6pm Weekdays on 89.7 NPR News
  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal

In-depth focus on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets. The only national daily business news program originating from the West Coast, Marketplace is noted for its timely, relevant and accessible coverage of business, economics and personal finance.

Ways to Connect

Uber’s whole value proposition is that it’s cheaper, quicker and easier. But this week the ride-sharing service was accused of being not so easy for people who are disabled. The group Disability Rights Advocates, filed a class-action lawsuit against Uber. The suit argues the company discriminates against New York City riders with disabilities because it doesn’t offer enough wheel-chair accessible vehicles. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

07/20/2017: A new way of cleaning your house

9 hours ago

They may not be the most anticipated items in the world, but transparency reports are important because they reveal how companies disclose information about the way they deal with the U.S. government. On today's show, we'll talk with Michee Smith, a product manager at Google, about the changes the company is making to its report. Afterwards, we'll look at the model behind Up & Go, a service that connects those in New York City who need cleaning services with small business owners.

Sorry Spotify, country music is still a radio industry

22 hours ago

Over on the Billboard Country Charts, a song called "In Case You Didn't Know" by Brett Young is sitting at the No. 2 spot. Young is relatively new to the country music scene, and just last year, he went out on a radio tour across the U.S., as many new country artists do. The radio tour is a right of passage for new singers in the industry. After an artist signs a deal with a label, they travel around America, visiting upwards of a hundred radio stations. The singers meet with radio program directors, trying to convince them to add their songs to the rotation.

Tax reform is like health care reform in at least one important way: If Republicans want to pass it without Democrats, they can’t raise the deficit too much over the long term. But tax experts who have analyzed the GOP’s main proposals say they would add trillions of dollars to the deficit. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Tech issues loom large in U.S.-China talks

22 hours ago

The U.S and China began talks in Washington today about trade and other issues. The talks — billed as an "economic dialogue" — have a couple of clouds hanging over them. Like North Korea and steel, which, the U.S. complains, China produces and sells too cheaply. But there are other issues. Chinese companies want access to U.S. markets and vice versa. One big concern of American tech companies: new hoops for firms that want to play on China's digital turf.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.


Can a better-designed bike helmet make people safer on the road?

Jul 19, 2017
Adrienne Hill and Robert Garrova

In the middle of downtown Los Angeles' bustling Arts District, you’ll find the headquarters of Thousand occupying one of the few work/live lofts left in the area.

It's a company that makes bicycle helmets, but think less duck-billed head gear and more Steve McQueen in the 1960s.

Sabri Ben-Achour

It's vacation season, and for some, that means setting off to a new state or country.

But we here at Marketplace know the value of a dollar, so when it comes to travel, we try to find ways you can spend your money strategically and not get ripped off.

We turned to Mark Orlowski, who does a lot of travel as the founder of the Sustainable Endowments Institute, to find out when to use your points and how airlines are starting to devalue their miles. Below is an edited transcript.

For a good long while, Sherry Lansing was the highest-ranking woman in the entertainment industry, both as the head of production at 20th Century Fox and then later as the CEO of Paramount. Under her tenure, Paramount saw huge success with "Forrest Gump," "Braveheart," "Titanic," "Saving Private Ryan" and the launch of the "Mission: Impossible" franchise. We talked about her life and career, which is also documented in Stephen Galloway's new biography "Leading Lady: Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker." 

Markets have more to think about than health care (thankfully). Susan Schmidt from Westwood Holdings Group joined us to talk about other factors investors are looking to, like earnings season and housing starts. Afterwards, we'll talk about the state of the manufacturing industry, and then discuss how Comic-Con makes money for itself.

The annual Comic-Con International kicks off this week in San Diego. Comic-Con makes money selling tickets, renting floor space to vendors and exhibitors, and getting sponsors. GuideStar, which tracks nonprofits, says the convention has seen steady year-over-year revenue growth for the last 17 years, as comic culture has become central to pop culture. The most recent report puts convention revenue at $19 million, which exceeds its expenses. The convention brings tourism dollars to San Diego and has spun off other events in other places. 

What happens to abandoned cars

Jul 19, 2017
Jana Kasperkevic

This is just one of the stories from our "I've Always Wondered" series, where we tackle all of your questions about the world of business, no matter how big or small. Ever wondered if recycling is worth it? Or how store brands stack up against name brands? What do you wonder?

07/19/2017: A chipmaker's challenges

Jul 19, 2017

Qualcomm may not be a household name, but its chips are inside a household item: your phone. On today's show, we'll look at the company's ubiquity, along with the struggles it's been facing as smartphone makers decide to find solutions in-house. Afterwards, we'll discuss the announcement of Bluetooth Mesh, the idea that eventually all your Bluetooth devices may be able to talk to each other separately from your Wi-Fi network. 

Neighborhood rebranding prompts gentrification worries

Jul 18, 2017
Adam Allington

What’s in a name, you ask? Well, kind of everything, at least if you’re asking someone from Harlem, in New York. Backlash has been swift and fierce against what was supposed to be a simple, catchy acronym: SoHa, short for South Harlem. That is what some realtors in the city have taken to calling part of the neighborhood. 

Some residents have said this kind of backdoor re-branding smacks of gentrification. But the practice of creative neighborhood renaming is actually quite common in real estate, and in some cases can speed up economic development. 

Stalled health care reform efforts put strain on the dollar today, as investors in Asia and elsewhere started dumping the greenback. President Trump’s difficulty in getting his domestic policy agenda passed is one factor in the dollar's doldrums, but there are others.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

The Trump administration may want to keep NAFTA after all

Jul 18, 2017
Ryan Kailath and Janet Nguyen

The North American Free Trade Agreement was one of President Trump’s favorite punching bags on the campaign trail. He called it “one of the worst deals ever,” blamed it for destroying American jobs, and vowed to get rid of it.

