Illinois Economy

Business and economic news

Here’s why U.S. small businesses don’t export more

May 21, 2018

The Commerce Department kicks off World Trade Week on Monday. It’s honoring 43 U.S. exporters. Thirty-three of them are small- or mid-sized businesses. But as it turns out, small businesses could be exporting more.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Playing good cop/bad cop with China

May 21, 2018

(U.S. Edition) So are the U.S. tariffs on China on or off? That'll depend on which Trump administration official you listen to. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says a trade war between the U.S. and China is now "on hold," but the country's top trade official, Robert Lighthizer, says Chinese tariffs remain an important tool. On today's show, we'll look at what came out of the latest round of trade talks between the two countries. Afterwards, we'll discuss how changes in Britain's universal health care policies will affect undocumented, pregnant women.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service …Venezuela’s socialist economy is under massive strain with inflation running at 13,000 percent. So how will the country’s leader deal with these challenges, along with increasing pressure from other nations to fix its problems? Then, religion is a big business in Zimbabwe – we’ll take you there to meet a prophet who knows just how lucrative preaching can be. (05/21/2018)

Is Uber disrupting itself with its bike share investment?

May 21, 2018

Uber is looking beyond cars in its bid to control the future of mobility. The company recently acquired electric bike share startup Jump. That means in select cities, Uber users can opt for a bike instead of a driver to help them get around. In San Francisco, Jump recently became the first stationless bike share company after winning an exclusive 18-month permit with the city.

Uber makes moves to disrupt bikes, too

May 21, 2018

Uber is looking beyond cars in its bid to control the future of mobility. The company recently acquired electric bike share startup Jump. That means in select cities, Uber users can opt for a bike instead of a driver to help them get around. But the uptick in two-wheeled transportation sharing has some worried about pedestrian safety on sidewalks, not to mention the implications surrounding data privacy. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood met up with Jump CEO Ryan Rzepecki on a busy street in San Francisco to get a handle on the ride share ecosystem. (05/21/2018)

It’s tough to be in the processed food business these days. The abrupt departure of the Campbell’s CEO after a bad quarterly earnings report highlights how difficult it is for these companies to shift their identities, with consumers seeking foods they consider healthier. How are processed food companies responding?

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There’s been a little bit of confusion these past couple days on how trade talks with China are going. U.S. officials told CNN that China had offered to bump up purchases of American goods by $200 billion. Chinese officials said that's not true. The Trump administration believes that the trade deficit with China could be brought down if China were to buy that much more worth of American goods. It’s something the president is focused on even though most economists say he shouldn't be. 

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What happens when three big companies invest in an apology? Facebook, Uber and Wells Fargo have launched apology campaigns in the past several weeks. They’re all trying to regain the trust of their customers for scandals that have included data hacking, sexual harassment, and overcharging. But is an "I’m Sorry" ad effective?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

So, what's going on with trade again?

May 18, 2018

We're talking NAFTA. We're also talking tariffs. And China. And trade deficits. Leigh Gallagher from Fortune Magazine and Dion Rabouin from Yahoo Finance join us for the Weekly Wrap to talk about the unforeseen consequences of U.S. trade policy and the latest on the 10-year Treasury note. Also on today's show, we get into the Trump administration's attempt to get China to buy more goods from the United States. Trump wants to lower the trade deficit with Beijing, but is buying more American goods going to solve the problem? We also take a look at apology ads.

Recommended reading for recent college grads

May 18, 2018

(Markets Edition) The Trump administration plans to propose a new rule that would bar abortions at facilities that receive federal family planning funds. On today's show, we'll look at what this could mean for organizations like Planned Parenthood. Afterwards, amid news that the U.S. benchmark interest rate eased back a bit this morning, we'll discuss whether this is cause for alarm. And then to cap off today's show, we'll talk about the best personal finance books for recent college graduates. (05/18/2018)

Globalization has been touted as this inevitable, unstoppable force. But as the U.S., China and other major economies flex their muscles over trade, is this assumption all wrong?America has a long history of global trade and a varied one. Our economy has swung widely from protecting our very first industries with subsidies and imports to brokering global deals that open borders and lift trade barriers. It's not pure economics that dictates our trade relationships; it's politics and social context, too. Who’s gained from open borders and who's lost?

A new survey out this morning of mobility in the American workforce finds that one in four job applicants would move to a new city for a new job, a higher salary or better career opportunities. The online employment site Glassdoor found that younger workers and men were more likely than others to relocate to a new metro area, especially those in software engineering, developers and data scientists. And where are they moving to?

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Land accounts for 80 percent of farm assets according to the Department of Agriculture. So farmers are using their land as collateral to face low commodity prices, but the amount of production that farmers need to service their debt is rising. 

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It's tough out there for farmers

May 18, 2018

(U.S. Edition) The U.S. and China are hard at it to work out a trade agreement. One potential idea floating around: a $200 billion trade surplus package from Beijing. We'll chat with a former Treasury Department official about how big this offer is in the grand scheme of things. Afterwards, we'll look at the financial troubles many farms in the U.S. are facing. Many are using their land as collateral against loans to keep operating. (05/18/2018)

China drops U.S. trade probe

May 18, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service ... There are signs that the frosty trade relationship between the U.S. and China is thawing. Beijing has dropped a sanctions probe into American sorghum imports. But is this olive branch a sign that China will fulfill a promise to open its economy? We ask trade expert David Collins. Then, the bunting is out, the weather looks clear. Yes, it's finally here. Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle this weekend at Windsor Castle. We speak to some of those involved in the celebrations.

