Marketplace

Marketplace

Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, our leading business news radio program and podcast is about providing context on the economic news of the day. Through stories, conversations and newsworthy developments, we help listeners understand the economic world around them. Marketplace makes sense of the economy for everyone, no econ degree or finance background r

All Episodes

There’s a lot going on in the United States right now. The death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic has reached 200,000. The election’s in 42 days. There are fires in the West, storms in the South and in D.C., and a bitter fight over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court. Amid all that, negotiations over additional aid for farmers almost pushed the government into a shutdown. We’ll talk about it. Plus: TikTok, Quibi and the looming holiday shopping season.

Sep 22

26 min

In an unexpected move, Oracle is partnering with Walmart to take over U.S. operations for TikTok, but it’s not completely clear how much of the company’s technology they’ll control. Plus: wildfires, meat prices and COVID-19’s impacts along racial lines in Chicago.

Sep 21

28 min

… And both are banned under a new executive order from President Donald Trump. Today, we’ll talk about the ripple effects both on consumers, businesses, U.S.-China relations and the broader internet. Plus: futures contracts for water, remote learning and how museums are faring in the pandemic.

Sep 18

26 min

Due to pandemic recession and political friction, investment between the U.S. and China may have fallen to its lowest level in nine years. Plus: the LGBTQ economy, gyms going out of business and why Chuck E. Cheese wants to destroy seven billion prize tickets.

Sep 17

28 min

Starting this week, not wearing one on the New York City subway could cost you $50. We’re talking about the behavioral economics in a pandemic today. Plus: retail sales, all the movies being pushed back and, of course, the latest from Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

Sep 16

28 min

No, not that kind of diet. We’re kicking off the show today talking about food: where we go out to eat it, where we buy it. First up, we’ll examine the hiring slowdown in restaurants, then we’ll look at the rise of online-only “dark” grocery stores. Later, we’ll look at N95 mask laws to protect agriculture workers and others who are in the smoke right now. Plus: election money, dentists and college esports.

Sep 15

26 min

In the saga over the Chinese video app TikTok, Walmart and Microsoft are out and Oracle is in. They’re close to a deal, but Chinese media is reporting that Oracle won’t be getting TikTok’s algorithm. We’ll take you through what that would mean. Plus stories about volunteer firefighters, frequent fliers and Black women entrepreneurs in Detroit.

Sep 14

28 min

It’s been 184 days, or six months, since the coronavirus pandemic started. Today, we’re gonna check in on how things are going with our personal economies, with the stalled federal relief plan, with Brexit (remember Brexit?) and more. But oh, that all sounds like a drag, let’s get excited for the next “Verzuz.”

Sep 11

28 min

More than 800,000 people filed new state unemployment claims last week, but job gains are way up, too. Today on the show: what churn in the labor market can tell us about this economy. Plus: Voting at arenas, wildfire insurance and why homeowners are better equipped for this recession than renters. The story about voting in arenas in this episode contained an error that has been corrected. For more information, visit the episode page at marketplace.org

Sep 10

29 min

And not just because it’s nearly fall. Today, we’re looking at how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed all kinds of businesses, like trans-Pacific trade, luxury retail, petroleum barges and takeout. Plus, we’ll follow several workers as they journey back to the office after months away to pick up their stuff.

Sep 9

27 min

Long before he’d start Netflix, consider selling it to Blockbuster for a song and get a 10-year head start in the streaming wars, Reed Hastings was getting coffee at a dot-com company. On today’s show, Hastings will tell us about Netflix’s path to dominance and where it’s going next. Plus: “Tenet’s” box office performance, the thousands of furloughs turning into layoffs and Angela Merkel’s economic legacy.

Sep 8

28 min

For workers who have been at home all summer, many of whom lack AC, the heat this summer has been a bigger problem than the past. And it’s only getting worse with a record-breaking heat wave hitting California this Labor Day weekend. Electricity use has decreased overall during the pandemic, but residential energy use is up. Basically, workers — for the most part — are paying for AC themselves. But some states have strict reimbursement laws for working-at-home costs. Plus: hotels are still struggling, only 3% of financial regulators in the U.S. have been Black and talking to kids about money requires honesty.

Sep 7

28 min

Under normal circumstances, gaining 1.4 million jobs in August would have been incredible for this economy. But this isn’t any other August, and it comes a few months after the U.S. lost a full 15% of its jobs. On today’s show, we’ll look at the progress the country is making digging out of that hole. Plus: home refinancing, Campbell’s soup and the life of a children’s entertainer in the age of Zoom birthday parties.

