Business

Economy
3:15 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Divergent Labor Markets: Private Gains, Public Losses

Job applicants meet potential employers at the NYC Startup Job Fair in September. Last month, the private sector created jobs while the public sector resumed laying off workers.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 11:00 am

The last unemployment report before the election came out Friday, and the news was middling: Unemployment ticked up to 7.9 percent.

The private sector created more than 180,000 new jobs, but state and local governments resumed laying workers off. That discrepancy is part of a longer-term trend.

For a few years now, private sector employment has been growing, but since mid-2010, state and local governments have eliminated roughly half a million jobs.

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Your Money
2:48 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Storm Leaves Many Facing Tricky Insurance Process

A tree service worker prepares to remove a giant oak tree limb that fell onto the roof of Charles Edamala's home in Elkins Park, Pa., during Superstorm Sandy.
Emma Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 3:34 pm

Mario Veas spent Monday night hunkered down with his family. But he has been running ever since.

Veas runs a tree service in Willow Grove, Pa. He says his phone has been ringing nonstop because people want trees felled by the storm chopped up and cleared.

"Everybody [is] calling and they want [the job] to be done this morning," Veas says.

Earlier this week, Veas was clearing an enormous tree branch from Preethy Edamala's patio in nearby Elkins Park.

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Economy
1:40 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Sandy, Election Could Skew Future Jobs Reports

Workers clean up debris left by Superstorm Sandy in Long Beach Island, N.J., on Wednesday. The storm may lead to layoffs as business losses mount, but also could result in hiring related to rebuilding.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 5:20 pm

Each month, the Labor Department issues an employment report. On Friday, that report showed job creation rose in October — and it revealed something more.

With its latest unemployment assessment, the government in effect took a BEFORE snapshot of the U.S. economy. It collected all of the data before Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast and before the election outcome could be known. Each of those two events has the potential to change the AFTER outlook.

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The Salt
12:29 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Christmas Comes Early For Denmark's Beer Drinkers

J-Day, the first Friday in November, marks the release of Denmark's Christmas beer, Tuborg's Julebryg. It's practically a national holiday as the beer is promoted tonight in bars throughout the country.
Tuborg

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 1:40 pm

In the U.S., Thanksgiving marks the unofficial start of the race to Christmas (unless you happen to decorate department stores, then it starts in October). But in Denmark, the Christmas race starts tonight.

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Economy
9:58 am
Fri November 2, 2012

What's The Priority: Unemployment Or Deficit?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, Superstorm Sandy might've turned out the lights along the East Coast, but Twitter was ablaze with comments. We want to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly that Sandy brought out on social media. We'll have that conversation in a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
5:04 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Job Growth Beats Forecasts; Unemployment Rate Is 7.9 Percent

How many signs like this were there in October? We got a clue today.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 9:37 am

The nation's unemployment rate edged up to 7.9 percent in October from 7.8 percent in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

But private and public employers added 171,000 jobs to their payrolls — nearly 50,000 more than economists had expected.

So the news is somewhat mixed: While the jobless rate remained stuck near 8 percent, job growth was better than forecast.

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Business
3:04 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Labor Department To Release Jobs Report

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 9:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renée Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. It's a busy Friday morning before the election. Around 8:30 Eastern Time the government releases the final monthly snapshot of the job market before the election.

MONTAGNE: Last month the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent, the lowest in years. This month analysts expect the number may tic up again, though a separate survey may show another net gain in total people employed.

Business
3:04 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Chrysler Hit Sales Milestone In October

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 9:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Chrysler sales.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Chrysler is again in the news. Today it's not for political reasons, but because the Detroit automaker is selling cars, a lot of them. Chrysler had it best October sales in five years. And Automotive magazine has named Chrysler's CEO its man of the year.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: When auto industry people talk about Chrysler's CEO Sergio Marchionne, they tend to gush.

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U.S.
3:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Manhattan Businesses Struggle Until Power Returns

Paul Nicaj, who owns Battery Gardens Restaurant on the southern tip of Manhattan, says Superstorm Sandy will cost him a few hundred thousand dollars, including income from two weddings that may have to be cancelled this weekend.
Ailsa Chang NPR

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:01 am

Lower Manhattan continues to slog through another day without electricity, and it's taking a toll on businesses that have been shuttered since the storm hit. No electricity means no lights, no credit card machines, no heating and no refrigerators to keep food fresh, so local shops and restaurants are waiting desperately for the power to turn back on.

