Illinois Economy

Business and economic news

The barriers in getting a GED

Jul 6, 2018

(U.S. Edition) The U.S. has launched tariffs on $35 billion worth of Chinese goods — think cars, industrial valves and printers. We'll hear from William Zarit, chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, about the economic relationship between the two countries and how businesses are feeling about these penalties. Afterwards, we'll look at why investors in the Chinese company Xiaomi are a bit worried about its Monday IPO launch. Plus: We explore the hurdles associated with acquiring a GED.

Is the trade war now officially on?

Jul 6, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Thirty-four-billion dollar tit-for-tat tariffs have officially gone into effect on some Chinese and American goods. While the markets have largely shrugged off the implementation today, what impact could be looming as the so-called trade war escalates? And what about the collateral damage to other countries’ economies? Afterwards, hate long meetings, staring at the clock, and not getting enough time with the family? So did the folks at Collins SBA, a company in Australia that recently cut employee work hours from eight a day to just five.

What's Dell up to? Going public again

Jul 6, 2018

The computer company Dell is going public again later this year. Just five years ago, Dell did the opposite and went private. Back then, company leaders decided they had to retool in order to survive. Making the personal computers that every other kid in your dorm had probably wasn't going to cut it. Dell and its future are the topic we chose for this week’s Quality Assurance, where we take a second look at a big tech story.

What's Dell up to? Going public again

Jul 6, 2018

The computer company Dell is going public again later this year. Just five years ago, Dell did the opposite and went private. Back then, company leaders decided they had to retool in order to survive. Making the personal computers that every other kid in your dorm had probably wasn't going to cut it. Dell and its future are the topic we chose for this week’s Quality Assurance, where we take a second look at a big tech story. Klint Finley is a reporter with Wired and has written about Dell.

Pruitt out, but not many changes expected at EPA

Jul 5, 2018

The deregulatory priorities of the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency, long sought by industry, are not expected to change in the post-Scott Pruitt era, according to supporters and foes of the administration and independent observers. Key Pruitt deputies remain in place at top levels of the agency, and the former energy lobbyist tapped to replace Pruitt has similar conservative credentials.

Part of a functioning labor market is that if companies don't want to hire you, they don’t have to, all other things being equal. Likewise if somebody doesn't like their job, they're generally free to look somewhere else. That's not always the case, however. Sometimes employees aren't at all free to look somewhere else. They’re covered by noncompete and no-poaching agreements.

Tariffs can push prices in either direction

Jul 5, 2018

Trade fight. Trade skirmish. Possible trade war. We've been hedging our language around what the Trump administration's multiple rounds of tariffs actually mean. But come midnight tonight, when $34 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods are supposed to kick in, all that talk of trade war starts to look a lot more real and a lot more likely to show up in the real U.S. economy.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned Thursday amid ethics investigations of outsized security spending, first-class flights and a sweetheart condo lease.

With Pruitt’s departure, President Donald Trump loses an administrator many conservatives regarded as one of the more effective members of his Cabinet. But Pruitt had also been dogged for months by a seemingly unending string of scandals that spawned more than a dozen federal and congressional investigations.

Georgian pecans are popular in China, where tariffs just shot up

Jul 5, 2018

You may have been following a trip we took to the South recently to look at manufacturing in this economy and how it's changing.

From immigration policy to the trade war that's upending global commerce, one of the hallmarks of the Trump presidency to date has been his focus on borders. Just this week, Canada hit back against President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs with its own tariffs on steel, aluminum and other U.S. goods.

The trade war is about to get real

Jul 5, 2018

Today might feel like a Monday, but it's actually the end of the week, which means U.S. tariffs against China go into effect tomorrow. Should you be worried about inflation? Or even ... deflation? We'll talk about it, then head to a Georgian pecan farm to see the impact of Chinese tariffs up close. Plus, how the "world's friendliest border" became the front for another trade dispute. And finally, how the box office bounced back this summer.

(Markets Edition) The private-sector added 177,000 jobs in June, according to a report today from the payroll processing company ADP. And tomorrow, we're getting the government's jobs report. We'll find out what we should expect from Diane Swonk, chief economist at the from Grant Thorton, who's anticipating some impressive numbers. Plus: A look at how a women's softball team in the U.S. got some financial assistance from the Chinese Softball Association.

Aiming for investments of $1 trillion

Jul 5, 2018

Moving the United States away from carbon-emitting energy sources is getting a push from a clean-energy advocacy group setting a goal to secure $1 trillion in new investments into renewable energy by 2030. How big a lift would that be?

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

In the 1990s, I visited the town of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and it needed work shall we say. It had a downtown where many feared to tread after sundown. 

Now, Lancaster, with a population of 60,000, where 40 percent are white, 40 percent are Latino and 15 percent are African-American, is a vibrant, foodie haven that showed up on a top 10 list of coolest places to visit. What was the trick?   

Women’s professional sports leagues generally don’t get the level of fanfare or media buzz that men’s leagues do. And because less attention means less money from sponsors and ticket sales, those who work on the business side of women’s sports sometimes have to find creative ways to bring in revenue. That was the case for the U.S. professional softball league known as National Pro Fastpitch. When one of its teams, the Akron Racers, went belly-up because of financial struggles, the league managed to revive the franchise, thanks to financial assistance from the Chinese Softball Association.

In defense of Bugles

Jul 5, 2018

(U.S. Edition) British Prime Minister Theresa May is meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel for political support, given that the U.K. is unclear about how it'll leave the European Union. We'll break down some of the hurdles that Britain still has to tackle. Afterwards, we'll discuss how drug companies like Pfizer are still raising prices, despite the Trump administration's pledge to reduce them. Then finally, we'll chat with General Mills CEO Jeff Harmening about how the company is adapting to the changing food and retail landscape.

