Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:19 pm
China's citizens do not report as much as $2.34 trillion of what they make every year, hiding "gray income" that would represent nearly 20 percent of the country's GDP, Chinese economics scholar Wang Xiaolu says, in a report from the news site Global Voices.
Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:13 pm
Rising consumer demand for local foods has changed the job description for ranchers like Doniga Markegard.
Markegard, co-owner of Markegard Family Grass-Fed in San Gregorio, Calif., loves working with cattle, but she's not fond of the hours of phone calls and emails it can take to sell directly to a customer.
As we await Friday's much-anticipated report about the February unemployment rate and how many jobs were added to employers' payrolls last month, there are these new bits of economic data to chew over:
-- The Employment and Training Administration says there were 340,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week. That's down from 7,000 the previous week. Claims continue at a pace that's the lowest since first-quarter 2008.
NPR's business news starts with a Time Warner split.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: You may recall when Time Inc. merged with Warner Brothers, huge, huge media merger. And now it's time for a little entropy. Last night, Time Warner announced its spinning off its magazine unit. That includes publications like, "Time Magazine," "Sports Illustrated" and "People."
Budget-cutting from the government sequester that began March 1 could affect U.S. exports and imports, including what we eat.
Customs and Border Protection officers regulate trade at the nation's 329 ports of entry, in harbors, airports and on land.
One by one, drivers approach booths with Customs and Border Protection officers at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Ariz. More winter produce enters here than at any other place in the U.S. Semis filled with tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers headed to grocery stores around the country.
Two months ago, the popular political blogger Andrew Sullivan left the comfortable world of big media and struck out on his own. His bold new plan: Ask readers to pay $19.99 a year or more to subscribe to his blog.
"It was either quit blogging, or suck it up and become a businessman," he told me.
The usual way bloggers make money (if they make money at all) is to sell advertising. But Sullivan figured he could get his devoted reader base to pay. Within the first week, he'd raised half a million dollars. By the end of about two months, the total had crept up to $625,000.
The stock market's long climb from its recession bottom has some people concerned it may be a bubble about to burst — a bubble artificially pumped up by the Federal Reserve's easy-money policy. That's led to calls — even from within the Fed — for an end to the central bank's extraordinary efforts to keep interest rates low.
Every year, the South By Southwest music, film and interactive festival gets larger, and navigating the blur of panels, parties and shows gets more daunting. The girth of it all is enough to keep many SXSW old-timers away from Austin this year.
Look around your kitchen table and you'll see the work of Ambassador Ron Kirk. He's the United States Trade Representative, which is a cabinet-level position, and he's negotiated trade deals all around the world. Host Michel Martin talks to him about why he's choosing to step down from his post and the importance of U.S. trade.
What it means to own something in the digital age is being re-negotiated.
Few of us own the music we listen to or the movies we watch in exactly the same way we did a decade ago. And today if you buy a smartphone from a cellphone company, what you can legally do with it — how and where you can use it — may be proscribed even if that phone is fully bought and paid for.
I keep a lot of music on my phone. I have the Stones, Janis Joplin and OK Go.
There were 198,000 jobs added to private employers' payrolls in February, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report — a privately produced snapshot of the employment picture that's sometimes a signal of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will say when it releases its data from the same month.
Martha Stewart took the stand Tuesday in a lawsuit that involves her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Macy's and J.C. Penney Co. Macy's is suing J.C. Penney and Stewart's company for breach of contract.
Benjamin Franklin said the only certain things are death and taxes. Let's add a third thing: Interviews. At many points, starting with school admissions or a new job, you're going to sit down before someone else and answer their questions.
Which is what NPR's Shankar Vedantam is about to do with us because he's got some new research relating to this topic. Hi, Shankar.
SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.
INSKEEP: And let's begin this interview. What's the new research about?
It may seem like the tech company is squeezing every cent out of you, but our last word in business is the story of a man who let some money go. A University of Delaware student stepped up to an ATM and asked for $40 - two 20s, that's what would normally come out.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Two bills arrived but there were hundred dollar bills, and then more bills arrived, and more. Devon Gluck received $1,800.
What it means to own something in the digital age is being re-negotiated. Few of us own the music we listen or the movies we watch, in the same way as we did a decade ago. And today, if you get a smartphone from a cell phone company what you can legally do with it - how and where you can use it - may be restricted, even if that phone is fully bought and paid for.
NPR's Steve Henn explains. And we'll also find out a little bit about his music taste.
Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.
Economists look at many tea leaves as they try to determine the health of the economy. One of the most important surrounds vehicle sales, and more specifically pickup truck sales, which are tied to the construction industry. And as last month's sales rose 18 percent, the auto industry is betting big on a real estate rebound.
It's arguable that the Ford F-150 is the most important vehicle to come out of Detroit since the Model-T. It's also built where many parts for the old Model-T were made in Dearborn, Mich.
Federal stimulus money has helped cut the high cost of lithium-ion batteries, but not nearly enough to make electric cars affordable. Now there's an abundance of advanced battery manufacturers and not enough major companies to buy them. Many plants in the United States, South Korean, Japan and China that got government subsidies aren't producing many batteries, if at all. Three years ago Michigan's governor touted the state as the new battery capital of the world. There were five new advanced battery plants in the works, all of which were to get major tax breaks and some federal grants.
Lithium-ion batteries sparked a crisis for Boeing's Dreamliner 787 — but the crisis is not an unprecedented one. Four decades ago, a very similar transition to new battery technology in airplanes yielded similar problems. Audie Cornish describes what happened then — and what lessons might be learned as lithium-ion batteries become the next generation that power planes.