For many people, says Michael Tanner, it pays not to work. People on welfare — that's everything from food stamps to Medicaid to heating assistance — can make more in 35 states than they would if they had a minimum wage job, according to Tanner.
Thanks to the federal government's partial shutdown, the Bureau of Labor Statistics skipped its monthly Big Reveal at 8:30 a.m. Friday.
There was no September employment report.
Without access to the BLS numbers, data junkies were left to scrounge around for lesser reports. Maybe if they could suck in enough small hits of other statistics, they could feel that old familiar rush?
After years of discrimination from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, black farmers are now getting a $1.25 billion settlement. Founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association John Boyd tells host Michel Martin what this settlement means for farmers and their families.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. After decades of litigation, checks are going out this week to thousands of black farmers who - lawmakers eventually agreed - faced discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We'll speak with one of the people who helped lead the fight for years, even though he will not personally benefit. That's in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 7:16 am
Happy Friday, fellow political junkies. Of course, it's hard to be happy if you're one of the more than two million federal workers either furloughed or working without pay, or one of the millions of other Americans whose lives are disrupted by official Washington's dysfunction. It's Day Four of the federal government shutdown, 2013 edition. And an end to the disagreement still doesn't seem in the offing.
On that grim note, here are some items of political interest worth mulling over this morning.
NPR's business news begins with no new jobs report.
The Labor Department says it's not releasing the September employment report today as scheduled. The jobs report is almost always released on the first Friday of the month. Not this time. That's thanks to the shutdown, which is in its fourth day.
One of pro basketball's most colorful figures is not on the court, but he's now in court. Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, defended himself yesterday on civil charges of insider trading.
From member station KERA in Dallas, BJ Austin reports.
And today's last word in business: beer and a shot of vegan?
Munich's Oktoberfest - the Bavarian festival of beer - ends on Sunday. It normally brings in over $1 billion and draws some six million visitors to the German city.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Lots of bratwurst and chicken and of course beer get consumed. This year, festival goers have been treated to something else, thanks to the Lorenz Huckett(ph), a 21-year-old cook who took time from working in the kitchen of his father's festival tent to talk to us.
And all of that happened yesterday in what has been a charged week at the Capitol. Republicans in the House stuck to their demands to defund the Affordable Care Act and parts of the government remain shut down.
Across the U.S., many part-time workers have joined the millions shopping for coverage in the new health care marketplace. Some are uninsured. Others are being pushed into the new exchanges because their employers — companies that include Trader Joe's and Home Depot — decided to drop coverage for part-timers.
Twitter gave potential investors the first peek at its financials as the company heads toward its initial public offering. Twitter plans to raise $1 billion in its IPO and will trade under the ticker symbol TWTR. While Twitter has quickly transformed the way people communicate and comment on events, it has yet to establish itself as a business.
Among the casualties of this week's government shutdown is one pretty big economic indicator. The Labor Department confirmed today that it will not release September's unemployment report tomorrow as scheduled. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which compiles the report, says it doesn't have enough people on hand to crunch the numbers.
NPR's Jim Zarroli looks at the impact of the decision on markets.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 11:26 am
High-flying billionaire Elon Musk's Tesla Motors has seen its shares skid the past couple days because they've been downgraded by analysts and because of a YouTube clip showing one of the all-electric luxury cars engulfed in flames earlier this week.
Just before noon ET, a share of Tesla was trading around $169.50 — down about 6.5 percent for the day and $25 (13 percent) below its 52-week high of $194.50.
Credit Emily Julka / Courtesy of Underground Meats
Brent Gentry of Underground Meats rotates a coppa. Underground Meats is behind a new project that aims to lower the barrier to entry for would-be artisanal meat producers by making it easier for them to craft food safety plans.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 11:45 am
With the current bloom of artisanal small-batch producers across the country, you'd think that all you need to start up a new food business is a good idea and a lot of gumption. And for the most part, that's true. But when it comes to artisanal producers working with meat, you also need something else: a Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Points plan. Or, if you will, a HACCP.
JPMorgan Chase trader Frederick Reimer works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The government's monthly jobs numbers won't be released as scheduled Friday, leaving financial markets without key data to evaluate the economy.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 11:32 am
Stock investors and business journalists unite each month for one shared, suspenseful moment — the 8:30 a.m. release of the Labor Department's employment report.
The unveiling of the report — so rich with data on job creation, unemployment, wages and hours — can be counted upon to set off a tsunami of tweets. Economists jump in with instant analysis and politicians fire off press releases with reactions.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 1:30 pm
The Treasury Department is issuing a warning of dire economic consequences that could rival the Great Recession if Congress is unable to agree on raising the debt ceiling and the nation defaults on its obligations.
Amid the partial government shutdown, the Small Business Administration will continue only a few programs, including disaster relief loans. That's good news in Colorado, where nearly a thousand businesses were damaged or destroyed by recent flooding. Many more could see sales go down.
Grace Hood of member station KUNC traveled to the small town Lyons to understand the full scope of challenges facing small businesses.
NPR's business news begins with a reprieve for BP.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: The energy company has won a partial victory after a U.S. appeals court halted some payments related to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This is a big win for BP which had complained that the payout formula was too generous, and compensated people who were not harmed. Billions of dollars in claims were filed by businesses and individuals in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon spill.
From Acadia in Maine to Zion in Utah to the North Cascades in Washington, America's 401 national park areas have gates blocking entrance roads.
The last remaining campers and hotel guests in the parks must leave Thursday, and park rangers will patrol to keep others out.
The national parks "belong to the American people, and the American people should have the right to come in," says National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. "But the only way I can protect these places during this period is to shut them down."
People get information on California's health exchange at a table at Union Station in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the exchange's opening day.
Credit Sarah Varney
Pardit Pri was excited to learn the new health insurance exchanges could help her.
Credit Sarah Varney
Pardit Pri had health insurance until she quit her job as a legal administrative assistant to stay home with a new baby. Now that baby is 20 months old, and the Orange County, Calif., resident still hasn't found a job with insurance coverage.
Pardit Pri had health insurance until she decided to quit her job as a legal administrative assistant and stay home with her newborn son 20 months ago. She thought she'd have coverage by now. But it didn't work out that way.
"I knew that I wasn't going to be working for a while because I decided to stay home with my son, and I thought ... 'OK, fingers crossed. Nothing will happen during that time,' " she says, as she plays with her son in their Orange County, Calif., apartment.
After more than two decades in city government, Bill Averill has a pretty impressive mental inventory of Milwaukee real estate. He started in the city assessor's office when he was 34, after leaving a private sector job that paid better but had no retirement benefits.
"That was one of the main reasons I went to work for the City of Milwaukee," he says. "And so I knew the pension at some time, way out in the future, would be a benefit to me."
It's not every day federal authorities get to bust a case like this. It involves millions of dollars, illicit drugs and a would-be assassin, all of which allegedly were bought and sold on the Internet, in a shadowy online marketplace known as the Silk Road. On Tuesday, federal authorities shut down that site and arrested 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht, the man they say is its mastermind.