economy

David Ohmer / Creative Commons

For the United States, the 20th century marked a period of vast and unparalleled prosperity thanks -- in large part -- to an economic model known as the “mixed economy.” Under that model, the nation's government and markets operated in tandem, creating a robust coalition from which health, wealth, and well-being not only grew, but flourished. 

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The effect of a declining middle class is everywhere -- the medically uninsured or underinsured, the heroin epidemic, declining life expectancy for middle-aged white men, flat wages, weakened unions -- the list goes on and on.

Connecticut has seen robust growth in businesses owned by women over recent years, and much of the increase appears to be driven by minority entrepreneurs. 

China has gotten very good at making steel. And making it and making it and making it.

In fact, that "excess" production is causing such a crisis for the global steel industry that the United States is joining an international push to try to cut the glut.

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Remember Hartford's Six Pillars? Gov. John Rowland’s plan to revitalize Hartford -- begun almost 20 years ago -- included a convention center and sports megaplex, a downtown higher education center, up to 1,000 housing units, Civic Center renovations, expanded downtown parking, and riverfront improvements. 

Yahoo goes on sale Monday. At least some of you reading this are thinking, "Yahoo? Are they still around?"

Yes, this company founded in 1994, is ancient by Internet standards, but, according to the measurement company comScore, Yahoo sites are the third-most trafficked on the Internet. Among its properties are Yahoo Finance, News, Search, Mail, Tumblr and Flickr.

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Connecticut employers added just 300 positions in March, a big dip from the 4,100 jobs created in February. 

Mary Lou Cooke photo illustration / frye1989 / pixabay / WNPR / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s “new normal” sees its economy underperforming the nation as a whole. But the state still has core strengths that it can leverage in an effort to improve its economic performance.

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As golf season begins again there are some troubling signs for the sport's future. The game of presidents past and country-clubbers around the nation is in fast decline according to analysts.  With a decrease in participation,  television ratings,  equipment sales, rounds played and courses being built, are we seeing the end of golf?

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Rep. Joe Courtney joins us to talk about what he's working on in Washington, D.C. for his constituents in eastern Connecticut. One national issue hitting his district particularly hard is the heroin epidemic. What is the federal government's role in combating this problem? 

Also, the U.S. Navy announced this week that Electric Boat would be the main contractor for a new submarine program. How's the health of the rest of the defense industry in the region?

The U.S. economy gained 215,000 jobs in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says in its monthly report released Friday. The unemployment rate rose slightly to 5 percent, up from 4.9 percent in the month before.

"The increase in the unemployment rate came because we had more people looking for work," economist Gus Faucher of PNC Financial Services tells our Newscast unit.

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This campaign season has seen the attack on the concept of government in full swing, with Republican candidates pledging to cut taxes and downsize federal agencies.

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In his February budget address, Gov. Dannel Malloy outlined the challenges facing the state government. "Connecticut state government must reset our expectations of what we can afford, how we provide services, and how we save for our priorities," said Malloy. "It won't be easy, and it often won't be politically popular." That last part is becoming increasingly evident.

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In 2013, over 1,000 gold coins were found by a couple walking their dog on their property in Sierra Nevada, California. A rainstorm exposed the rusted can holding the gold coins. They soon found additional rusted cans, all holding gold coins dating from 1847 to 1894. The face value of the coins was just under $28,000. Today's market value is about $10 million.

David Ohmer / Creative Commons

For the United States, the 20th century marked a period of vast and unparalleled prosperity thanks -- in large part -- to an economic model known as the “mixed economy.” Under that model, the nation's government and markets operated in tandem, creating a robust coalition from which health, wealth, and well-being not only grew, but flourished. 

Kelly Henderson loves her job, teaching at Newton South High School in a suburb west of Boston. But she's frustrated she can't afford to live in the community where she teaches: It's part of the 10th most expensive housing market in the nation.

"For people in the private sector, they're probably saying 'Oh poor you, you can't live in the community where you work, what's the big deal?' " says Henderson, 35. "And I guess part of the nature of public education and why it's a different kind of job, is that it's all-consuming — as it should be."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy and legislative leaders say large numbers of state employee layoffs appear more likely after the unions' umbrella organization declined to discuss possible pension and benefit concessions.

glegorly/iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut’s latest jobs report is giving cause for concern.

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It was a battle of dueling economic reports before the state legislature Thursday as lawmakers considered whether to commission yet another study on the impact of a potential third casino. 

The U.S. economy gained 242,000 jobs in February while average wages dropped slightly, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Friday.

The unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent.

The report indicates stronger job growth than expected, and an improvement over the previous month. January's count of 151,000 new jobs — far lower than had been anticipated — was revised upward, to 172,000. And the job gains for December were also revised upward, from 262,000 to 271,000.

Senado Federal / Flickr Creative Commons

It goes by many names: the sharing economy, the collaborative economy, the peer economy, just to name a few. Whatever you want to call it, one thing's for sure: this new way of doing business -- where idle assets equal big profits, and the hard-earned currency of trust comes through user reviews -- is changing the economic landscape of our country.

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow Tuesday to nascent efforts to track the quality and cost of health care, ruling that a 1974 law precludes states from requiring that every health care claim involving their residents be submitted to a massive database.

The arguments were arcane, but the effect is clear: We're a long way off from having a true picture of the country's health care spending, especially differences in the way hospitals treat patients and doctors practice medicine.

When Samuel Smith graduated with a master's in engineering from Cornell, he thought the $190,000 in debt he incurred would pay off. But it took him a while to land job at a software firm in Austin, Texas. And now, after paying $1,750 a month in loan payments, rent and food, he says he doesn't have much left over.

He doesn't own a TV and says "it'd be nice to go out for drinks once in a while."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said the city has a $9 million budget shortfall this year, one that is projected to be three times that in the budget year to come without significant cuts. The mayor is beginning by making some immediate changes at city hall to try and save money. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, Kristina Newman-Scott sits down with us for the first time since becoming Connecticut's director of culture in 2015. We find out how things are going in her new position, and take your questions about local arts and culture. 

Last year, an Iranian economist named Mohammad Mehdi Behkish was extremely optimistic about prospects for a nuclear deal that would end many economic sanctions on his country.

"Personally, I would say it can't be that there would not be a deal," he told me when I met him in Tehran.

The alternative, he said, was disaster.

Behkish leads Iran's International Chamber of Commerce. When I met him again this month in his Tehran office, he sounded even more optimistic.

This hour -- from Holocaust survivor to iconic twentieth-century inventor -- we hear about the life and career of Hartford's own H. Joseph Gerber. His story is chronicled in the new biography, The Inventor's Dilemma.

Also, urbanist Richard Florida gives us his take on GE's move from Fairfield to Boston

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Home sales finished the year strongly, with a 17.9 percent bump in sales in December of 2015. It marked the best December for the housing market in Connecticut since 2006.

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About half of Connecticut businesses oppose the idea of the state getting further into the retirement business. That’s the finding of a survey commissioned by the Connecticut Retirement Security Board. 

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