published: 13 May 2024

Is the U.S. ready to be a chipmaking superpower?

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo wants to position the U.S. to become a leader in semiconductor manufacturing. After all, the U.S. invented the industry not so long ago. The Biden administration has invested $30 billion in new factories, and companies have thrown in 10 times that sum. In this episode, Raimondo tells “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal where she hopes U.S. chip production will be by 2030. Plus, her broadband expansion plan and how she views our trade relationship with China.   Support our nonprofit newsroom today and pick up a fun thank-you gift like our new Shrinkflation mini tote bag or the fan favorite KaiPA pint glass!

Transcribed - Published: 10 May 2024

Democracy is critical to prosperity, Treasury secretary says

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sat down with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal to discuss inflation, economic growth, U.S.-China relations and why having a strong democracy matters for our economy. She also highlighted federal investments in clean energy, concerns about Chinese overproduction and more.

Transcribed - Published: 9 May 2024

Rents outpace wages in big cities across the U.S.

Over the past five years, rents in nearly every major U.S. city have risen faster than wages. In New York City, rent surged seven times faster than wages last year. But this spike isn’t confined to the Big Apple. Later in this episode: GE’s three-way split is the end of an era. Also: the WNBA pay gap, and the rebranding of an iconic Midwestern frozen-food delivery service.

Transcribed - Published: 8 May 2024

A little more time for Social Security and Medicare funds

The good news: The forecasted date at which the Social Security and Medicare trust fund can’t pay full benefits for everyone was pushed back a few years in a report issued Monday. Bad news: That day is still coming, unless Congress acts. Also: aging in place or stuck in place? The challenges of homeownership later in life. Later in the episode: Reddit’s revenue and union organizing efforts in the South.

Transcribed - Published: 7 May 2024

Do you like your job?

Workers are more satisfied with their jobs than they’ve been in nearly 40 years, according to a report from The Conference Board. But dig a little deeper and there are signs of rising dissatisfaction. In this episode, why workplace happiness might be plateauing. Plus, the property insurance industry faces growing climate risk, and a recreation center becomes a burden for a former boom town.

Transcribed - Published: 6 May 2024

Why government benefits are likely to stick around

The U.S. spends about half of its $6 trillion budget on three government entitlements: Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. When it comes to the national debt, cutting these benefits is often part of the cost-cutting conversation. In this episode, we hear how these entitlements grew to be so costly and why reducing them has been so difficult historically. Plus, the layoff that allowed one woman to focus on her small business, and the economic impact of university divestment.

Transcribed - Published: 3 May 2024

Breaking Ground: Where are all the jobs?

Phoenix is on track to become a national hub for semiconductor production. The city has had lots of help: billions in funding from the Biden administration and buy-in from major chipmakers like TSMC and Intel. One thing they still need, though, is workers — 70,000 nationwide. Training programs are already preparing folks for entry-level chip technician positions. But where are all those promised jobs?

Transcribed - Published: 2 May 2024

Breaking Ground: The plants were there first

In the latest installment from their trip to Phoenix, “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal and Washington Post columnist Heather Long visit Native Resources — a plant relocation, nursery and landscape company — that sits at the intersection of conservation and development amid a semiconductor boom. Plus, takeaways from the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting meeting, a check-in with business owners about wages and an update on a Mississippi barge business.

Transcribed - Published: 1 May 2024

Breaking Ground: A visit to the “Silicon Desert”

Phoenix has been in the semiconductor business for a while now, but the Biden administration is taking it to another level by sending a major infusion of cash to tech companies in the desert city to expand chip-making capabilities. In this episode, “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal visits Phoenix with Washington Post columnist Heather Long. They dig into the challenges of rebuilding the country’s semiconductor industry.

Transcribed - Published: 30 April 2024

Keep on truckin’

Warehouses and cargo-moving companies spent a few weeks in limbo after the Baltimore bridge collapse. Now, they’re working hard to reroute goods that usually went through the city’s port, with some truckers driving far and wide to pick up freight redirected to other cities. In this episode, how one cargo transportation company is adjusting. Plus, who will hurt the most from a cap on credit card fees, what economic data the Fed is keeping an eye on this week, and why desk phones are disappearing.

