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.
One kink in the supply chain: not enough parking
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: There are issues in the global supply chain. One hiccup in the supply chain is a lack of truck drivers in the United States. Despite hiring bonuses of up to $10,000, fewer truck drivers are finding the stressful work and long hours worth it. And one of their biggest complaints? Difficulty finding a place to park and rest. We’ll also look at why the most iconic brand in the U.S. doubled its marketing budget this year, hear from San Francisco taxi drivers shouldering mountains of debt, and take a trip to a shipping container storage depot.
If U.S. workers had 4 weeks of paid family leave, would they use it?
As congressional Democrats trim down the social-spending bill, a proposal for paid family leave may be cut from 12 to four weeks. The U.S. is one of only a handful of countries that don’t guarantee some paid family leave, and even at four weeks, would still be behind nearly every other country in the world. While such a policy could be vital to working parents, American reluctance to take time off could get in the way. We’ll also discuss corporations’ green pledges, why some companies are hiring leaders to manage remote and hybrid work, and hear about a horror author’s scary house hunt.
Will New Mexico chile crop weather labor shortage and climate change?
In the early ’90s, New Mexico had 34,000 acres devoted to the production of chiles, the pepper seen on menus across the state. But that number has dwindled, with some 8,000 acres set aside for chile production in recent years, according to the New Mexico Chile Association. The decline in chile production — largely the result of climate change and a labor shortage — may be a threat to businesses and the culture of the region. Also on today’s show: Housing advocates vie for their slice of the reconciliation pie; examining just how ethical ESG investments are; and a festival sign writer crafts a pandemic side hustle.
“Clean slate” laws could soften the labor crisis
One in three American adults has a criminal record. Amid a labor shortage and a historically high quit rate among the American workforce, there’s growing advocacy to pass “clean slate” laws, which call for modernizing court databases and creating algorithms to automatically clear records for minor criminal offenses. While such legislation expands candidate pools for businesses, it also opens the door to higher-quality jobs for those with a criminal record. Also on the show today: The Weekly Wrap; talking turkey about holiday food prices; and why some are calling plastic the “new coal.”
Were COVID relief funds fairly distributed to tribal governments?
In March, the American Rescue Plan set aside $20 billion for tribal governments, an unprecedented federal investment in Indian Country. While close to 600 tribal entities got portions of the relief funds, more than half of the money went to just 30. That’s because the Treasury Department divvied up funds based on population and the number of people each tribe employs — not poverty levels or COVID infection rates. Also on the show today: The Federal Reserve overhauls investing rules for policymakers, why it’s so hard to determine what makes a “high-quality” carbon offset and examining the real-life horrors the film “Candyman” spotlights.
Inflation comes to a freezer aisle near you
When it comes to checkout time at your local grocery store, the total at the bottom of your receipt might just raise your eyebrows. That’s because prices for essentials have increased by 4.5% year over year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly half of all price increases have come from just three meats: beef, pork and poultry — meaning you may think twice before adding that steak or pork loin to your shopping cart. Later on in the program, we’ll hear about some of the career shifts occurring in the Great Resignation, what California’s drought could mean for the rest of the country and why Citigroup is nixing work lunches.