Illinois Economy

Business and economic news

An immigrant's role in the American economy

Apr 6, 2018

This week, President Donald Trump announced he wanted to send National Guard troops to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border. This announcement was made in the midst of a national conversation regarding immigration, legal and otherwise, which includes a push to change immigration laws and reduce the number of legal immigrants in the country. Marketplace Weekend’s Lizzie O’Leary sat down with reporter Mitchell Hartman to dig into the impact of immigration on the workforce and the overall American economy.

Click the audio player above to hear the full interview. 

russellstreet / Flickr- CC BY-SA 2.0

Illinois needs more money to cover its deteriorating transportation systems, but the federal government’s new infrastructure plan doesn’t offer much. 

The evolution of the race to the cosmos

Apr 6, 2018

In his book "The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos," Christian Davenport explores the new narrative surrounding the modern-day space race: wealthy individuals from private companies competing against one another in order to reach the stars. In the excerpt below, read about the team at Blue Origin's headquarters in Seattle and the readily changing space industry. 

Teachers still haven't recovered financially from the recession

Apr 6, 2018

In recent weeks, teachers have been protesting, staging walkouts and marches in Kentucky, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Arizona. Teachers are upset about working conditions, pay and benefits, which in some cases have been stagnant or worsening for years. 

If you haven't filed your taxes yet, that deadline is April 17. The process can be stressful and confusing, especially if you're itemizing. But how much would you pay to avoid that? Youssef Benzarti, an assistant professor of economics at UCLA, studied our tax system and says people are willing to give up the equivalent of 20 hours — or 2.5 days — of their salary. He found that many taxpayers actually give up that much in tax savings in order to make the whole process shorter and easier.

Netflix eyes a billboard company

Apr 6, 2018

Netflix is said to be making an offer on an outdoor advertising company with signs in all the right places, if you are a Hollywood insider.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

The "Titanic" of Wall Street: The Citigroup merger 20 years later

Apr 6, 2018

Twenty years ago this week, Citicorp — a commercial bank, and Travelers Group — a financial services company, merged to create Citigroup Inc. It became the largest bank in the world, and according to Mike Mayo, one of Wall Street's best-known bank analysts, it also set the stage for the financial crisis that happened 10 years later. 

Pork, soybeans, fruit, small aircrafts, wine. These are just a few of the 106 American products that might be subject to future tariffs, the Chinese government warned on Wednesday. As for when the 25 percent tariffs would take effect, China said that depends on President Donald Trump and his threat to place similar tariffs on Chinese goods entering the U.S.

The suggested tariffs are just that: suggestions — or threats, if you will. However, they are already having an impact on the U.S. economy by creating a lot of uncertainty for various industries.

(Markets Edition) The March jobs report is officially out, revealing that the economy added a little over 100,000 jobs. That's much lower than what forecasters were expecting, so what gives? We'll have to look back at the February jobs report to give us some clues, and an important one has to do with the weather. Afterwards, we'll talk to Nicholas Lardy, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, about what the ongoing U.S.-China trade battle means for the American economy. 

Cardi B teaches us how she makes money move

Apr 6, 2018

A deal within reach on NAFTA?

Apr 6, 2018

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is taking the lead in the latest round of talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement, scheduled for today. President Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of NAFTA, unless it’s renegotiated. That’s easier said than done, though and there are still a number of stumbling blocks.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

This story was updated at 7:49 a.m. CT. 

U.S. employers added a modest 103,000 jobs in March after several months of bigger gains, though the government's overall jobs report suggests that the labor market remains healthy.

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate remained 4.1 percent, a 17-year low, for a sixth straight month. Average hourly pay ticked up, climbing 2.7 percent compared with a year earlier.

04/06/2018: Don't forget about NAFTA

Apr 6, 2018

(U.S. Edition) China is responding to President Trump after he called for an additional $100 billion in tariffs, saying they are prepared to fight the U.S. "at any cost." How are America's trade partners feeling about this, though? On today's show, we'll look at whether Europe is supportive of the White House. Afterwards, with the release of today's jobs report, we'll talk about why there hasn't been much of an increase in job growth. Then, we'll discuss what NAFTA negotiations currently look like and what hurdles still need to be cleared.

Apple will reportedly replace Intel processors with its own microchips

Apr 6, 2018

Apple might be getting in the chip business. Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Apple plans to replace Intel processors in Mac computers with microchips of its own. The move would stem from Apple’s strategy of making all of its devices — like Macs, iPhones and iPads — work more like each other and more seamlessly.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service… The war of words between China and the U.S. on tariffs is continuing to escalate. The two nations have largely stood on their own in calling each other’s trade practices unfair, but at what point will other nations step in? Then, starting today, thirsty shoppers buying sugary drinks in the U.K. can expect a hefty tax on their purchases – a rule aimed at cutting obesity rates and encouraging healthier choices. Various parts of the U.S. have tried it, but has it worked?

04/06/2018: Apple may go solo in microchips

Apr 6, 2018

Apple might be getting in the chip business. Bloomberg reported earlier this week that Apple plans to replace Intel processors in Mac computers with microchips of its own. The move would stem from Apple’s strategy of making all of its devices — like Macs, iPhones and iPads — work more like each other and more seamlessly. Marketplace Tech host Jon Gordon spoke with Dwight Silverman, the tech editor at the Houston Chronicle, about what’s behind the move. 