Sep 4

26 min

First-time unemployment claims were down last week to about 881,000, their lowest point since the pandemic started. But last week was also the first report since the Bureau of Labor Statistics changed how it does seasonal adjustment. That’s a formula the bureau uses so it doesn’t seem like the sky is falling when thousands of seasonal jobs disappear in January. But now the sky really is falling, so the adjustment needed adjusting. We’ll explain. Plus: Farmers’ economic outlook, racial inequities in health and what it’s like running a mall right now.

Sep 3

26 min

It’s been nearly six months since the COVID-19 pandemic slammed the U.S. economy. Economic recovery remains sluggish and, as of July, only 40% of the newly unemployed were working again. Now, workers who were temporarily furloughed face permanent layoffs and long-term unemployment, defined as lasting more than 26 weeks. At that point, jobless benefits begin to run out. Plus: E-scooters are back, remittances are rebounding and manufacturing is surging.  

Sep 2

28 min

Last year, Black women earned 62 cents on the dollar compared to white men. Now, Black women are among the hardest hit in this recession, and some economists want policy to reflect that. We’re going to spend much of the show today talking about how to rebuild the economy to be more equitable and fair. But first: the economics of K-pop, weighting blankets and Walmart vs. Amazon.

Sep 1

27 min

Credit card balances were down $76 billion in the second quarter as Americans cut back on spending. Chase is trying a different tack to get clients during the pandemic: cash back on groceries and drug store purchases. U.S. Bank recently launched a card with perks for takeout and streaming services, and another new card, called Grand Reserve, offers points when you buy wine. Plus: Americans are producing a lot more residential trash and how New York subway cuts could hurt essential workers.

Aug 31

27 min

Schools across the country are welcoming students back in person, online or some hybrid of the two. But how are schools handling students’ mental health during this extra-stressful time? Some are using mental health hotlines and virtual counseling while others are offering socially distanced in-person help. Plus: Personal incomes were surprisingly up in July, yet another retail bankruptcy and what trucking has to do with economic recovery.

Aug 28

27 min

They have real power, too, and they’re using it. As pros in at least five leagues decline to play in protest of police brutality, we’ll look at what kind of leverage athletes have and what could be coming. Plus, we’ll look at how several small businesses are coping right now and check in with an Iowa farmer after the devastating storm there a couple weeks ago.

Aug 27

27 min

Experts say the country needs to be testing for COVID-19 at over five times its current rate. Today, we’ll talk with a testing lab manager in Washington state about how things are going. Plus: The latest durable goods numbers, the economic impact of storm evacuations and a conversation with a Black banker.

Aug 26

26 min

Not literally. But, you know, that couldn’t hurt. No, today we’re talking about consumer confidence, which is now at a six-year low. We’ll talk about why consumers are feeling worse, and what it means for the economic outlook. Plus: changes in the Dow, the hottest summer ever and a conversation with a doctor who’s also school board president.

Aug 25

28 min

Three decades ago, the wealthiest 10% of Americans owned 79% of the stocks and mutual funds in the market. Now they own 87%. So when Wall Street hits record highs, like it is now, the millions of Americans laid off, furloughed or just squeaking by are largely left out. We’ll talk about it. Plus: Trump’s second-term agenda, the new unemployment benefits now available in two states, that Zoom outage and … yeah, we need a drink. We’ll take you to a new Black-owned brewery in Inglewood, California.

Aug 24

28 min

Use of federal food assistance like SNAP has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic, and bringing the service online is likely to drive even more to use it. Today we’ll talk about how the pandemic is changing consumer habits, especially at the supermarket. Plus, the cybersecurity risks of online college and the disproportionate household duties that are pulling women out of the workforce.

Aug 21

28 min

Today, on the heels of big market gains and unemployment numbers that seem to be moving backward, we’re reconvening our panel of economic history experts to talk through where things stand. Plus, what political fundraising looks like in a recession, a Portland bar’s final days and the uphill battle facing reopening movie theaters.

Aug 20

28 min

After George Floyd’s death at the hands of police, business owner Aurora James called for major retailers to pledge 15% of their shelf space to products made by Black-owned companies. Today, we’ll look at how it’s going. Plus, the story of Soul City, falling rents in New York and San Francisco, and whether college students can expect a tuition refund for canceled in-person classes.

Aug 19

28 min

All the kids being schooled at home in the coming weeks will need watching, as well as help with their online learning. And parents — predominantly mothers — will provide that supervision, making it very hard for them to keep working and earning a living. Those out-of-work parents are supposed to qualify for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, but those benefits aren’t easy to get. We’ll talk about why. Plus: the changing pizza market, Walmart’s big earnings report and what it’s like to publish your first book in a pandemic.