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The Salt
1:09 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Sandy's Damage Under The Sea, Through The Eyes Of Oyster Farmers

What they pull up is discouraging. Normally, 30 seconds under water would bring up a cage full of mostly healthy oysters. This time, Jimmy Bloom pulls up a cage that is barely one-third full. And it's haul is a mix of broken, chipped, meatless oysters.
Jeff Cohen for NPR

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy wrapped up a post Hurricane Sandy news briefing earlier this week by talking about sewage discharges into Long Island Sound. "Suffice to say in the immediate time being, no one should eat the clams or oysters," he said.

That's right. Because of water quality issues, the state put a temporary stop to oyster farming, but that's usually a short-term thing and it happens fairly regularly after a big storm.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Consumer Confidence Hits Highest Point In Nearly Five Years

"Black Friday" 2011 in Manhattan. Will consumers come out in force this holiday season? Their confidence was high in October.
Michael Nagle Getty Images

By at least one measure, in October consumers were the most confident they've been since February 2008, the private Conference Board reports.

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Some Mixed Signals From Latest Jobs Numbers

Job seekers were on line at a career fair in Manhattan back in August.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 7:02 am

Three closely watched employment indicators are out this morning:

-- Unemployment Benefits. There were 363,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down from 372,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. So, as they have all year, claims remain in a range between 350,000 and 400,000.

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Business
3:10 am
Thu November 1, 2012

GM Quarterly Earnings Exceed Expectations

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:41 am

Even facing economic headwinds in Europe and South America, GM's quarterly earnings came in well above analysts' estimates, and its stock soared.

Business
3:06 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Help Wanted In Switzerland: Hunting Tax Cheats

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:41 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And while we're on the subject of tax evasion, our last word in business today is: Help wanted.

Switzerland is looking for more staff to handle a flood of new requests from other countries that are looking for tax cheats.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Business
3:06 am
Thu November 1, 2012

The Complicated Economic Impact Of Sandy

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Sandy is likely to go down as one of the costliest storms in U.S. history. The initial estimates of the losses are anywhere from $20 billion to $50 billion. But as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, the impact on the economy is more complicated than it may appear. Some companies will even make money.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Economist Greg Daco has been tallying the potential costs of Hurricane Sandy and he says there's no question it's going to hurt the economy more than it will help it.

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Business
3:06 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:41 am

Japanese TV maker Sharp on Thursday doubled its expected net loss for the year to more than $5 billion. The company also raised concerns about its ability to survive on its own. The news comes a day after another Japanese tech giant, Panasonic, forecast a nearly $10 billion loss for the year.

Planet Money
3:06 am
Thu November 1, 2012

The Robots Haven't Taken Over The Stock Market (Yet)

Sandbags protect an entrance of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:04 am

Note: This story was originally published on Oct. 30. It was updated on Nov. 1 to include a radio version of the story.

The stock market, according to a popular narrative, is now just computers making superfast trades with other computers. Those pictures of traders getting emotional on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange are an anachronism. The real action flashes through fiber-optic cables headed for servers in places like Kansas City. It's algorithms all the way down.

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The Two-Way
5:57 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Coal Mine Inspection Sweep Targets Cause Of Black Lung

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 3:59 am

Federal regulators have announced the results of a September inspection blitz targeting 13 coal mines in seven states "previously cited for violations regarding respirable dust sampling ... inadequate dust control ... and hazard complaints" involving excessive coal dust.

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Movies
3:27 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Lucasfilm Deal Represents Shift In Hollywood

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:53 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A surprise announcement yesterday from the Walt Disney Company. The studio that gave us "Cinderella"...

(SOUNDBITE OF ANIMATED MOVIE, "CINDERELLA")

CINDERELLA: Oh, my goodness. It's midnight.

CORNISH: Ariel...

([SOUNDBITE OF ANIMATED MOVIE, "THE LITTLE MERMAID"])

ARIEL: (Singing) You want thingamabobs? I got 20.

CORNISH: And "Snow White"...

([SOUNDBITE OF ANIMATED MOVIE, "SNOW WHITE"])

SNOW WHITE: I'm sure I'll get along somehow.

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It's All Politics
1:46 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Auto Legend Iacocca Backs Romney In Ohio Car Wars

Mitt Romney campaigns Monday in Avon Lake, Ohio.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:06 pm

As the presidential race zeroes in on Ohio, and the auto industry gets renewed focus in the all-important swing state, Mitt Romney's campaign is touting the backing of former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca and the company's former president, Hal Sperlich.

"In our opinion, Mitt Romney is the leader we need to help turn our economy around and ensure that the American auto industry is once again a dominant force in the world," Iacocca and Sperlich write on Romney's website.

