economy

The Faith Middleton Show
11:44 am
Mon September 15, 2014

How to Protect and Grow Your Money

Credit Dave Dugdale/flickr creative commons

While more people are saving, a startling number of people have no pensions or savings as they head toward retirement years. If you are lucky enough to have investments, the key question for our show is, how do we protect and grow our assets at the same time? Too conservative means you miss the gains; too risky means you can lose a bundle if the market sinks, and never make it up if retirement is near.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:24 am
Thu September 11, 2014

America's Love-Hate Relationship with Football

Credit Marine Corp New York / Creative Commons

I root for the Green Bay Packers...and not casually. As I speak, there's a Green Bay Packers mug nearby, on weekends I wear a Packers cap and use Packers shopping bags. Most disturbingly, in the long, long off-season, I subscribe to services which provide me with daily obsessive updates on anything going on in Packers land. And, I read them even though nothing really is going on. 

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Demonstrations
10:29 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Across The Country, Fast-Food Workers Rally For $15-An-Hour Pay

Protesters demonstrate outside a McDonald's in Chicago. Hundreds of workers from McDonald's, Taco Bell, Wendy's and other fast-food chains were expected to walk off their jobs Thursday to push the companies to pay their employees at least $15 an hour, according to labor organizers.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 10:58 am

Fast-food workers in cities across the country, from Los Angeles to Chicago to Hartford, Conn., rallied for higher wages during a day of demonstrations Thursday.

Union organizers, backed by the Service Employees International Union, are building a campaign for $15-an-hour pay.

At the corner of 87th Street and South Wabash in Chicago, an intersection that has a McDonald's on one corner and a Burger King on the other, workers chanted "$15 an hour" or sang "We Shall Not be Moved" as they blocked traffic.

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Labor
6:28 am
Fri September 5, 2014

In Market Basket's Win, Did Workers Change The Game?

Market Basket meat manager Bob Dietz of Methuen, Mass., (center) and other workers celebrate after watching a televised speech last month by restored Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demoulas at a store in Chelsea.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 10:58 am

Labor unions are looking for lessons in the recent worker victory at New England supermarket chain Market Basket. By using Internet technology to rapidly coalesce around a single demand, nonunion workers forced a sale of the company to their beloved CEO.

"I've never seen anything like it, that's for sure. And they prevailed, which is even stranger. They took on this and forced these people to sell their shares to this one guy," says Dennis Irvin with United Steelworkers Local 12012. "It's amazing, totally amazing!"

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Connecticut's Slow Housing Recovery

Deb Chamberlain.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It’s been years since the housing market crashed. But in that time, increased job insecurity and the rising cost of living have left many questioning whether the American dream of homeownership is still a practical one, especially for the nation’s low- and middle-wage earners.

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The Wealth Gap
7:27 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Young People, Minorities Watching Wages Stagnate in Recovery

Most workers in Connecticut have not seen a real wage increase in over a decade.

Income inequality is getting greater in Connecticut as the recovery continues. That’s the message from a new report which says the state needs to use tax policy to help poorer families catch up. 

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Casino Trends
10:24 am
Tue September 2, 2014

After Just Two Years, Huge Atlantic City Casino Shuts Down

A woman gathers shells along the ocean near the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J., early Tuesday. The casino resort has closed, a little over two years after opening with the promise of helping to renew Atlantic City.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 12:24 pm

After operating for only two years, the Revel Casino Hotel has closed down, part of a trend that will reportedly shutter a third of Atlantic City's big gambling halls by the end of September. It cost $2.4 billion to build the Revel facility.

"It's a tragedy," massage therapist Lori Bacum, who worked at the resort's spa, tells NJ.com. "There were some warnings, but none of us thought it would happen. We felt so safe, because this was the place that was going to take (the city) to a new level."

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Paid Sick Days
7:01 am
Tue September 2, 2014

The Politics Of Calling In Sick

Women are more likely to take time off to care for a sick child or elderly adult, making mandatory paid sick leave a hot partisan topic.
Shutterstock

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 1:23 pm

Got the flu? Or a new baby? Perhaps a little one with chicken pox? In most countries, your employer must pay your wages if you stay home sick or to care for others. Not in America.

But a growing grass-roots movement aims to change that — starting with paid sick leave.

Already the movement has met some success. This past weekend, California became the second state in the country to mandate sick leave for employees.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Connecticut Work Life: Past, Present, and Future

American Woolen, Stafford Springs.
American Woolen Company

In 1894, a new national holiday was created -- a day when American workers could retreat from harsh work conditions and long hours to spend some time with family and friends. The holiday was called Labor Day.

