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.
What’s next for the families who rely on the child tax credit?
Since July, more than 36 million households have received a few hundred dollars every month through the expanded child tax credit. Tomorrow, that won’t be the case. In this episode, we hear what the extra cash has given families and what it means to have it taken away. We also hear why consumer sentiment took a dive, why bank loans might be making a comeback and what testing positive for COVID-19 has cost one family.
The economy is bouncing back, but not for women of color
In December, employment prospects improved for every race and gender group — except Black women, for whom the jobless rate increased from 4.9% to 6.2%. Today, we look at how racism and segregation shaped the economic trajectory of women of color and how COVID could continue to hold them back. We’ll also hear how omicron is hampering trash collection, discuss why the outlook for initial public stock offerings is souring and explore the potential (and definition) of Web3.
Inflation may have already peaked
The consumer price index clocked year-over-year inflation at 7% on Wednesday, the fastest pace since 1982. But month-over-month numbers and other factors point to a deceleration that could give consumers some relief. On today’s show, we do the numbers on inflation and wages. Plus, we visit new nuclear plants, contemplate a career pivot and trace the debate over alimony.
Are rents surging or stalling? Depends on whom you ask.
If you’re a renter in need of a chuckle, just look at the consumer price index, which calculates rent inflation at just 3% for last year. The cost is rising much faster for many renters, and other data sources show the increase near 18%. Today, we’ll talk about this wide data disconnect and why how we measure housing inflation is so important. We’ll also hear about the business of tracking other businesses’ shipments and check in with a downtown Los Angeles cheesemonger and a certified public accountant in New York City.
If it feels like we’ve been here before …
… it’s because we have. As omicron surges nationwide, nearly a quarter of hospitals are critically short-staffed, according to federal data. That’s forcing hospitals to once again make tough calls, like limiting bed capacity, cutting elective surgeries or asking health care workers back — even if they’ve tested positive for COVID-19. We’ll also tackle the challenges of constructing housing that’s affordable and carbon neutral, take a look at why big bank investors are optimistic about fourth-quarter earnings and hear how a team of British researchers is hoping to harness the power of the sun.
December’s jobs report is a head-scratcher
Unemployment fell in December close to a pre-pandemic low. But the economy added far fewer jobs than economists expected. So what gives? It has to do with the two different surveys that make up the monthly jobs report and how they define “employment.” Plus: App-based payments come out from “under the table,” higher fees come for second homes and people shift how they do their ‘dos in the pandemic.