Aug 18

27 min

Long before it became a flashpoint in the upcoming election, the United States Postal Service has been in deep trouble because of its deep debt. Today, we’ll dig into how pension obligations and congressional pressure have squeezed the USPS. Plus: remote learning for disabled students, rolling blackouts in California and why you really should take a vacation.

Aug 17

28 min

Yesterday, Aug. 13, represents how far into 2020 Black women would have had to work to earn as much as white men did by the end of 2019. On today’s show, we’ll talk about why. Plus: The toll the COVID-19 pandemic is taking on mental health and some parts of the retail sector.

Aug 14

27 min

Outdoor retailer REI had plans to open a brand-new headquarters in Seattle this summer. But with employees working from home, the company is looking to sell its new building before it’s even moved in. Today, we’ll look at the lessons learned by REI and other companies looking to cut costs in the pandemic. Plus: Some states are requiring companies to pick up the cost of employees’ Wi-Fi and home office supplies. But first, the latest unemployment claim numbers and cities’ budget shortfalls.

Aug 13

26 min

Recent changes at the U.S. Postal Service are causing mail to slow down. The delays could lead to more business shifting to private-sector competitors — and that could have consequences for workers. Most private competitors are less generous with pay and benefits than USPS, which has long been considered a provider of “solid middle-class jobs.” Plus: Bankruptcies are on the rise, apartment vacancies could lead to less affordable housing and a look at the perils of industrial farming and the risk to food.

Aug 12

27 min

One of the consequences of structural racism in the U.S. economy is the persistent gap between Black and white homeownership. Black Women Build is working to change that. The group is converting some of Baltimore’s 16,000 abandoned buildings into a community, working with Black women to refurbish the homes and then selling the homes to them at affordable prices. Plus: another potential rise in tariffs on the EU, an end to easier SNAP benefits and how the pandemic has changed the back-to-school shopping experience.

Aug 11

28 min

President Donald Trump ordered a payroll tax deferral on Aug. 8, but it only applies to workers who make a certain amount of money, and it’s going to be really complicated for employers. And it’s unclear how payment would work after the deferral period ends in January. Plus: What the consumer price index means for your wallet, how airports are suffering and one scientist’s experience with sexism in academia.

Aug 10

28 min

We got a decent, not great, jobs report to kick off the weekend. The U.S. economy added 1.8 million jobs last month, and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2%. But jobs aren’t coming back equally. We’ll tell you what you need to know and break down the week with our expert panelists. Plus: the latest on President Trump’s potential ban on Chinese apps, why Kodak was tapped to help make coronavirus treatments and how one family is getting through months in lockdown.

Aug 7

26 min

As we await the July jobs report, we’re going to spend some time today talking about how those monthly jobless numbers are compiled, and why figuring out that number can be so challenging. Plus: The recording industry’s legacy of exploiting Black artists, the decline in household debt and how robots can help with distance learning.

Aug 6

26 min

We’ve talked a lot on this program about structural economic racism, but what if the word “racism” isn’t even enough to describe the inequities in this country? Today we’re talking with author and journalist Isabel Wilkerson, whose new book argues just that. But first: What’s CFIUS and what does it have to do with TikTok? Plus the market for caregivers who have survived COVID-19, the ongoing legal battle over gig worker classification and how “creative accounting” works.

Aug 5

26 min

A new report from the New York Federal Reserve confirms that Black-owned businesses have been having more trouble during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a lot of it comes down to relationships with banks. We’ll look at why those relationships are so important. Plus: pay disparities in the video game industry, CEOs put pressure on Congress and a view from a college campus preparing to reopen.

Aug 4

28 min

That’s not exactly breaking news, but it’s important because more than 30 million people started facing their economic futures this week without an additional $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits. We’ll look at what that means depending on where you live. Plus: the inflationary and deflationary pressures on this economy, the disconnect facing students this fall and what’s going on with the White House, Microsoft and TikTok.

Aug 3

28 min

The Trump administration today announced a blockbuster, $2.1 billion vaccine-development deal with two drug companies, giving the United States dibs on 100 million vaccine doses. Hours later, the European Union struck a similar arrangement for even more doses. On today’s show, we’ll dig into fears around so-called “vaccine nationalism.” Plus: What’s going on with the economy (and whether Americans’ savings accounts are ready for it), how loss leaders work and the state of labor organizing in a pandemic.

Jul 31

29 min

We expected a bad GDP report today, but that doesn’t make the historic contraction easier to swallow. Ditto for the 17 million continuing unemployment claims for the week ending July 18. Today, we’ll dig into what it all means for the economy. Plus: defining “disinflation,” the economics of the NBA’s Florida “bubble” and Ron Howard talks about “Rebuilding Paradise.”