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Rethinking Poverty
8:42 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Rep. Ryan Calls For 'Culture Of Inclusion' To Tackle Poverty

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan speaks during a news conference at the Union League Club of Chicago on Aug. 21.
John Gress Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:00 am

Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, used to have a habit of describing the American people in two categories. There were the "makers" — people paying taxes — and the "takers" — people getting government benefits.

Today, the Wisconsin Republican says he was wrong, and that the country needs to overhaul how it thinks about poverty. In his new book, The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea, he offers ways to redirect federal spending to fighting poverty.

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Back to School
7:16 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Notebooks And Pencils And Pens, Cha-Ching!

On the left, supplies on the back-to-school list for third-graders in Arlington, Texas; on the right, the items fifth-graders need in Palmer, Alaska.
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 9:12 am

Millions of families are heading to Target or Wal-Mart this month to make sure their kids have what they need for the first day of school. And, as many parents know, those glue sticks and gym clothes can really add up.

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Job Statistics
2:09 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Connecticut Recovery Shows Mixed Fortunes

David Lewis, president and CEO of Operations Inc.
Credit CBIA

Recent jobs numbers from the Connecticut Department of Labor showed some areas of the state recovering much better than others.

Late last week, the state released figures for July job gains, the sixth straight month in which Connecticut employers have been hiring. The state overall gained a net 2,400 jobs in the month.

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WAMC News
9:44 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Connecticut Unemployment Rate Falls To 6.6 Percent

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 5:16 am

Connecticut's Labor Department says the state added jobs for a sixth straight month in July, dropping the unemployment rate to 6.6 percent.

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WAMC News
1:26 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Massachusetts Gives Shoppers Another Sales Tax-free Weekend

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 12:26 pm

Shoppers in Massachusetts can look forward to a sales tax holiday later this month. The Massachusetts legislature in the closing minutes of the legislative session last week set the sales tax-free shopping days for August 16 and 17.

The sales tax holiday was included in a comprehensive economic development bill that contains dozens of programs and incentives designed to create jobs. State  Senator Gale Candaras  of  Wilbraham, who helped write the bill, acknowledges there is scant evidence the sales tax holiday does much to grow the Massachusetts economy.

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Automobiles
7:21 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

GM Stays At The Top As U.S. Car Sales Surge In July

Sales of GM's cars slid by 3.8 percent from July 1013, but its light trucks and SUVs, like this Buick Enclave, more than made up for it, spiking 17.5 percent.
AP

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 12:28 pm

Sales incentives helped U.S. auto sales rise in July, as major auto companies reported selling more than 120,000 more vehicles than the same month last year. GM retained its spot as the U.S. sales leader.

Sales of passenger cars rose by nearly 5 percent this July compared to last year, with sales of light trucks even higher, at 13.4 percent, according to data released Friday by research firm Autodata Corp.

GM sold 256,160 vehicles last month, beating Toyota's 215,802 and Ford's 211,467.

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U.S. Economy
9:52 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Unemployment Ticks Up To 6.2 Percent; 209,000 Jobs Added

Construction workers building a commercial complex Thursday in Springfield, Ill., earlier this month. The sector has been on a gradual rebound following a devastating hit during the housing collapse in 2008.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 8:44 am

The nation's unemployment rate moved up a bit in the month of July, to 6.2 percent, as more Americans who'd been sitting on the sidelines started looking for work, according to the latest monthly report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 209,000 jobs, a bit less than economists had expected.

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Business Confidence
1:16 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Manufacturers Optimistic About Economic Outlook

Credit monkeybusinessimages/iStock / Thinkstock

Manufacturers are increasingly bullish about the state of the economy, according to a new survey.

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Rating Analysis
12:43 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Fitch Maintains Negative Outlook on Connecticut Debt

Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management Ben Barnes
Credit Uma Ramiah / WNPR

Ratings agency Fitch has maintained Connecticut's debt rating outlook at negative, saying the state's budget relies on one-time fixes, and calling the economic recovery "slow and uneven."

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Income
7:59 am
Wed July 30, 2014

New York Skyscraper's Separate 'Poor Door' Called A Disgrace

Lower-income residents may find affordable housing hard to come by in Manhattan.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Sat August 2, 2014 2:50 pm

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration is under fire for signing off on a building plan that allows a new luxury high-rise on Manhattan's western edge to have a separate entrance for low-income residents.

About 20 percent of the units in the 33-story tower will be reserved for low- and middle-income residents. But all the affordable units will be grouped in one area, and those tenants will have to enter through a separate door.

