Jim Zarroli | WOSU Radio

Jim Zarroli

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Update, June 7: Submissions are now closed.

The job market has improved greatly over the past decade, meaning the great majority of people who want to work can do so.

But one thing puzzles economists: The labor force participation rate has still not recovered to levels seen before the Great Recession. In other words, very many people have left the workforce and not returned. They may have done so for a variety of reasons, such as health, family problems or a simple desire not to work.

Ames, Iowa, has the lowest unemployment rate in the country. That's great for workers — but a challenge for those looking for them.

Tanisha Cortez is one of those benefiting from this tight labor market. The restaurant where Cortez worked closed in late November, so she went looking for a new job. She submitted applications to about half a dozen companies.

Almost right away, she got offers from every one of them. And she was working again at a new restaurant two weeks later. She will earn $2,000 more a year than she made at her old job.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

One morning a year ago, federal immigration agents swept into the Midwest Precast Concrete plant in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and arrested 32 men who were working there illegally.

"I was in the car eating when all of a sudden they all arrived," one worker tells NPR. "They took me out of the car and put handcuffs on me and on everyone else too. They even had a dog." The worker did not want his name used because his case is being heard by a judge.

Bob Best enthusiastically supports President Trump's tough policies against China and other countries.

"I'm not a big tariff guy. I'm a free trade guy," says Best, who manages a heating and air conditioning company in Kennesaw, Ga.

"But sometimes when the bully just doesn't listen, you've got to punch him in the mouth. And that's what he's doing."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Updated at 12:01 a.m. ET Friday

U.S. and Chinese negotiators will resume their high-stakes trade negotiations in Washington on Friday, hours after a scheduled increase in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods took effect.

The Trump administration raised tariffs on $200 billion in imported products from China at 12:01 a.m. ET Friday, significantly raising the stakes in the ongoing trade dispute with Beijing.

Updated at 10:00 p.m. ET

In a significant escalation of rhetoric, senior Trump administration officials accused Beijing of reneging on commitments it had already made in its on-going trade dispute with China, and they said they plan to increase tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10% to 25% starting on Friday.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

New numbers came out today showing unemployment last month fell to 3.6%. Or as President Trump put it...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The economy is unbelievable.

Updated at 3:49 p.m. ET

President Trump has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to keep two banks from responding to congressional subpoenas, setting up a legal showdown with Democrats eager to investigate his finances.

The president, his three oldest children and his business, The Trump Organization, say the investigations by the House intelligence and Financial Services committees are overbroad and serve no purpose beyond harassment.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Updated at 2:23 p.m. ET

The heads of some of the nation's biggest banks faced tough questions from Democrats on Wednesday about overdraft fees, the stability of the banking system and their own multimillion-dollar compensation.

The House Financial Services Committee hearing was titled, "Holding Megabanks Accountable: A Review of Global Systemically Important Banks 10 years after the Financial Crisis."

Pages