Jul 30

29 min

Today the CEOs of Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon faced a (virtual) grilling from lawmakers over a whole slew of issues. We’ll run down everything you need to know about that, plus the latest from the Federal Reserve. Later, we’ll look at big retailers’ Black Friday plans, why a gap year isn’t an option for most college students and how some Americans are faring at the end of the month.

Jul 29

29 min

We’re talking a lot about negotiation today, in your household and in Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there won’t be a new COVID-19 relief package without liability protections for companies. It’s just one of many fault lines in the bill, and we’ll spend some time today talking about it and others, like unemployment benefits. Plus: America’s new multigenerational homes, what comes after “Our Black Year” and the behavioral economics of wearing a mask. We’ll also bring you a preview of our new podcast for kids and their families, “Million Bazillion.” Subscribe on your favorite podcast app!

Jul 28

28 min

Stocks have been on a run since March’s lows. But gold, the investor’s last resort, is hitting a record high. So what gives? Today, we’ll look at what a surge in the precious metal means for confidence in this economy. Later, we look at China’s live-streaming marketplace and reopened box office. Plus: How do you enforce a mask mandate?

Jul 27

29 min

The federal moratorium on evictions expires today. As you may have heard, the federal government’s unemployment benefits expire at the end of this month, too. Today, we’ll look at what it means to have an eviction on your record, and how long those effects last. Plus, we’ve got three stories on state and local politics, playing out in grocery stores without hazard pay, city-run cooling centers and on the streets in places without stay-at-home orders. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at americanpublicmedia.org/survey.

Jul 24

28 min

Well… you know the rest. Today we’ll talk about how America’s struggle to slow down COVID-19, and the resulting recession, could ripple through the global economy. Plus, we’ll tell you about the merger between two clickbait companies and the specific struggles facing minority-owned businesses and gig workers seeking coronavirus relief. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick, anonymous survey at americanpublicmedia.org/survey.

Jul 23

28 min

We’re about to find out. Unless Congress has a new plan in place by next week, tens of millions of people are going to lose an extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits — around a 60% cut for most. A few days later, rent is due. Today, we’ll continue our look at the impact that loss will have on American households. Also set to change: requirements in many places for getting benefits at all. Plus: the coin shortage and what it takes for a company like Apple to become carbon neutral. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick, anonymous survey at americanpublicmedia.org/survey. 

Jul 22

29 min

With many school districts going to online learning this fall, some parents are teaming up to hire private educators to tutor their “pod.” Today, we’ll look at how the system could work — and who it could leave behind. Plus: What you need to know about the government’s new COVID-19 tracking site and the coronavirus relief bill’s potential payroll tax cuts. Later, we’ll introduce you to Marketplace’s brand-new podcast, “Million Bazillion”! By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at americanpublicmedia.org/survey. 

Jul 21

27 min

More than 25 million Americans stand to lose $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits at the end of July if Congress and the White House can’t agree to extend them. Today, we talk with some people for whom that extra money has been a lifeline. Plus: The decline of Black-owned insurance companies, how the pandemic is affecting the auto industry and why this crisis could be the end of tipping. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at americanpublicmedia.org/survey. 

Jul 20

27 min

Nearly two dozen coronavirus vaccines are currently in clinical trials. With hundreds of groups racing to create their own, today we’ll look at how COVID-19 treatments could be priced. Plus: The upcoming “tsunami of evictions,” the viral hot spots along the border and another fierce competition in this pandemic: food delivery. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at americanpublicmedia.org/survey. 

Jul 17

26 min

Maybe less. Today we’re talking about that extra $600 per week going to the more than 30 million people claiming unemployment benefits. That extra money, set to disappear at the end of the month, is keeping a bad economic outlook from getting worse. Plus: The latest on yesterday’s big Twitter hack, this year’s political conventions and how parenting in the pandemic hurts women’s careers. By the way, please help us improve this podcast by taking a quick anonymous survey at americanpublicmedia.org/survey. Correction: (July 17, 2020): This podcast misstated the number of people currently receiving the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits. The text has been corrected.

Jul 16

28 min

JPMorgan Chase announced it’s setting aside more than $10 billion to cover losses on loans for borrowers hurt by the coronavirus. Today, we’ll look at all the debt Americans have accumulated and how some of them are coping. Plus: More streaming services, more money in electric cars and more states and cities name racism a public health crisis. Later, an interview with the CEO of shared scooter company Lime.

Jul 15

26 min

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