Business

Business
4:44 am
Sun August 4, 2013

Digital Seen Surpassing TV In Capturing Our Time

A study shows digital media consumption will surpass TV viewing for the first time this year.
iStockphoto.com

It's finally happening, folks. This year, the average time Americans spend with digital media each day will surpass traditional TV viewing time. That's according to eMarketer's latest estimate of media consumption among adults.

The average adult will spend more than five hours per day online and on non-voice mobile activities (read: texting, apps, games). That's compared to an average four hours and 31 minutes each day of TV watching.

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Business
3:17 am
Fri August 2, 2013

4 Reasons Why Millions Of Americans Are Leaving The Workforce

NPR

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 11:08 am

The unemployment rate only includes people who don't have jobs and are looking for work. A much larger swath of people — about 36 percent of U.S. adults — don't have jobs and aren't looking for work at all. That figure is higher than it's been in decades (and, conversely, the share of adults in the labor force — shown in the graph above — is lower than it's been in decades).

Here are four reasons why so many people are leaving the labor force.

1. They're retiring.

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Business
9:17 am
Wed July 31, 2013

U.S. Economy: GDP Surprises, And Hiring Rises In July

A chart shows the quarterly growth of real GDP in the United States. The U.S. economy expanded more than analysts had expected, at an annualized rate of 1.7 percent.
Bureau of Economic Analysis

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 2:51 pm

The U.S. economy grew by an annualized rate of 1.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013, according to gross domestic product data released Wednesday morning. The Commerce Department says the rise stems from business investments, particularly in buildings, and an upturn in exports and the civilian aircraft industry.

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Business
3:33 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Ford Taking America's Best-Selling Truck All 'Natural'

A version of Ford's flagship F-150 pickup truck that runs on natural gas.
Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:59 am

The reigning king in the truck world is the Ford F-150, and it's been that way for a couple of decades. But staying on top is getting harder.

With new, tougher fuel standards looming there is a lot of emphasis on efficiency and innovation. On Wednesday, Ford is announcing its flagship truck is taking a step into the alternative fuel world with a vehicle that can run on natural gas.

When you look at their bottom lines and their advertising you realize that the Detroit Three make cars, but they're really truck companies, especially Ford.

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Business
3:09 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Farm Laborers Get A Foothold With Their Own Organic Farms

Agricultural work, which is physically demanding, is also a risky business venture.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 2:01 pm

Northern California's Salinas Valley is often dubbed America's salad bowl. Large growers there have long relied on thousands of seasonal workers from rural Mexico to pick lettuce, spinach and celery from sunrise to sunset. Many of these workers seem destined for a life in the fields. But a program that helps field workers, like Raul Murillo, start their own farms and businesses is starting to yield a few success stories.

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Business
3:32 am
Fri July 26, 2013

What A Falling Gold Price Means For Pawn Shops

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 11:45 am

William Roman wants to borrow money, but his bank won't lend him any more. So he's turning to his local pawn shop.

For Roman, a loan from the pawn shop is a lot easier to get. He doesn't have to fill out an application. The people at the pawn shop don't check his credit — all they want is something valuable, something they call sell if Roman doesn't pay them back.

"I've pawned laptops, PlayStations," says Roman. "If I'm not using it, then I'll just go and pawn it."

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Business
5:55 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

U.S. Carmakers Are Riding High, But Detroit May Not Feel It

Jeff Caldwell, a chassis assembly line supervisor, checks a vehicle on the assembly line at the Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit on May 8.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 7:19 pm

The news out of Detroit has been grim of late, but there are some bright spots coming from one corner of the Motor City. On Thursday, General Motors posted its 14th straight profitable quarter since emerging from bankruptcy. Ford announced its 16th consecutive profitable quarter Wednesday, and Chrysler is expected to offer good news soon as well.

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Business
12:14 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

The FDA Doesn't Want Chickens To Explore The Great Outdoors

Free-range chickens feed in a pasture on an organic farm in Illinois.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 3:51 pm

Organic egg farmers are divided in their reaction to a new FDA proposal that's intended to reduce the risk of salmonella infection among free-roaming chickens. They even disagree about what the document, called "Guidance for Industry," actually requires.

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Business
4:28 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Residents Forced To Live Without Landlines

Saltaire is one of the vacation villages on New York's Fire Island where Verizon has replaced copper landlines with home wireless connections.
Dan Bobkoff NPR

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 9:02 pm

Last fall, Hurricane Sandy damaged homes, buckled boardwalks and ruined much of the infrastructure of the small vacation spot of Fire Island, just off the coast of New York. The storm also destroyed many of the island's copper phone lines. But the island's only traditional phone company has no plans to replace them. Instead, Verizon is offering customers a little white box with an antenna it calls Voice Link.

"It has all the problems of a cellphone system, but none of the advantages," says Pat Briody, who has had a house on Fire Island for 40 years.

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Business
7:13 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Now That Detroit's Filed For Bankruptcy, What Happens Next?

A portion of downtown Detroit along the Detroit river.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 12:59 pm

With its bankruptcy filing Thursday, Detroit became the largest municipality in the United States to seek Chapter 9 protection.

