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How Gig Economy Workers Make A Living

Aug 14, 2016
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Here's a quick tip from a veteran traveler for the next time you're taking a flight: When you get to the airport, disavow the departure time you see on the board. Instead, take the gate number and see what time the next flight is arriving there.

Despite the vast differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, there were some striking similarities between the economic speeches they delivered this week. They both spoke in Michigan, where they both talked a lot about manufacturing, with both of them insisting that they would obtain fairer trade deals.

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Two Fox News insiders have been tapped to fill the shoes of outgoing Chairman and Chief Executive Roger Ailes, who was forced to resign as a result of allegations he sexually harassed a former female news anchor.

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has released a second list of economic advisers in less than a week, and this time the names are almost all women.

The advisers include several longtime GOP fundraisers, including Diane Hendricks, co-founder and chairman of ABC Supply in Wisconsin, who was called "America's richest self-made woman" by Forbes magazine.

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Arianna Huffington, the charismatic and self-invented founder of the Huffington Post, is stepping down as the site's editor-in-chief to build a new site around the concepts of health and wellness.

The move comes a few weeks after the Huffington Post's parent company, Verizon, acquired the fading digital powerhouse Yahoo.

Huffington ascribed her departure to the desire to pursue her separate and new initiative, called Thrive Global, built around the concepts of wellness and striking a balance between work and personal realms.

The town of Brookfield, in north-central Missouri, is a close-knit community with a population of about 4,500.

Becky Cleveland, who grew up here, says that when she was a kid, there were four grocery stores. Today there is just one, and a nearby Wal-Mart.

Editor's note: NPR fact-checked Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's economic speech on Monday.

Trump delivered an address Monday to the Detroit Economic Club, outlining a plan to cut taxes and get rid of regulations. Today was Hillary Clinton's turn, where she argued that her plan would boost the middle class while Trump's plan "would give trillions in tax cuts to big corporations, millionaires, and Wall Street money managers."

Retail giant Wal-Mart uses its market dominance to inflict "ruthless," "brutal" and "relentless" pressure on prices charged by suppliers, business writers frequently report.

What if huge health insurance companies could push down prices charged by hospitals and doctors in the same way?

The idea is getting new attention as already painful health costs accelerate and major medical insurers seek to merge into three enormous firms.

Teresa, an immigrant from Mexico has worked at a pork processing plant in Lincoln, Neb., since 2011. She didn't want to use her last name because she feared that a family member, who still works at a plant, might get in trouble.

Teresa worked on the line, or "the chain," as workers call it. It is the heartbeat of any meat processing plant. It's the mechanized driver of eviscerated hogs, cattle and chickens, hung up on hooks and quickly moving down a line at these massive meat factories.

If you watch a watermelon harvest you may never think about the pink summery fruit again the same way.

Two pickers walk the rows. They bend over and grab the 20-pound gourds and pitch them to a man perched on the side of a dump truck, who heaves them up to another catcher in the truck bed. The pickers have arms like Popeye and the timing of acrobats. They like this crop because the bigger the melons the more they can earn.

With rising home prices and low interest rates, Americans are spending a record amount of money fixing up their kitchens, bathrooms and man-caves. And business would be booming more but there aren't enough carpenters and tradespeople to do all the work.

Nathaniel May survived the housing crash, but just barely. He's a general contractor who does home renovations in the Boston area. As recently as four years ago, he and his partner were feeling a little desperate.

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Oil #1: We Buy Oil

Aug 10, 2016

Oil is everywhere, and in nearly everything: Our phones, our clothes, our food, and our medicine. It has driven industrial progress and technology. It has shaped our civilization, powered its rise. Despite all this, oil has exacted an enormous price: our climate is changing, smog is smothering cities around the world. That all comes, in part, from burning fossil fuels like oil.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump laid out his plan for the economy on Monday; Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton will take her turn on Thursday.

While candidates are talking about tax rates, tax breaks and trade, they are ignoring an economic issue that soon may matter far more to working Americans: robots.

Growing up on their family farm in West Bend, Iowa, Haley Banwart and her brother Jack were like any other farm kids. They did chores, participated in 4-H and even raised cattle together.

"My brother and I have had the same amount of responsibilities," says Banwart, 22. "I can drive a tractor, I can bale square hay. But it was just expected that my brother would return home."

Her family never really discussed it. "It was always kind of the unwritten rule," she says. "My brother would go back and farm" — and she'd find another path.

Large employers expect health costs to continue rising by about 6 percent in 2017, a moderate increase compared with historical trends that nevertheless far outpaces growth in the economy, two new surveys show.

"These cost increases, while stable, are both unsustainable and unacceptable," said Brian Marcotte, CEO of the National Business Group on Health, a coalition of very large employers that got responses from 133 companies.

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