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.
Next-day delivery is so pre-pandemic. Cue ultra-fast delivery.
Whereas next- or same-day delivery services transformed the way people shopped at the height of the pandemic, there’s a new kid in town: companies that will deliver an order in under 20 minutes. While the services have made it to densely populated urban areas in the United States, the market is particularly booming in the United Kingdom. Victoria Craig takes us to London, where — for super-fast delivery apps — competition is fierce, investment is booming and pathways to long-lasting profit are uncertain. Plus: The Weekly Wrap, a sky-high battle for 5G and a Black Friday look at consumer spending.
Bemidji, Minnesota has paid teleworkers to move there. How is it playing out?
At the height of the pandemic, dozens of small communities saw an opportunity to recruit people who could work from anywhere — by paying them to move. Today, Dan Kraker takes us to Bemidji, Minnesota, where a program offers people $2,500 to telework there. The solution has proved mutually beneficial, offering newcomers a slower, more budget-friendly pace of life while helping a smaller town grow. Plus: The glass bottle shortage comes to a liquor store near you, the 30th anniversary of a major economic database and the young engineer behind an operations-friendly headscarf.
Inflation and unemployment stats tell a complicated story
We got a feast of economic figures the day before Thanksgiving: First-time unemployment claims are at a 52-year low. But a key index shows inflation is at a 31-year high. Consumer spending is up too, yet consumer sentiment is at its lowest point in a decade. What the heck is going on? On today’s show, we’ll tell you how the economic recovery can look anything but linear. We’ll also hear about the big number of small-scale labor actions, the infrastructure bill’s potential impact on holiday travel routes and a new initiative by the Department of Labor aimed at assisting home care workers.
Biden’s release of oil reserves is unlikely to ease gas prices
Gas prices are high ahead of holiday travel. To address oil costs, President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he would tap into oil reserves and release 50 million barrels. But energy analysts say consumers likely won’t feel relief at the pump. Also on today’s show: Luxury stores keep malls afloat; how the shipping container came to be; and residents of Boquillas, Mexico, get creative to survive pandemic border closures.
What Jerome Powell’s renomination means for Fed policy
President Joe Biden announced today that he will nominate Jerome Powell for a second term as Federal Reserve chair. Progressive Democrats were hoping Biden would nominate board member Lael Brainard, whom he instead picked for vice chair. The decision indicates a “business as usual” stance amid the economic recovery and spiking inflation. Also: We examine why Target’s nearly 2,000 stores will no longer stay open on Thanksgiving Day, unpack the Deere strike and its impact on farmers and look at businesses filling the void in China’s mental health care sector.
Postponing a blockbuster comes at a hefty cost
As COVID-19 shuttered movie theaters across the country, production companies had few options: release films directly to streaming platforms or hold off on movie releases until the pandemic dust settles. But pressing the pause button can mean multibillion-dollar losses. In today’s episode, we hear from Vulture reporter Chris Lee about how even blockbuster films that are delayed may struggle to break even. Also: The Weekly Wrap; pharmacy chains eye the primary health care market; and even small retailers are getting a head start on holiday shopping.