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.
The urban-rural wage gap
People in cities have, on average, made more money than people in rural parts of America for decades. Now, that disparity seems to be widening. In 2023, urban dwellers are making 23% more than rural ones, compared to 20% more before the pandemic. In this episode, why inflation, telework and higher education all play into the urban-rural wage gap. Plus, more older Americans are still paying off their mortgages, ESG investing goes under the microscope and global markets don’t quite believe OPEC+.
An oil exec hosting COP28? Surprise!
The United Nations’ climate change conference kicks off tomorrow in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where tens of thousands of global leaders, experts and activists will discuss how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, the host country’s main export is fossil fuels and the host of the event is CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. In this episode, could conflicting interests stall progress in the transition to renewable energy? Plus, hybrid and electric vehicle sales ramped up while overall consumer spending slowed down in Q3.
Are we there yet? How about now?
We’ve been talking about making an economic “soft landing” for over a year — but how will the Federal Reserve know we’re there? In this episode, Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee tells us what indicators he looks at to gauge inflation trends and why cooling the economy is sorta like cooking a turkey. Plus, we’ll answer some business world questions: How is the chemicals sector doing after a pandemic boom? Why are corporate profits trending down? What does a board of directors do?
Global trade may be back on track
After a yearlong slump, the World Trade Organization said the volume of global trade in goods is set to rebound in the coming year. Leading the charge will be auto parts and electronic components, the WTO said, particularly because demand for electric vehicles is high. In this episode, what it’ll take for global trade to return to pre-pandemic levels. Plus, retailers need those holiday discounts to draw customers, utility companies test out geothermal networks and newly built homes drive the homebuying market.
Shoppers love easy returns. But retailers aren’t sold on ’em.
Americans will drop $37 billion online this long holiday shopping weekend, according to Adobe Analytics. A lot of those consumers are counting on free, easy returns if their items don’t work out, but retailers are unhappy with how much that process costs. In this Black Friday episode, whether stores will ever shrink that return window or go back to charging you for changing your mind. Plus, noisy workplaces, the cookie decoration business and Queen Nefertiti, the original beauty influencer.
It’s all about that holiday spending
It’s not just you: The holiday shopping season really did start sooner this year. Retailers are competing for consumer dollars with sales and discounts, early and often. Plus, tomorrow is one of retailers’ favorite holidays: Black Friday. But the lines between in-store and online shopping are blurring. Later, we hear about post-breakup splurges and healthier habits for night shift workers.
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