Economy & Business

Business news

Updated December 9 at 11:50 am ET

A provision in the tax code that allows employers and their employees to get a tax break on tuition assistance offered by companies is on the chopping block in the House version of the new tax bill. That perk is a useful recruiting tool for employers in a tight job market.

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12/08/2017: A strong November for jobs

Dec 8, 2017

(Markets Edition) The November jobs report is out, revealing that the U.S. economy added 228,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate stayed at 4.1 percent. Christopher Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, joined us to discuss how specific sectors performed and why wage growth still hasn't been doing that great. Afterwards, we'll discuss what the GOP's tax overhaul could mean for tuition assistance. Some companies help pay for employees to get a degree, which they could get a tax break for, but that could go away under the House's version of the tax bill.

Marketplace Weekend answers your tax questions

Dec 8, 2017

In the past few weeks, taxes have been on all of our minds and at the center of the news, as the House and Senate have passed their versions of the Republican tax bill. 

Tax reform is something that will have an enormous effect on everyone living in the U.S. and on the economy as a whole. It's also something that can cause more than a little confusion.

12/08/2017: Puppy migration and taxes

Dec 8, 2017

On this episode of Marketplace Weekend, a panel of experts talk taxes and answer questions from listeners. Plus, we look into supply and demand ... as it applies to rescue dogs moving out of the South. And NASA's Doug Wheelock discusses what it takes to be an astronaut. 

"The Defense Department is starting the first agency-wide financial audit in its history," the Pentagon's news service says, announcing that it's undertaking an immense task that has been sought, promised and delayed for years.

Of the tally that is starting this week, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said, "It demonstrates our commitment to fiscal responsibility and maximizing the value of every taxpayer dollar that is entrusted to us."

As the House and Senate consider their respective tax bills, both proposals raise questions about 401(k) savings accounts. As we've reported on Marketplace Weekend, one third of Americans have nothing put aside for retirement. Even so, it turns out, millions of dollars are being left unclaimed in abandoned 401(k) accounts. For more on why people are doing this, Lizzie O'Leary spoke with Charles Thorngren, CEO of investment firm Noble Gold.

How to be an astronaut

Dec 8, 2017

Everyone has a dream job growing up: doctor, vet, ice cream taste tester. But how do you actually get the gig? Marketplace Weekend is looking into how, with the occasional series, How to be a...

NASA astronaut Col. Doug Wheelock is starting off the series with his guide to becoming an astronaut. Wheelock has been an astronaut for 19 years. He's spent 178 days in space as a flight engineer and then a commander, and has completed six space walks totaling over 43 hours. 

Bonus: The Uncertain Hour season 2, episode 2

Dec 8, 2017

Ahead of your regularly scheduled episode of Marketplace this afternoon, we're bringing you the second episode of the new season of The Uncertain Hour. Starting where episode one left off, we find the government and consumer activist Ruth Desmond trying to answer an existential question: How many additives can you put into a jar of peanut butter before it's not peanut butter anymore? Trying to answer it kicked off a multiyear battle that changed the way we think about regulations in this country.

Brexit: U.K. businesses call for more clarity over deal

Dec 8, 2017

From our partners at the BBC:

More clarity on the Brexit transition is needed to stop companies proceeding with contingency plans despite the progress announced on Friday, the Confederation of British Industry has warned.

Paul Drechsler, president of the business lobby group, said companies had begun triggering plans months ago.

However, more detail could help suspend further action by firms, he said.

The U.S. economy added 228,000 jobs in November, according to the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 percent, unchanged from October.

"Employment growth has averaged 174,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016," the agency's acting Commissioner William J. Wiatrowski said of the report.

U.S. adds 228,000 jobs in November

Dec 8, 2017

The U.S. economy added 228,000 jobs in November, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent. 

Friday’s report met expectations. Economists expected job growth of 200,000 and the unemployment rate to remain unchanged.

(U.S. Edition) The U.K. and the EU have entered phase one of a Brexit deal. Among some of the agreements they've reached: EU nationals retaining the right to live in the U.K. On today's show, we'll recap the discussions Britain has had with the bloc. Afterwards, we'll talk to Arun Muralidhar, co-founder of Mcube Investment Technologies, about his new take on government bonds that would pay you $5 per bond.

12/08/2017: Breakthrough on Brexit

Dec 8, 2017

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … they say breaking up is hard to do, but after a breakthrough meeting in Brussels, Britain and the European Union announced they are one small step closer to finalizing their divorce. Then, a wild week for Bitcoin comes to a close. We’ll tell you what you need to know about the cryptocurrency before futures begin trading next week. Finally, we’ll take you to Finland where the nation’s state-owned gas company is going green with the help of biogas. 

Building a better battery is hard and takes lots of funding. President Donald Trump has proposed major budget cuts to research on advanced energy technology. And taking away that funding could give other countries a competitive edge to create a better battery first. Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks with Kristin Persson, who works on developing new battery technology in a lab that is funded by the Department of Energy, about the countries that could leap ahead in the race to develop a better battery.