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Code Switch
10:03 pm
Sat July 26, 2014

Dueling Markets Show Native American Art Is Big Business

An estimated 175,000 people travel to New Mexico in August to view Native American art.
Larry Lamsa Flickr

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 3:26 pm

The 93rd annual Santa Fe Indian Market is only a month away. It's the biggest and best-known destination for Native artists and Native art collectors on the planet, and this year, it's got competition — a new event called the Indigenous Fine Arts Market.

Native American art and culture is big business. If you don't believe that, look no further than the controversial or illegal sides of the market. If you've been paying attention over the last year, you've seen some lurid and fascinating headlines:

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Reversing Outsourcing
11:33 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Sen. Murphy Urges Support for Bring Jobs Home Act

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy hopes for a strong vote in the Senate this week on the Bring Jobs Home Act. The bill would take away the ability for businesses to get a tax break for sending jobs overseas, and instead incentivizes companies to bring jobs back to the United States.

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Playing Ball
3:58 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

For Stadium, Hartford to Buy Back Land It Once Owned

A rendering of the proposed baseball stadium.
Credit City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra needs to buy two acres of vacant land to help make his plan for a minor league baseball stadium a reality. That land, however, has a complicated history. 

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Job Growth
12:25 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

States That Raised Minimum Wage See Faster Job Growth, Report Says

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray (right) and Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess cut a cake to celebrate city's raised minimum wage.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 10:24 am

New data released by the Department of Labor shows that raising the minimum wage in some states does not appear to have had a negative impact on job growth, contrary to what critics said would happen.

In a report on Friday, the 13 states that raised their minimum wages on Jan. 1 have added jobs at a faster pace than those that did not. The data run counter to a Congressional Budget Office report in February that said raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, as the White House supports, could cost as many as 500,000 jobs.

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Technology Industry
8:33 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Microsoft Will Cut As Many As 18,000 Jobs

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 9:23 am

A large layoff is under way at Microsoft, as the technology company says it will cut 13,000 jobs in the next six months. All but 500 of the layoffs are related to the Nokia phone division the company acquired in April. Microsoft says it might shed as many as 18,000 jobs as it restructures itself.

The company says it will complete most of the layoffs by the end of this year, and complete the restructuring by next June.

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White House
5:46 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

U.S. Sanctions Major Russian Banks And Energy Companies

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visits forces stationed near the small city of Izyum on Wednesday.
Sergey Bobok AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:18 am

President Obama outlined a new package of sanctions against Russian firms and individuals on Wednesday.

"These sanctions are significant but also targeted," Obama said. "Russia will see that its actions in Ukraine have consequences."

The administration targeted large banks, as well as energy and defense firms. The sanctions stopped short of covering entire sectors of the Russian economy.

Obama said they were designed to inflict pain on Russia without harming U.S. companies or the nation's allies.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed July 16, 2014

The Wheelhouse Only Watches TV for the Political Ads

The Wheelhouse will break down the new political ads flooding the airwaves.
Credit James Vaughan / Creative Commons

Connecticut is fully engulfed in campaign ad season and candidates are already spending big money to get the message out to voters. What's the message? "Like me! The other guy, not so much." On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, Colin McEnroe guest hosts a conversation with a panel of reporters and political analysts to catch you up on the week’s news.

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Subprime Mortgages
7:53 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Citigroup Agrees To Pay $7 Billion To Resolve Mortgage Probe

Citigroup has agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into subprime mortgages it sold in the run-up to the financial meltdown of 2008.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 11:53 am

Citigroup said Monday it had agreed to pay $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into subprime mortgages it sold in the run-up to the financial meltdown of 2008.

The deal covers mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations issued, structured or underwritten by Citi between 2003 and 2008, the company said in a statement on its website.

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Bottom Five
11:02 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Business Climate: Is Connecticut Really That Bad?

Perception or reality?

A recent study saw Connecticut drop once again in the ranking of business-friendly states. According to CNBC, we’re now among the bottom five states in the nation in terms of our business climate.

There is a view out there, however, that things may not be so bad after all.

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Deadline Approaches
3:10 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Want to Build a Stadium and a Neighborhood? You'd Better Hurry

View of the proposed baseball stadium and surrounding development.
City of Hartford

Developers who want to build a minor league baseball stadium and other surrounding buildings in the capital city aren't going to have a relaxing July.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed July 2, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Health Insurance; Charter Schools; Bridgewater Turns The Car Around

The Supreme Court of the United States.
Credit Mark Fischer / Creative Commons

It looks like the world'’s largest hedge fund won'’t build a new headquarters in Stamford…. What does that say about the state'’s economic development plans? A charter school organization faces investigations of its finances and operations. What does it say about the school reform movement? We’'ll look at those stories, plus the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, and whether the employer-based insurance model makes sense today.

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