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The nation's economy added a robust 288,000 jobs in April, far more than forecast, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent, its lowest level in five years, according to the Labor Department.

The rate, which is the lowest since September 2008, was down from 6.7 percent in March.

Women today are nearly half the workforce, and two-income couples are the norm. But the U.S. tax code? It's straight out of Ozzie and Harriet.

When it comes to paying taxes, economists say, a lot of secondary wage-earners are getting a raw deal. It's called the marriage penalty.

"The system was never designed to penalize working spouses," says Melissa Kearney, director of the Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institution. "It was just designed in a different era."

On Thursday, President Obama rolled out his plan for strengthening overtime pay protections for millions of workers. In his view, if more workers got fatter paychecks, they could spend more and stimulate the economy.

But if his critics are right, then employers would end up laying off workers to make up for the higher wage costs. And that would hurt the already painfully slow recovery.

Which scenario is right?

For the first time since it legalized recreational marijuana, Colorado is releasing revenue figures: The state made $3.5 million in taxes and fees in January.

As KUSA-TV reports, $2.1 million of that came from the sale of recreational pot and $1.4 million came from medical marijuana.

KUSA adds:

Chornyak & Associates

Joe Chornyak uses a recent personal experience with being patient to illustrate a basic financial investment strategy.  Markets today are volatile and more than likely always will be, but being patient and riding through the storm will always pay off in the long run.  After the 2008 economic downturn markets eventually rebounded and hit record highs.  Every market correction is different, and patience eventually pays off.

"The website of major bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was offline Tuesday amid reports it suffered a debilitating theft, a new setback for efforts to gain legitimacy for the virtual currency," The Associated Press reports.

Also Tuesday, all the posts had been erased from the Mt. Gox Twitter account.

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.

This week, Watson talks with host Arun Rath about pay-as-you-go coffee shops popping up around the world that offer a place to work "without any kind of moral shame" or pressure to spend money on coffee and snacks.

They also discuss how the rise of the bioscience sector in Cleveland is revitalizing the city's economy.

Moviefone To Go Silent, App Will Continue

Feb 24, 2014

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NR business news starts with good-bye movie phone.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Apple founder Steve Jobs, a man who probably did as much as anyone to set in motion the slow but steady demise of snail mail, will be featured on a U.S. postage stamp, according to a document from the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee.

In 1984, it cost $10,000 a year to go to Duke University. Today, it's $60,000 a year. "It's staggering," says Duke freshman Max Duncan, "especially considering that's for four years."

But according to Jim Roberts, executive vice provost at Duke, that's actually a discount. "We're investing on average about $90,000 in the education of each student," he says. Roberts is not alone in making the claim. In fact, it's one most elite research institutions point to when asked about rising tuition.

Back in 2012, reporter Kevin Roose went undercover at a very exclusive party.

It was a dinner for a secret society, held once a year, at the St. Regis hotel in New York City. The secret society is called Kappa Beta Phi, and it's made up of current and former Wall Street executives — people like Michael Bloomberg, former heads of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs. And every year the group holds a dinner to induct new people into the group — they're called neophytes.

(We put a new top on this story at 9:25 a.m. ET and added an update at 10:15 a.m. ET.)

As NPR's David Folkenflik pointed out earlier today, Comcast's proposed $45 billion purchase of fellow cable company Time Warner will receive some scrutiny from federal officials. Here's some more about that part of the story:

Politico writes that:

In America, total student loan debt tops $1 trillion and a four-year college degree can cost as much as a house — leaving many families wondering if college is really worth the cost.

Yes, a new study of young people finds. The study, released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, looks at income and unemployment among young adults. Paul Taylor, executive vice president of special projects at Pew, says it's pretty much case closed when it comes to the benefits of going to college.

Preparing Your IRS Forms

Feb 11, 2014
Chornyak Assoc.