Pfizer recently raised the list prices for more than 40 of its prescription medications, including the pain med Lyrica. It’s the second time this year Pfizer has boosted list prices. The increases come at a time of increased public and political scrutiny over drug prices. Is Big Pharma not feeling the heat?

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

Jaguar sounds the alarm on Brexit

Jul 5, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … A potentially game-changing vote in the European Parliament today is expected on copyrighted material on the Internet. Then, Jaguar Land Rover is the latest in a growing line of companies ringing the alarm bells about the consequences of a “bad Brexit” deal. A fresh warning comes today as Prime Minister Theresa May is heading to Germany for a meeting with Angela Merkel about why progress on the exit negotiations has been slow. Afterwards, dropping a few coins in a street musician’s hat is an act that doesn’t take much effort.

Top executives, policymakers and artists gather at the Aspen Ideas Festival every year to share their expertise with the public. This year, the focus is on globalization, free speech and how we’re adapting to an increasingly technical world. Marketplace is at Aspen focusing on what those experts are saying about the future. What’s next for the Trump administration’s antitrust efforts? Or the potential for a world without credit cards?

Robots have a long sci-fi history with humans in space. Now the International Space Station is getting a robotic assistant of its own: CIMON. Short for Crew Interactive Mobile Companion, it arrived on the International Space Station on the back of a SpaceX rocket on Monday and looks like a floating soccer ball with a digital face. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Matthias Biniok of IBM, one of CIMON’s designers, about how the robot will help astronauts aboard the ISS.  

The International Space Station has an AI assistant. No ... it's not evil

Jul 5, 2018

There is a long history in sci-fi of robots accompanying humans in space. These robots’ ambitions have run the gamut, from those that try to embrace their humanity (like Data from “Star Trek”) to others that try to kill us (like HAL from “2001: A Space Odyssey”). But before we can know whether real-life robots will help us or turn on us in space, we have get them up there.

Enter CIMON, short for Crew Interactive Mobile Companion.

We’re just four days into July, obviously, and a little more than two weeks into summer but, we’re months into the summer music festival season. The giant ones with tickets that can set you back hundreds of dollars a piece, start in spring with South By Southwest in Austin and Coachella in the Southern California desert. Still to come are Pitchfork and Lollapalooza in Chicago, and a hundreds of smaller one-day or weekend events with lawns to sit on, huge stages to dance in front of, a sweltering sun to swelter under.

Lights, camera, tax breaks

Jul 4, 2018

State-sponsored film and television incentives are a big driver for business nowadays. New Jersey's governor signed a bill yesterday that will offer tax credits to production companies that film movies and television shows there. And there's a battle going on among states to get the entertainment industry to come to town.

Click the audio player above for the full story.

Economic effects of the heatwave

Jul 4, 2018

A heat wave has been frying parts of the midwest and northeast. It's had millions of people blasting their air conditioning at full power. That is causing record surges in electricity demand in some places and will lead to some higher than expected electric bills for businesses and individuals. So, what’s this weather doing economically?

Click the audio player above for the full story.

Your electric bill is feeling the heat

Jul 4, 2018

Happy Fourth of July, it's a hot one and your AC can feel it. The heat wave gripping parts of the midwest and northeast could have a damaging effect on the electric grid system. It also holds economic concerns for the areas poor. Although it’s a holiday, many people will be working, especially food vendors who sell at festivals all summer long. There's a big business for a lot of small businesses that work the music festival circuit. Also on today's show: lights, camera, tax breaks. The governor of New Jersey signed a bill yesterday offering tax incentives to attract film production.

RERUN: Travel tips from the CEO of Marriott, Arne Sorenson

Jul 4, 2018

Arne Sorenson is only the third CEO in Marriott's history and the first not to have "Marriott" as his surname. In 2016, he oversaw the company's multi-billion dollar merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts, making Marriott the largest hotel chain in the world by far. Sorenson joined host Kai Ryssdal from the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton in New York City to talk about how the travel ban has affected his business, that open letter he wrote to Donald Trump, why he hopes tax reform comes soon, what hotels of the future will look like and his personal tips for travel.

A rise in jobs, but low-paying ones

Jul 4, 2018

(Markets Edition) Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is meeting with European leaders to try and save the international nuclear deal with his country.  He's facing major opposition from President Trump, who's asked Europe to stop importing oil from the country. We'll look at whether the region will, along with some of the economic challenges Iran is undergoing right now. Afterwards, we'll discuss a new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that might help explain why wage growth is so stubbornly slow.

American Dream Miami, a $4 billion retail and entertainment complex, won final zoning approval in May to build on undeveloped land off the Florida Turnpike. This 6.2 million square foot project will include an indoor ski slope, live performance space, a water park with a submarine ride and even a film studio. It will be the largest mall in America, include dozens of restaurants and over 1,200 stores.

Like many old cities, Savannah, Georgia stakes a lot on its history. In fact the National Park Service calls Savannah’s downtown one of the largest urban Historic Landmark Districts in the country — a big draw for tourists and residents alike. But a familiar tension between building the future and preserving the past may be putting that rarefied district under threat.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

America's malls are fighting back

Jul 4, 2018

(U.S. Edition) When investors decide whether to buy a country's bonds, they consider things like inflation, interest rates and, now, climate change. We'll look at how countries that are vulnerable to climate change are paying significantly more to borrow from the markets.  Afterwards, we'll explore why investors aren't finding refuge in gold at this point in the year — which is unusual given that they typically do during times that are uncertain and volatile. Then to cap off the show, we'll discuss how some malls are trying to survive by providing events like live music.

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