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Planet Money
7:10 am
Wed October 31, 2012

America's Most Expensive Storms

A firefighter surveys the smoldering ruins of a house in the Breezy Point section of New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

While we're on the subject of devastating storms, consider a report published last year by the National Hurricane Center. The title alone makes it worth a look:

THE DEADLIEST, COSTLIEST, AND MOST INTENSE UNITED STATES TROPICAL CYCLONES FROM 1851 TO 2010 (AND OTHER FREQUENTLY REQUESTED HURRICANE FACTS)

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Business
3:21 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Halloween Spending On The Rise

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 6:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's report on a different kind of horror. Tonight, of course, is Halloween, and Americans are expected to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 billion on decorations candy, costumes and other stuff.

From Seattle, NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports on the business behind this ghoulish night.

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Business
3:21 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Walt Disney Co. To Buy Lucasfilm

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:43 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Oh my gosh. You create the social equivalent of nuclear fusion when you combine the people who are obsessed with Star Wars and the people obsessed with Disney. The Walt Disney Company is apparently willing to take that risk. In a move that surprised industry observers, Disney announced, yesterday, it is buying Lucasfilm, the studio founded by George Lucas and home to the Star Wars franchise. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports there are already plans for a new "Star Wars" movie.

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Business
3:21 am
Wed October 31, 2012

New York Markets Set To Reopen After Sandy

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 6:52 am

The New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ are both set to reopen Tuesday. The markets were closed Monday and Tuesday as Hurricane Sandy pounded the East Coast, flooding New York's financial district.

Business
3:21 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Businesses Try To Get By During Hockey Lockout

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 6:52 am

The National Hockey League has now canceled all games through the end of November, as team owners lock out players in a labor dispute. In the meantime, there are many businesses and workers who count on hockey games to help make ends meet. But they are now trying to make due without.

Business
3:21 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Air Travel Still Feeling The Effects Of Sandy

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 6:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Airlines canceled more than 17,000 flights before, during, and after the storm. New York's JFK and Newark Airport in New Jersey re-opened this morning, with limited service. For other airports, it may be days before their first flights take-off. All told, Sandy is expected to cost the domestic airline industry $100 million - money it can't really afford to lose.

Still, as NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports, the news hasn't been all bad.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

The Force Is Strong With This One: Disney Buys Lucasfilm For $4B

In this handout image provided by Disney, Star Wars creator George Lucas has a playful lightsaber duel with Jedi Mickey Mouse at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on Aug. 14, 2010. Disney announced Tuesday that it was buying Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 billion.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:36 am

Fanboys and -girls, get ready to celebrate – or be disappointed: Disney announced Tuesday that it was buying Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4 billion, and continue the Star Wars franchise with the first of new series of films in 2015.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Keeping Sandy's Economic Impact In Perspective

A truck drives through a flooded street caused by Hurricane Sandy in New York City's Financial District on Tuesday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 8:32 am

When Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast on Monday, the fragile U.S. economy was just sitting there, stuck in a sluggish-growth mode.

Now, as the massive cleanup begins, business owners, workers and investors are wondering what impact the megastorm ultimately will have on their wallets. Did Sandy weigh down economic activity enough to drown the recovery? Or will the rebuilding efforts boost growth over the longer term?

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The Salt
1:26 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

Oregon State's New Cheese Plant Aims To Break The Rind

Oregon State University food science and technology students mix a batch of havarti cheese in a cheesemaking class.
Lynn Ketchum OSU

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 5:04 pm

It's football season at Oregon State University, and that means tailgating, grilling, and ... cheese?

When we think of Oregon, we don't necessarily think of cheese — maybe a nice Pinot Noir, but not cheese. But this fall, Oregon State University's new cheese plant rolled out its first batch of product: a specialty alpine cheese (like Swiss, Comte or Gruyere) dubbed by the students "Beaver Classic." It's a mild cheese, with nutty flavors like caramelized onions.

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Business
11:23 am
Tue October 30, 2012

New York Stock Exchange To Reopen Wednesday

The floor of the New York Stock Exchange was empty of traders Monday, as New York's financial district braced for the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy.
Richard Drew AP

The New York Stock Exchange will reopen for regular trading Wednesday after being shut down for two days because of Hurricane Sandy.

The exchange said in a statement Tuesday that its building and trading floor are fully operational.

Tuesday marks the first time since 1888 that the NYSE remained closed for two consecutive days due to weather. The last time was due to a massive snow storm.

Sections of Manhattan were inundated with water and power was shut off to thousands of people and businesses.

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