Trying to squeeze through the pass-through loophole

Apr 5, 2018

People have taxes on their minds this time of year. But some business owners are preoccupied with planning for next year’s taxes, because of a big new deduction in the tax overhaul. It’s supposed to be for small business owners who report their business income on their individual tax returns. They’re called pass-through businesses, because their profits are “passed through” to the owner’s personal tax return and taxed at their individual rate.

With the announced Chinese tariffs on U.S. exports, things are looking pretty tough if you're a farmer, and more so if you're a farmer in Iowa. Five of the state's central agriculture products — soybeans, corn, ethanol, beef and pork — would be hit if the tariffs go into effect. And that's a big deal for the Iowa farmers who depend on Chinese markets.

Tariff jitters are rippling through the ag economy

Apr 5, 2018

Yesterday on the show, Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked apples, hogs and tariffs. Today it’s the original white meat. Chickens weren't directly named on the list of proposed tariffs Beijing put out yesterday, but as it is a global agriculture economy, a potential trade war has implications for the poultry industry as well. Ryssdal called up Ed Fryar, the CEO of Ozark Mountain Poultry in Batesville, Arkansas, to check in. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation:

The trade deficit — all the goods and services we buy from overseas, minus what other countries buy from us — is President Donald Trump's key economic irritant. He's cited it when threatening to raise tariffs and tear up trade deals like NAFTA. We just got the February trade report this morning from the Department of Commerce, and for the sixth month in a row, our trade deficit has grown, despite Trump's promises to shrink it. It may not be his fault though, and we'll explain why. Then: Yesterday we talked to several Americans about what the potential trade war between China and the U.S.

In Shanghai, few worry over U.S-China trade spat

Apr 5, 2018

China's government issued a list of some $50 billion worth of U.S. exports yesterday that could be subjected to tariffs — everything from soybeans to airplane parts. 

It described the measure as a defensive move after the Trump administration announced plans Tuesday to hike duties on 1,300 types of Chinese exports, also valued at $50 billion. Neither country has yet imposed the levies.

"Both sides have put their lists on the table," China's Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told reporters on Wednesday. "It's time for negotiations."

As the tariff fight between China and the United States escalates, retailers are worried. They say U.S. tariffs on Chinese products could result in higher prices and have some other unintended consequences.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(Markets Edition) Facebook stock has fallen 16 percent since news broke that a third-party firm took user data to help the Trump campaign. With some in Congress potentially looking to adopt European data privacy rules, we'll look at what those currently look like. Afterwards, we'll chat with Diane Swonk — chief economist at the consulting firm Grant Thornton — about what we might expect from the release of tomorrow's jobs report. Plus: How reducing immigration would affect the labor market. 

What role do immigrants play in U.S. labor force?

Apr 5, 2018

President Donald Trump and many congressional Republicans are pursuing policies to reduce legal immigration to the United States, with proposals to prioritize admission for highly skilled and well-educated immigrants over those with family ties to residents and by deporting undocumented immigrants currently living and working in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate has fallen toward 4 percent, and employers increasingly say they're experiencing worker shortages.

04/05/2018: How to get your dream job

Apr 5, 2018

(U.S. Edition) Both the U.S. and China have published a proposed list of goods from the other other that they may hit with tariffs. But that's what they are for now — proposals. We'll look at what steps have to come before anything goes into effect, and then discuss how these tariffs would impact retailers. Plus: a conversation with Dev Aujla, CEO of the recruiting firm Catalog and author of the new book "50 Ways to Get a Job," about how to navigate your job search. 

You're familiar with the job search process: it's stressful, it's tedious, it's hard to figure out what you actually want to do, and sometimes it feels like you're just sending your resume into the abyss.

But maybe there's a different way to approach it. Dev Aujla, CEO of the recruiting firm Catalog, shares tips in a new book called, "50 Ways to Get a Job: An Unconventional Guide to Finding Work on Your Terms." 

04/05/2018: Why space junk is becoming a big deal

Apr 5, 2018

There is a lot of junk in space. And there looks to be more coming as private companies send more satellites into low-Earth orbit. Last week, SpaceX got conditional approval from the Federal Communications Commission to launch more than 4,000 satellites. Marketplace Tech host Jon Gordon speaks with Marcia Smith, editor at SpacePolicyOnline.com, about what happens when all those satellites — new and old — eventually stop working. 

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … After a marathon session, Brazil’s supreme court ruled against one of its country’s most beloved politicians, rejecting a plea from former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to avoid prison as he appeals a corruption conviction. We’ll take you to Sao Palo where the nation’s citizens – and highest court – are deeply divided. Then, artificial intelligence researchers are claiming victory after boycotting a Korean institute over concerns about killer robots.

Launching a satellite? Watch out for space junk

Apr 5, 2018

There is a lot of junk in space. And there looks to be more coming as private companies send more satellites into low-Earth orbit. Last week, SpaceX got conditional approval from the Federal Communications Commission to launch more than 4,000 satellites. Marketplace Tech host Jon Gordon speaks with Marcia Smith, editor at SpacePolicyOnline.com, about what happens when all those satellites — new and old — eventually stop working. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. 

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