07/18/2017: Obamacare lives another day

Jul 18, 2017

Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has scrapped plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act after two more senators said they couldn't support the measure. But McConnell says he's already got another plan in place, which would involve a straight up repeal of Obamacare. On today's show, we'll look at how feasible this plan actually is.

Sports teams try to accommodate special needs fans

Jul 18, 2017
Laura Ziegler

Many people on the autism spectrum have a hard time in loud, chaotic places like sports stadiums. But a number of professional sports teams are trying to make it easier and more fun to attend games for those with autism and other special needs. Among them are the Kansas City Royals, who have put some accommodations, such as quiet zones, in place at Kauffman Stadium.

We're in the middle of another theme week at the White House. This time it's "Made in America Week." President Trump is expected to issue a declaration tomorrow highlighting the importance of American manufacturing. He’s promised to help U.S. companies by lowering corporate taxes from their current 35 percent to 15 percent. But will reduced rates lead to more “American made?” 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Remember MOOCs, the massive open online courses that promised to transform college as we know it? That hasn’t happened, exactly. But MOOCs are alive and growing. And today, one big provider, Coursera, has announced a new partnership with the insurance company AXA to offer free courses to their nearly 150 thousand employees around the world. 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Rooftop solar has a good decade but a bad year

Jul 17, 2017
Dan Boyce

Solar energy has had a great decade. One estimate puts the industry’s growth at 1,600 percent over the last eight years. This year though? Not so good, especially for rooftop solar companies. The market for residential solar systems has taken a hit, with bankruptcies hitting companies from SunEdison to Sungevity to Suniva, and at least one company not starting with “sun” — SolarWorld.

Reinventing a summer classic, water balloons

Jul 17, 2017
Adrienne Hill and Emily Henderson

In our series Brought to you by, we dive into the stories behind ordinary seasonal items: that grill you fire up for the Fourth of July or the fruitcake that you dig into (or regift) over the holidays. Where did they come from, and why did they become so popular?

The worrisome news in China’s economic scorecard

Jul 17, 2017

Despite all the president’s complaints on the campaign trail about China and the unbalanced trading relationship the U.S. has with them, the Trump administration and China are scheduled to announce the details on bilateral trade talks this week.  The Chinese economy continues to grow; it's up a fresh 6.9 percent during the second quarter. But behind that growth is a sort of sluggishness – productivity is at a standstill in China. We explore why.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

The Trump Administration released its objectives for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, our trade deal with Mexico and Canada. President Trump has called NAFTA the worst trade deal ever, citing factory jobs that moved to Mexico. The Trump Administration wants to "maintain existing reciprocal duty-free market access for agricultural goods" and expand market opportunities for U.S. agricultural goods.  Essentially, the plan calls for keeping all the good things NAFTA brings to the agriculture sectors.

Natalie Moore

A job isn’t always just a job – sometimes it is a way of life. This story is part of a series exploring what it means when jobs define several generations and are part of the very fabric of a community.

Over the years, Anthony Jackson has baked just about every Nabisco snack familiar to American pantries: Saltine Crackers, Ritz Crackers, Honey Maid Graham Crackers and of course, Oreo cookies. 

Even your manager thinks it’s OK to use emoji at work

Jul 17, 2017
Jana Kasperkevic

Today is the fourth world emoji day. It was first celebrated on July 17, 2014 by Jeremy Burge, the founder of Emojipedia. Why July 17? Because that’s the date on your calendar emoji.

The little cartoon symbols have come a long way from when they first appeared on phone keyboards. These days they show up everywhere, even at work.

The Senate was supposed to vote on the latest attempt at health care reform, but that's been delayed. Julia Coronado, founder of MacroPolicy Perspectives, stopped by to explain what this means for the legislative calendar and other parts of the GOP's agenda. Afterwards, we'll look at the pros and cons of Netflix's investment in original content, and then discuss the possibility that Sweden may become the first nation to go cashless.

Skill shortages hamper fracking operations

Jul 17, 2017
Dan Boyce

After a big downturn over the last few years, oil prices have improved slightly in recent months. Prices are now high enough that oil companies are expanding their operations in the U.S., but a shortage of workers has meant companies are not getting as much oil out of the ground as they want.

“You’ll see close to 200 frack crew jobs listed for North Dakota,” said Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota department of mineral resources, at a press conference last month. “The rigs are outrunning the frack crews.”

A recent Morgan Stanley report says that the value of Netflix’s content library has more than doubled in the last two years and now sits at around $12 billion. Netflix has been ahead of its competitors in creating original content and in doing so, attracting subscribers around the world. Has this been a smart strategy?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

This is what the unemployed look like

Jul 14, 2017
Lizzie O'Leary and Carrie Barber

The latest figures from the federal government put the unemployment rate at 4.4 percent. That sounds low, right? But there are still 4 million unemployed people out there who want to work and are looking for jobs, according to a recent study by the Brookings Institution. The study looked closely at who the unemployed are and how they are counted.

Auto racing goes electric

Jul 14, 2017
Marielle Segarra

In New York City this weekend, the hot ticket is an international racing circuit for electric cars called Formula E. The series, which is wrapping up its third season, is drawing some of the world’s best race car drivers. It’s also bringing in tens of millions of dollars in investment from automakers that say the races will help them bring their electric cars to market. The series has been making the rounds, with stops in Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Monaco and other cities.