economy

Office of Governor Dannel Malloy / Creative Commons

Business leaders in Connecticut say the changes in the budget implementer bill that passed the General Assembly this week are only a start.

At the end of World War II with the continent in ruins, Winston Churchill famously proclaimed, "We must build a United States of Europe." He believed such a union would bring an end to centuries of European wars.

For 70 years Europe has been engaged in a political and economic quest to make that happen. But many in Greece, such as Athens cabdriver Jordan Repanidis, feel this historic reshaping of the Western world has a stranglehold on their country.

Obama To Expand Overtime Pay For Millions

Jun 30, 2015

President Obama announced this week that the Labor Department will expand overtime pay, in a move the administration estimates would impact 5 million U.S. workers. That would double the income threshold at which employers can avoid paying overtime.

Right now, only salaried employees earning less $23,660 a year are eligible for overtime. This rule would raise that threshold so that employees making up to $50,660 a year would get paid overtime.

Ken Teegardin / Creative Commons

Connecticut could see its job growth actually decline this year and next, according to a dire new forecast from UConn’s Center for Economic Analysis.

Charlie Smart / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has taken to citing a tax study by Ernst and Young which he claims shows Connecticut has among the lowest corporate tax rates in the nation.

But the lead author of the study doesn’t agree with the governor’s interpretation, and on Monday, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association invited Andrew Phillips to explain why.

Kevin Thompson / Flickr Creative Commons

In 1997, more than 180 nations signed the Kyoto Protocol. The idea was clear and ambitious: Begin the process of saving the planet from global warming. The Kyoto protocol outlined what were thought to be realistic guidelines for reducing greenhouse gas emissions among developed nations. In the nearly 20 years since the protocol was signed, climate change has showed few indications of slowing.

Pictures of Money / Creative Commons

Last week, non-profit Hartford Healthcare said they would cut the jobs of over 400 people if the state increased taxes on hospitals to what they say are unsustainable rates.

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Chris Potter / Creative Commons

Connecticut added 6,400 jobs in May, and the state’s unemployment rate fell to six percent. The figures mean so far in 2015, the state is showing its strongest performance since the post-recession recovery began. That’s despite the fact that the department also revised April’s figures from a 1,200 job gain to a 600 job loss. 

Sherman Geronimo-Tan / Creative Commons

Is scientific progress suffering from a lack of creativity?

This hour, we talk to the author of The Creativity Crisis: Reinventing Science to Unleash Possibility to find out how increasingly cautious funding decisions are impacting scientific innovation and discovery. 

The Connecticut Mirror

Connecticut’s legislative session ended with a soft thud last week. There wasn’t quite the mad rush we're used to seeing as the clock ticked down. That means, lawmakers will have to return to the capitol for a special session. This hour on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we recap the long session and talk taxes, as business groups and even other states are jumping in with comments on the state's new tax plans.

What if there were an app where a user could have all of the news he was interested in, from the outlets he trusted, all in one place?

That's the goal of Apple's new iOS 9 feature, called, simply, News. It will be a permanent fixture on the iPhone and iPad home screen, just like Calendar, Maps and Weather.

The second and last day of the G-7 summit in Germany today will focus on climate change and terrorism.

The BBC reports:

"Chancellor Angela Merkel wants the group to reach an agreement on limiting global temperature rises. She also wants G-7 members to contribute to a fund for poor countries suffering the worst effects of climate change.

"There will also be talks on the threat from radical extremism with the leaders of Nigeria, Tunisia and Iraq.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The two tribes that are bidding to build more casinos in Connecticut have welcomed a bill passed in the early hours of Friday morning by the state House of Representatives.

Electric Boat

A workforce training effort in Eastern Connecticut could contain lessons for the rest of the nation, but the state’s congressional delegation said money will be the roadblock.

The economy may be struggling in Eastern Connecticut with the decline of the casinos, but submarine maker Electric Boat provides a bright spot — the company expects to hire 2,000 people this year alone in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The Senate voted 62-37 late Friday to grant President Obama additional trade powers, which the president plans to use in pushing through an extensive new agreement with a group of Asian countries.