Transcribed - Published: 29 April 2024

A looming deadline for student loan forgiveness

People with certain federal student loans have until Tuesday to consolidate them and qualify for debt cancellation. The Department of Education is reviewing over 40 million loan accounts and issuing credit for past payments that previously didn’t count toward forgiveness. Also in this episode: a look at the latest inflation reading, Americans’ savings habits and pop-up coworking spaces.

Transcribed - Published: 26 April 2024

GDP grows more slowly than expected

Gross domestic product grew by 1.6% in the first quarter, slower than expected after the six-quarter steak of 2% growth or more. How will the Federal Reserve respond to this data when making its next interest rate decision? Also in this episode: The new deep-water channel helping cargo ships leave the Port of Baltimore, protecting trade secrets with noncompete agreements, and the struggling pneumatic tube business gets a boost from the cannabis industry.

Transcribed - Published: 25 April 2024

Clock starts on TikTok ban

Today, President Joe Biden took a decisive step by signing a bill that could ban TikTok in the U.S. unless its Chinese owner, ByteDance, divests from the company within nine months. This move echoes a long history of limiting foreign ownership of communications companies, dating back to the founding of this country. Also in this episode: Boeing’s financial woes, the NBA’s media bidding war and New England’s free college frenzy.

Transcribed - Published: 24 April 2024

The business cycle is getting less cyclical

Expand, slow down, contract and recover. Businesses tend to make decisions based on what stage of the business cycle the economy’s in. The problem is, that doesn’t work so well anymore. We’ll get into it. Also: The hot U.S. dollar causes trouble overseas, college grad unemployment is up, and what other food programs can learn from WIC.

Transcribed - Published: 23 April 2024

A new spin on the yard sale

Many states are making it easier for homeowners to subdivide their single-family lots. But those with space to spare may not know how to develop it. Now, new companies are offering cash for the land. Also: Profits are up, but probably not because of “greedflation,” and federal grants aim to get solar panels on low-income families’ roofs.

Transcribed - Published: 22 April 2024

It’s a good time to be an asset owner

Thanks to a strong stock market and record home prices, asset owners are feeling richer, even if it’s only on paper. Today, we get into the “wealth effect” and how it may play out in the presidential election. Also: Higher prices slow Procter & Gamble sales, the “catastrophic” halt to a Baltimore port business, and why companies change the metrics they report to investors.

Transcribed - Published: 19 April 2024

Will AI be the dot-com bubble all over again?

In the 1990s, companies that hoped to change the world using newfangled computer technology took off. Wall Street invested in some of them big time, and their stock market valuations ballooned before they showed evidence of delivering on their promises. Sound familiar? In this episode, a cautionary tale for the era of AI. Plus, film jobs leave L.A. and New York, Netflix doubles down on video game investments and small businesses’ pricing power is kinda lumpy.

Transcribed - Published: 18 April 2024

Steel tariffs déjà vu

Today, President Joe Biden called for tariffs to be tripled on certain Chinese steel and aluminum products. These tariffs, first implemented by then-President Donald Trump in 2018, are now the latest move in the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. Plus, sky-high car insurance premiums, the government’s latest energy-efficiency standards and China’s shrinking wine market.

Transcribed - Published: 17 April 2024

Slow and steady global growth

The International Monetary Fund reported today that the global economy has shown “remarkable resilience” and that growth is expected to hold steady at 3.2% this year. But that’s low by historical standards. Plus, why there’s weaker demand for Treasurys, how restaurant chains scout locations and why Warner Bros. is shelving “Coyote vs. Acme.” Beep beep!

Transcribed - Published: 16 April 2024

Playing an economic guessing game

The economy has historically been a major factor in election forecasting. But right now, the economy is kinda all over the place. In this episode, how some experts are adjusting their models to account for increased polarization and others are throwing in the towel. Plus, more guessing games: Will BYD crush Tesla? Should firms make big deals before inflation cools? And wait — when am I scheduled to work?

Transcribed - Published: 15 April 2024

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