The best personal finance books for recent college grads

May 18, 2018

If you’re getting your college grad a gift of money, you might want to include a book on how to put that present to good use. Financial planning might not be a priority — 70 percent of grads are finishing school with significant debt. But with U.S. employers adding an average of 200,000 jobs per month in 2018, your grad could be working — and doing some financial planning — soon.

Here are some personal finance books for grads recommended by Marketplace senior economics contributor Chris Farrell, keeping in mind economics and English majors alike.  

The Senate voted earlier this week to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to roll back net neutrality rules. But in order for the FCC’s decision to be reversed, a similar vote would have to pass the house and be signed by the president. But the vote did accomplish one big thing: It reminded politicians that consumers care about net neutrality and support some kind of regulation on big telecom companies. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Brian Fung of the Washington Post about what he learned from senators after the vote.  

Did our lack of trust in Big Cable sway the net neutrality vote?

May 18, 2018

The Senate voted earlier this week to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to roll back net neutrality rules. But in order for the FCC’s decision to be reversed, a similar vote would have to pass the house and be signed by the president. But the vote did accomplish one big thing: It reminded politicians that consumers care about net neutrality and support some kind of regulation on big telecom companies. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke with Brian Fung of the Washington Post about what he learned from senators after the vote.

The drama just keeps coming at CBS and Viacom

May 17, 2018

CBS lost today’s court battle for independence from its majority shareholder, National Amusements, Inc. But the saga between CBS and the parent company of Viacom is far from over, and it comes at a time when the entire media landscape is on the verge of being upended by mergers.  

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Labor shortage = labor shortage

May 17, 2018

The latest birth rate numbers are out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Americans, you are not being fruitful and multiplying. Last year saw the lowest number of births in 30 years. That dearth of babies has a lot of repercussions for the future — a smaller active labor force would mean less economic growth. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Royal wedding boosts the fashion industry

May 17, 2018

Britain’s tabloid press has been in a ferment over this weekend’s much-heralded royal wedding. What the journalists initially dubbed the “Markle Sparkle,” they then attacked as the “Markle Debacle” following the revelation that the bride’s father, Thomas Markle, will not be walking her down the aisle, citing health problems. Doubts about his attendance first surfaced after it was alleged that he was paid for staging photos with journalists. If true, that would break an unwritten rule that members of the royal family must not profit financially from their association with the monarchy.

Ask a Manager: Navigating an internship

May 17, 2018

Summer is rapidly approaching, and with it, a slew of seasonal jobs and internships. Internships have become a rite of passage for many young professionals on the verge of entering the workforce and a gateway to a career.

But internships can also be problematic — they are often unpaid, or underpaid. Those who take internships forgo other work opportunities in favor of experience, a choice many can't afford to make.

The median household income in Texas oil country – the Permian Basin - is consistently among the highest in the country at almost $70,000. But not everyone is making that kind of money. Ask people in Midland about the underserved and homeless population, they’ll almost immediately talk about the different boards they’re on and the work their church does to help the less fortunate. And almost everyone agrees they don’t want the state taking their money to help do something they’re perfectly capable of and willing to do. But is it enough? 

The Markle Effect

May 17, 2018

We're just a couple days away from the royal wedding, and the fashion industry loves Meghan Markle. We'll look at her style and how it might change once she marries Prince Harry. But first, let's talk about the Newtonian law of global trade: For every policy action, there's an equal or opposite reaction. Japan could reportedly be taking the United States to the World Trade Organization over steel and aluminum tariffs, and we'll spend some time at the top of today's show exploring trade's many unintended consequences.

This week, retailers have been releasing their earnings and doing better than many expected. Today, we’ll get Nordstrom earnings after the bell. Facing the ongoing threat from e-commerce, the company is digging in to the in store experience, especially for one particular group of consumers.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(Markets Edition) The birthrate in America just keeps going down. We talked to Diane Swonk, the chief economist at the accounting and consulting firm Grant Thornton, about the economic troubles this will cause for the U.S. down the road. Afterwards, we'll look at how Britain is placing limits on some fixed-odds betting machines, and then discuss how the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to OK legal sports will impact New Jersey. (05/17/2018)

The FDA plans to unveil a website today naming pharmaceutical companies that have blocked the development of generic drugs by failing to provide samples to competitors. This public posting is part of FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb's larger crackdown to, as he says, “end the shenanigans” by brand name drug companies.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

How millennials feel about capitalism and socialism

May 17, 2018

(U.S. Edition) The Food and Drug administration is planning to unveil a new website today, naming pharmaceutical companies that have blocked the development of generic drugs. We'll look at whether public shaming could change how drug makers behave. Afterwards, we'll discuss the reasons behind America's declining birth rate amid news that it's hit a 30-year-low. Plus: We talk to University of Chicago political science professor Cathy Cohen about the latest survey from GenForward, an ongoing study that looks at how millennials think at major societal issues.

For many millennials, socialism isn't the "dirty word" it once was

May 17, 2018

Millennials are living through a massive upheaval in our economy. From the aftereffects of the Great Recession to the displacement of workers due to automation, they're inheriting conditions vastly differ than previous generations.

So which economic systems do they think will work? How well do they think the government is doing in tackling our country's economic issues? 

U.K. targets "crack cocaine" gambling machines

May 17, 2018

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service ... They’re known as the “crack cocaine” of the betting world. Now, the U.K. government is slashing the maximum stake on electronic slot machines in a move it claims will protect vulnerable players. We'll look at what difference this will make. Then, U.S. grocery giant Kroger is buying a stake in Britain's Ocado. Bryan Roberts at TCC Global explains why the American retailer is hoping to take advantage of British technology.

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