The administration's Trans-Pacific Partnership has been opposed by labor groups and some Senate Democrats because of concerns that the deal could cost some U.S. workers their jobs.

GotCredit / Creative Commons

According to a 2014 report, more than 300,000 Connecticut households struggle to pay their energy bills. In fact, the average low-income household owes rougly $2,560 more in annual energy bills than it can actually afford.

Mark Walerysiak

The "cultural ninjas" are back at it, weeks after stealthily transforming five empty storefronts into beautiful, impromptu art installations. Now, Bristol's Art Squad is tackling abandoned properties.

Jeff Turner / Flickr Creative Commons

At the beginning of this century, when tech stocks were hot and dot-coms were appearing everywhere, Yale professor and renowned economist Robert Shiller was already warning of a bubble -- and he was right. Years later, when housing prices were skyrocketing and millions of American were betting big on real estate, Robert Shiller again predicted an impending crisis. Sadly, he was right again.

Now, with the housing market showing signs of improvement, many are getting the sense that we’re finally out woods. And with this feeling returns the idea that buying a home today means financial gains down the road.

Jay Cox / Creative Commons

Business closures were up sharply in Connecticut in the first quarter of this year. New data from the Secretary of the State’s office show that almost 3,300 companies closed their doors between January and March.

The Senate could begin debate Tuesday on a bill that would give President Obama fast-track authority to complete a Pacific Rim trade agreement.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership has become the president's signature trade initiative, but it is also very unpopular with Democrats.

Leading the charge from the left against the deal in Congress is Sen. Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts. She says the TPP could result in the watering down of Wall Street regulations put in place by the Dodd-Frank Act, after the 2008 financial crisis.

Updated at 9:55 a.m. ET

The U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in April, hewing close to expectations from economists, but the numbers fell short of a threshold that forecasters believe would signal an early rise in interest rates.

The unemployment rate dipped to 5.4 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A full-fledged Democratic trade war has broken out.

"I love Elizabeth. We're allies on a whole host of issues, but she's wrong on this," President Obama said Tuesday night in an interview on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, referring to liberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Eric Heath / Creative Commons

Americans have been tipping for good service for centuries.

Tipping is so ingrained in our American story that we rarely question why we still do it, even though we leave an estimated $40 billion in tips every year.

Some say tipping is a good thing because it gives a much-needed boost to lower-paying service jobs. Others wonder if tipping still serves its purpose: to reward good service. Workers reliant on tips to pay their bills are sometimes tempted to discriminate against customers they think will be “bad” tippers.

Marc N. Belanger / Creative Commons

Connecticut's tourism industry contributed $14 billion to the state's economy in 2013, a three percent increase from the year before, according to a new economic impact study.

Ginger Grant

The town of Bristol is in the midst of marketing their new logo and brand: Bristol - All Heart. A group of artists, calling themselves the Bristol Art Squad, are doing their part to showcase the new brand by transforming five vacant storefronts throughout the city into temporary art installations. 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his country will only sign an agreement restricting his country's nuclear program if economic sanctions are lifted. The remarks on state TV came as Iran's supreme leader said he's neither for nor against the deal.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also said that any arrangements must respect Iran's interests and dignity. He questioned the need for talks if they don't trigger the removal of sanctions, and he reiterated his distrust of the United States.

From Istanbul, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports:

The New England Council

New England can reclaim its title as a manufacturing hub by working together to nurture the development of the advanced manufacturing industry. That's the conclusion of a new report being released Wednesday by the nonpartisan New England Council

The current upheaval in Yemen is a sharp reminder of the fragility of the global oil market. Airstrikes by Saudi Arabia against Houthi rebels in Yemen has stoked fears of a disruption to the supply market.

Yemen and Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, share a long border. While Yemen is only a small producer of crude oil, it controls the Bab el-Mandeb Strait at the southern entrance to the Red Sea.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Connecticut lost jobs in February, the state’s first monthly decline since last summer. Department of Labor officials say the record cold snap may be to blame.

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