Preparing your IRS forms? Commonwealth Financial Network gives you a sound introduction on what changes are in place for 2013 and what we can expect in 2014.

Graco Recalls Nearly 3.8 Million Child Car Seats

Feb 11, 2014

Graco is recalling nearly 3.8 million car seats because buckles may be hard to release, posing a danger in the case of an accident.

The AP reports that despite the massive recall, which involves 11 models sold from 2009 through 2013, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is unhappy with the company.

Oil business in North Dakota is creating some big headaches for Amtrak travelers. Trains on the popular Empire Builder route between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest are often delayed for hours.

One reason for the congestion is an influx of trains hauling crude oil across the Northern Plains.

The delays are becoming so bad that a passenger group now wants the U.S. transportation secretary to intervene.

Frozen Before Ice Fishing

The High Cost Of Testing For College

Feb 3, 2014

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And a jury in New York is expected to begin deciding the fate of Matthew Martoma this week. A former portfolio manager at the hedge fund company SAC Capital Advisors, Martoma is accused of insider trading. Officials say he sold shares of two pharmaceutical companies after obtaining inside information about drugs being developed.

NPR's Jim Zarroli has more.

United Airlines To Close Cleveland Hub

Feb 3, 2014

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a Cleveland hub closure.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: United Airlines announced plans over the weekend to drop Cleveland Hopkins International Airport as one of its main hubs for connecting flights. Company officials say the hub has not turned a profit in more than a decade and loses tens of millions of dollars annually. How is that possible? It's one of the few airports I can remember where you can get a boilermaker.

In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Obama stepped up to a podium before Congress and the country and declared that the state of our union was strong.

"Here are the results of your efforts: The lowest unemployment rate in over five years; a rebounding housing market; a manufacturing sector that's adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s," the president said.

For more than four years, the unemployment rate has been sliding down — from a 10 percent peak to today's 6.7 percent.

But does that reflect a fast-strengthening economy? Or is the rate falling only because so many people are dropping out of the workforce?

In coming weeks, members of Congress and the Federal Reserve Board will be making big policy decisions based upon their best understanding of those unsettled questions.

In 1895, legislators in New York state decided to improve working conditions in what at the time could be a deadly profession: baking bread.

"Bakeries are actually extremely dangerous places to work," says Eric Rauchway, a historian at the University of California, Davis. "Because flour is such a fine particulate, if it gets to hang in the air it can catch fire and the whole room can go up in a sheet of flame."

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill that would fund the federal government into October and bring to an end, for now at least, the bitter partisan battles that have led to one government shutdown and threatened to push the U.S. into defaulting on its bills.

The recent disclosure that a large trove of customer information was stolen from Target, and now also from Neiman Marcus, points to growing vulnerabilities in cybersecurity. And experts say the problem is becoming more difficult to combat.

The size of the data breach at Target Co. stores late last year took a sharp rise Friday when the retailer said it now estimates that up to 70 million individuals may have had information that includes their "names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses" stolen.

We'll be posting updates after the report's 8:30 a.m. ET release.

There were only 74,000 jobs added to public and private payrolls in December, but the unemployment rate fell to a 5-year low 6.7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday morning.

Bitcoin Takes Stage In Texas Senate Campaign

Jan 10, 2014

When Texas Rep. Steve Stockman announced recently that he'll accept donations in bitcoins, he raised some eyebrows.

A Financial Checklist For 2014

Jan 1, 2014
Chornyak Assoc.

A new year is upon us and we think that this month's newsletter will help you get off to a good start.

For example, Commonwealth Financial Network gives you a useful monthly plan to remind you of different financial issues that need to be taken care of during the year. Read the full article here.

Update at 8:20 p.m. ET. Amazon, UPS, Offer Refunds:

The Washington Post reports:

"Amazon and UPS said Thursday they would offer refunds to customers who did not receive their Christmas orders on time, after a surge in last-minute online shopping caught the shipping giant off guard."

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