Business & Education

All Tech Considered
10:25 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Tech Week That Was: #NPRBlacksInTech, Amazon's Buzz On Drones

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' announcement that the company is pursuing drone delivery technology incited equal parts media buzz and fervent skepticism.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 11:36 am

This week, our friends at NPR's Tell Me More turned the spotlight on black leaders in the tech industry — a demographic that's underrepresented in the field, as Gene Demby explored when covering coders of color. The conversation continues on Twitter through Dec. 20, where tech thinkers will live-tweet their days and answer questions about the field.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Eyes Turn To The Fed As Unemployment Rate Falls To 5-Year Low

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 10:41 am

(This post was updated at 10:15 a.m. ET)

The nation's unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent — the lowest mark in five years — and employers added 203,000 jobs to payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The latest data could build anticipation that the Federal Reserve might taper its stimulus program.

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Business
4:30 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Value In Brazil's State Oil Company Drops

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 9:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And Brazil's state oil company, Petrobras, lost 15 percent of its market value this week - that's some $10 billion. NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from Sao Paulo on why oil analysts predict more trouble ahead for the oil giant.

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Economy
4:28 am
Fri December 6, 2013

November's 7 Percent Jobless Rate Beats Expectations

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 9:49 am

The Labor Department on Friday said the nation's unemployment rate fell to 7 percent, a five-year low, as U.S. employers added 203,000 jobs to payrolls in November. In October, the unemployment rate was 7.3 percent.

Business
4:16 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela Helps Madiba Shirts To Become Popular

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 9:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Madiba Shirts.

We've been remembering this morning that many impacts that Nelson Mandela had on the world in politics and race and reconciliation. He died yesterday in South Africa at the age of 95. But we cannot leave without mentioning his impact on fashion.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Economy
6:47 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Meet The Humble Container That Moves The Global Economy

The container carrying the Planet Money women's T-shirts is loaded onto a ship in Cartagena, Colombia.
Eric Helton for NPR

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 1:49 pm

NPR's Planet Money team is manufacturing its own T-shirt. After the women's shirt was assembled in Colombia, they voyaged by container ship to Miami. The container, a big standardized box that moves easily from truck to ship to train, is the unsung hero of the global economy. It was invented in the 1950s and dramatically reduced shipping costs, ushering in a new era vastly different than the world retired stevedores remember.

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Around the Nation
6:47 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Fast Food Workers Rally Across Country For Better Pay

Workers rallied in 100 cities on Thursday to raise awareness for increasing pressure to raise wages. The push comes as 19 cities and states already raised minimum wages. A report from Berkeley economists finds the low-wage fast food jobs are costing taxpayer billions of dollars in public assistance — everything from food stamps to Medicaid.

Politics
5:53 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

To Fix Social Security, Some Democrats Want To Lift Wage Cap

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D- Mass., listens to testimony during a Banking Committee hearing on Nov. 12. In a Senate floor speech on Social Security last month, Warren said, "With some modest adjustments, we can keep the system solvent for many more years, and we could even increase benefits."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 6:39 pm

For the past three years, there's been a shortfall in the payroll taxes collected for Social Security. And as more baby boomers join the ranks of the 57 million people already receiving benefits, that deficit is bound to keep growing.

At the same time, the overall share of wages being taxed for Social Security is shrinking as the higher wages that are exempt have soared. The Social Security Board of Trustees predicts a nearly $3 trillion trust fund built up over decades will vanish within 20 years.

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Boeing-Alabama
3:32 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Hubbard Working With Gov. Bentley On Boeing Pitch

House Speaker Mike Hubbard says he's assured the governor that the Legislature will make sure Alabama is competitive for the Boeing 777X aircraft assembly plant.
Credit mikehubbard.com

House Speaker Mike Hubbard says he's assured the governor that the Legislature will make sure Alabama is competitive for the Boeing 777X aircraft assembly plant.

The Republican leader from Auburn said Thursday that he and Gov. Robert Bentley have had discussions about Boeing and have gone over different scenarios about what the Legislature could do to help.

Hubbard says he told the governor that legislators will do everything in their power to land the Boeing project.

Alabama's offer to Being is due Tuesday. Several other states are competing for the project.

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Planet Money
2:51 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

The Job Market Is Still Awful, In 3 Graphs

Quoctrung Bui / NPR

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 9:05 am

Update: The jobs report is out. The U.S. added 203,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate fell to 7 percent. The job market is improving, but it's still very bad.

When the big jobs report comes out Friday morning, we'll hear a lot about what happened in November in the job market.

But whatever happened last month, it won't change this fact: The job market is still terrible.

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Parallels
1:59 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

The World's Largest Vessel Enters The Water In South Korea

A rendering of the world's largest vessel, the Shell Prelude, which comes in at just over 1,600 feet. It has just left its dry dock in South Korea, where it is being built. It will eventually head toward Australia, where it will be anchored off the coast and used as a liquefied natural gas facility.
Shell

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 3:24 pm

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The Salt
12:47 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Fast-Food Workers Across The U.S. Cry Poverty Wages, Demand Better Pay

Fast-food workers march toward the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Similar rallies occurred in about 100 cities across the U.S.
Morgan Walker NPR

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 10:57 am

When you're making eight bucks an hour, which is pretty typical in the fast-food industry, it's tough to make ends meet.

And increasingly, the working poor are asking this question: Why am I living in poverty, even when I'm working full time?

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Ford Hopes New Mustang Will Get The World's Motor Running

The new 2015 Ford Mustang was unveiled Thursday. The car's new design includes features that are geared toward global markets.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 11:19 am

Ford unveiled its new Mustang on Thursday, in a splashy event that was undermined a bit by leaked photos that showed the new model's design. And the Mustang will be sold around the globe for the first time since the car was introduced nearly 50 years ago.

From Michigan Radio, Tracy Samilton filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Thu December 5, 2013

U.S. Economy Grew At 3.6 Percent In Third Quarter; Jobless Claims Dip

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 10:23 am

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.6 percent in the third quarter, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That's a rise from the second quarter, when the real gross domestic product tallied a 2.5 percent gain.

The pace of growth is the fastest since the first quarter of 2012, which clocked in at 3.7 percent.

Thursday's release is the "second" estimate for the third quarter, following up on data released in November that put the GDP's increase at 2.8 percent.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Thu December 5, 2013

China Bans Bitcoin Trading By Banks

Chinese banks cannot trade in Bitcoins, the digital currency that doesn't recognize international boundaries, China's top regulators said Thursday.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 11:03 am

China says banks in the country are no longer allowed to trade in Bitcoin, the digital currency whose value has sharply risen this year. Chinese citizens, however, are not forbidden from using the currency.

The Bitcoin exchange rate took a hit following Thursday's news from China's central bank.

From Shanghai, NPR's Frank Langfitt filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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