As Scott reported, the city is saddled with $18.5 billion in debt.

Today, we ask, what happens next?

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Business
3:18 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Will Robot Nannies Save Japan's Economy?

The key to Japan's economy?
Courtesy of Cartoon Network

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 9:40 am

More than half of all Japanese women quit their jobs after giving birth to their first child. That's more than double the rate in the U.S., and it's a problem for Japan's economy.

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Business
9:01 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Reports: Deal Reached To Lower Rates On Student Loans

Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 8:19 pm

"Senators have reached a bipartisan deal to restore lower interest rates on student borrowers," The Associated Press reports, citing "Republican and Democratic aides who insist on anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the ongoing negotiations by name."

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Business
9:15 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Bernanke: Fed's Monetary Policies Not On 'A Preset Course'

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C., last month.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 12:22 pm

In testimony before the House Committee on Financial Services, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that when and how the Fed winds down its stimulus programs will depend on economic conditions.

Here's the key passage from Bernanke's prepared remarks:

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Business
5:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

D.C. Wage Rift Puts Spotlight On Wal-Mart's Urban Push

The scene in a Wal-Mart store in Alexandria, Va. Cities are a key growth area for retailers since suburbs are already saturated with big-box stores.
AP

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 8:00 pm

Wal-Mart's long-standing plans to come to Washington, D.C., are now up in the air. The City Council passed a living wage law that would require the world's largest retailer to pay $12.50 an hour, more than the city's current $8.25 minimum wage.

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Business
3:27 am
Sun July 14, 2013

Baggage Fees Turn Five Years Old; Passengers Turn Blase

A traveler collects his bag from a luggage carousel in the Philadelphia International Airport in 2011. Baggage fees have helped financially desperate carriers stay aloft.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 12:41 pm

Hey, baggage fees — happy fifth birthday!

Even if passengers aren't eager to celebrate, airlines are. The fees, born in 2008, helped financially desperate carriers stay aloft as the U.S. economy was spiraling down.

"That was a watershed year that scared the bejeezus out of the airline industry," said Mark Gerchick, an aviation consultant who has just released a book, Full Upright and Locked Position. Even as ticket sales were sliding, jet fuel prices were shooting to historic highs.

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Business
4:38 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

In The World Of Air Travel, Not All Passengers Created Equal

Only a few of these passengers will be able to get flights out of San Francisco, depending on how many miles they fly and their "value" to the airline.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:36 pm

When Asiana Flight 214 from South Korea crashed onto the runway at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, hundreds of flights into that airport were canceled, stranding thousands of travelers at airports across the country.

The Asiana crash came right in the middle of a holiday weekend, disrupting airline networks. And it occurred during a weekend when many flights were intentionally overbooked.

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Business
4:35 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

France Battles Scourge Of Ready-To-Eat Meals In Restaurants

We're guessing microwavable, premade meals are not an issue in this kitchen, at the three-Michelin-star restaurant L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges near Lyon, France.
Laurent Cipriani AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 2:47 pm

France's vaunted culinary culture has been taking it on the chin lately.

First came the news, which we told you about in April, that the majority of France's restaurants are now fast-food joints.

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Business
3:52 am
Mon July 8, 2013

EU-U.S. Trade: A Tale Of Two Farms

Farmer Richard Wilkins, a firm believer in genetically modified crops, examines the corn crop at his farm in Greenwood, Del. U.S. and EU officials begin talks Monday on an ambitious free-trade agreement. One stumbling block is agriculture. Unlike the U.S., the EU bans the cultivation of genetically modified crops.
Jackie Northam/NPR

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 2:12 pm

U.S. and EU officials begin talks Monday on an ambitious free-trade agreement aimed at generating billions of dollars of new trade. But negotiators must overcome barriers created by cultural and philosophical differences over sectors like agriculture. In Europe, the cultivation of genetically modified crops is banned, while in the U.S., they are a central part of food production. NPR's Jackie Northam visited a farm in Delaware and NPR's Eleanor Beardsley visited one in Burgundy, France, to look at those deep-seated differences. We hear from Jackie first.

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Business
10:03 pm
Thu July 4, 2013

Why Doesn't Everybody Buy Cheap, Generic Headache Medicine?

Same pills. Lower price.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 9:03 pm

Why does anyone buy Bayer aspirin — or Tylenol, or Advil — when, almost always, there's a bottle of cheaper generic pills, with the same active ingredient, sitting right next to the brand-name pills?

Matthew Gentzkow, an economist at the University of Chicago's Booth school, recently tried to answer this question. Along with a few colleagues, Gentzkow set out to test a hypothesis: Maybe people buy the brand-name pills because they just don't know that the generic version is basically the same thing.

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Business
6:51 am
Tue July 2, 2013

New Kind Of Ikea Hack: Flat-Packs Head To Refugee Camps

Check out the video at the bottom of the page to see how this box transforms ...
Ikea Foundation

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 11:20 am

My name is Maureen, and I am an Ikea-holic. Sure, I laughed knowingly at The Narrator's "slave to Ikea" speech as much as the next Fight Club fan. But the awful truth is, I've got a Beddinge in my bedroom.

And I'm not embarrassed to say so.

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