Business & Education

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If you were betting that the Federal Reserve would soon raise interest rates, you may have lost your money Friday when the Labor Department released its September employment report.

The hiring and wage data came in well below economists' expectations. Only 142,000 jobs were created, falling far short of consensus forecasts of about 200,000. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.1 percent, but the number of people in the labor force slid by 350,000 and hourly earnings dipped by a penny, to $25.09.

The Coast Guard was searching for a 735-foot cargo ship with 33 crew aboard after an emergency satellite message was received from the vessel saying it was caught in the path of Hurricane Joaquin.

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Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Meaning Of Work.

About Margaret Heffernan's TED Talk

Drawing from an experiment with chickens, entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan explains how our cultural obsession with individual success is threatening our potential for collaboration and productivity.

About Margaret Heffernan

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Meaning Of Work.

About Dame Stephanie Shirley's TED Talk

What's in a name? For tech entrepreneur Dame Stephanie Shirley, bidding contracts under the name "Steve" enabled her to launch and grow a freelance software company with a virtually all-female staff.

About Dame Stephanie Shirley

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Meaning Of Work.

About Dan Ariely's TED Talk

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely says we work hard not because we have to, but because we want to. He examines the intrinsic values we need to feel motivated to work.

About Dan Ariely

How Can A Monotonous Job Be Meaningful?

Oct 2, 2015

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Meaning Of Work.

About Barry Schwartz's TED Talk

Psychologist Barry Schwartz says our current thinking about work focuses too much on paychecks and too little on all the ways we find fulfillment — even in jobs many might consider mundane.

About Barry Schwartz

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

The U.S. economy added just 142,000 jobs in September, falling short of what most economists had forecast. The unemployment rate remained at 5.1 percent, according to a separate survey. The two reports were released by the Department of Labor.

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For the first time in more than 30 years, factory workers at one of Detroit's Big Three automakers have rejected a national contract. The tentative deal was between the United Auto Workers and Fiat-Chrysler. Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton has this report.

A new rule from the Obama Administration aims to further reduce the main ingredient in smog. That might sound like good news if you live in a city where smog is a problem. But after the rule was announced, there were plenty of complaints about it.

Hackers have stolen the personal information of about 15 million T-Mobile customers and potential customers in the U.S., including Social Security numbers, dates of birth and home addresses.

Experian says it notified law enforcement as soon as it discovered the breach, NPR's Laura Sydell reports:

She also says:

Apple has long touted the power and design of its devices, but recently the world's most valuable company has been emphasizing another feature: privacy. That's no small matter when many users store important private data on those devices: account numbers, personal messages, photos.

Apple CEO Tim Cook talks to NPR's Robert Siegel about how the company protects its customers' data, and how it uses — or doesn't use — that information.

Following the emissions scandal that rocked Volkswagen in late September, the German car company reported less than 1 percent growth in sales for the month.

Reuters reports that Volkswagen sales "increased by just 0.56 percent to 26,141 vehicles, showing the effect of the halt in sales" of the four-cylinder diesel cars that were found to have been outfitted with "defeat devices" to pass emissions tests.

This story is the latest in NPR's Cities Project.

Getting around a city is one thing — and then there's the matter of getting from one city to another. One vision of the perfect city of the future: a place that offers easy access to air travel.

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BARACK OBAMA: There's been another mass shooting in America.


Fancy A Fig? California's Growers Desperately Hope You Do

Oct 1, 2015

For many Americans, their only association with figs comes in the form of a Fig Newton. And indeed, once upon a time, most of the figs grown in California ended up in fig pastes and cookies like those familiar chewy squares.

But tastes change, and the fig industry has gone through tough times. Lack of demand and the state's ongoing drought has pushed some growers to other crops. Others went out of business.

Trial Begins For Former Massey Energy CEO

Oct 1, 2015

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

Former CEO of Massey Energy Don Blankenship goes on trial Thursday in West Virginia over charges that he conspired to violate federal mine safety laws at company mines.

As West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Ashton Marra reports, the charges stem from a 2010 explosion at the Massey-owned Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 men — the worst U.S. mining disaster in 40 years.

Today is the day — the beginning of the end for the venerable (but woefully open to abuse) magnetic stripe, a technology pioneered in the 1960s. Enter the more secure age of the chip, or "EMV" cards.

At least in theory.

It's actually a bit more complicated. Here are three things to know:

Is today (Oct. 1) the deadline for the switch from magnetic-stripe cards to the chipped cards?

The official reporting deadline isn't until Oct. 15, but Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are already out with big numbers for the third quarter.

And those numbers tell us something about the state of the presidential race on the Democratic side.

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Whole Foods Market has announced that by April of next year it will stop sourcing foods that are produced using prison labor.

The move comes on the heels of a demonstration in Houston where the company was chastised for employing inmates through prison-work programs.

Michael Allen, founder of End Mass Incarceration Houston, organized the protest. He says Whole Foods was engaging in exploitation since inmates are typically paid very low wages.

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Out of the 250 million cars and trucks on U.S. roads, the impending recall at Volkswagen will involve just a half-million of them. But VW's emissions cheating scandal is receiving outsize attention because many of the company's customers feel duped. Now those customers are weighing what it will take to make them feel whole again.

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To make wine, you've got to have patience and passion – a lot of it. Cathy Huyghe, who is a wine columnist at and Food52, wanted to understand how and why and where passion for wine runs deep. So she traveled around the world – from Patagonia to New Zealand to South Africa — to document producers for her new book, Hungry for Wine: Seeing the World Through A Glass of Wine.

Jack Dorsey, the Twitter co-founder who has led the company since June on an interim basis, will officially become the company's new CEO, according to reports. Dorsey is also the CEO of mobile payment company Square; it's uncertain whether he will try to hold both jobs.

Dorsey "is expected be named the company's new permanent CEO as early as tomorrow," according to the Recode website, which cites unidentified sources.

Tesla unveiled its much-anticipated Model X on Tuesday night after nearly two years of delays.

CEO Elon Musk took the wraps off the all-electric SUV at an event near the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif. As an added bonus, he gave keys to a handful of lucky customers who can now call themselves owners of one of the most sought-after vehicles.

Let's go over some of the vitals.

In recent days, we've seen these headlines:

  • Caterpillar is planning to cut up to 10,000 jobs.
  • After standing for 127 years as an industrial giant, Alcoa will be splitting into two smaller companies.
  • Glencore, a global mining giant, is seeing its stock price crumble amid insolvency rumors.

The three events may seem unrelated, but in fact, all are part of one big story: the commodities-price collapse.

Republican candidates need to get on board with addressing climate change, and voters will follow. That's the message Republican businessman Jay Faison of North Carolina is pushing — and he's putting his money behind it.