Economy

North Country
4:50 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

A Plan To Move Forward With The Motels And Fun Of The Past

Most of the nation's old motels are no longer in business, says tourism professor Mark Okrant. This motel is in Twin Mountain.
Chris Jensen for NHPR

One might think that the mom-and-pop motels of the 50’s and 60’s have all been replaced by cookie-cutter nationwide chains.

But some vintage lodgings in New Hampshire have found a way to prosper.

And now there’s an effort to push a plan to help them do even better.

We can’t blame Norman Bates for the decline of the mom-and-pop motels.

Screechy music from the shower scene in “Psycho.”

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed August 15, 2012

The Reluctant Recovery

More than three years after the recession was officially called “over”,the U.S. is still seeing sluggish growth in housing, business investment, and most importantly, employment.  We’ll ask why the economy seems so hesitant to take off including how much global woes and domestic political uncertainty are playing a role.  

Guests

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NH News
2:19 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Bringing Hollywood to the Granite State: A NH Coalition Wants Tax Incentives for Film and TV

Horia Varlan, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

A group of arts and media business owners have formed a coalition hoping to encourage film and TV production in the Granite State. 

The New Hampshire Production Coalition is currently developing a legislative plan that would help New Hampshire compete with more film-friendly states like Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, and Louisiana.

Tim Egan, of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, is the coalition’s president.

“Film, television, digital design, video gamers…  All the creative economy type industries don’t really have a trade association.”

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Getting By, Getting Ahead
5:15 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

After The Mills, What Will Drive the North Country Economy?

Berlin's Main Street is one of many North Country areas looking to grow its economy.
Chris Jensen for NHPR

Bleak. Troubled. Struggling. Take the phrase “North Country economy”, and you’ll almost inevitably hear one of those adjectives attached to it.

And to a certain extent, it’s true; the northern New Hampshire economy has had a difficult run since the bottom fell out of the mill economy. But can a handful of downbeat adjectives really characterize a whole region’s economy?

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NH News
10:34 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Would A Modest Economic Revival Lure Coos Young Adults Back Home?

Eighty-one percent of Coos County’s 2009 high school graduates say they don’t see job opportunities for themselves at home. And, more than 60 percent say they see those opportunities getting scarcer. That's according to the most recent survey results from the Carsey Institute's 10-year Coos Youth Study, published this week.

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All Things Considered
5:42 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Vacation Home Slowdown Can Hurt More Than Real Estate Market

Anyone who’s been in this state in late July has seen  the traffic pattern – the long line of cars and trucks with boats or kayaks or bikes on the back, heading north on the highway to New Hampshire’s Lakes Region.  Some folks are heading toward campgrounds or b&b’s; some others are heading toward their own vacation homes, which in the Lakes Region can be pretty substantial.

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North Country
5:00 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

A Picture of Coos That Took Two Years To Develop

Coos residents say they cherish the beauty of the North Country.
Chris Jensen for NHPR

A new, two-year study of Coos County finds that the community is strong on cooperation, but struggles with the best strategy to create jobs.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen has more on the study done by the Carsey Institute

In 2009 UNH sociologist Michele Dillon began composing a picture of Coos County.

It would be a mosaic based in large part on about four dozen interviews with community leaders.

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Getting By, Getting Ahead
5:11 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Manchester Teacher Layoffs Follow Debates Over Tax Caps, Public Spending

There have been two very distinct trends during the economic recovery: the first has been very slow growth in private sector hiring. The second has been a series of losses in public sector jobs, from state employees to firefighters to schoolteachers.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Examining Executive Salaries at the State’s Nonprofit Hospitals

A new report by the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies finds that CEO pay has risen by eighteen percent in recent years, a far greater increase than wages in the private sector. Critics say this seems out of line with the charitable mission of these hospitals. But others say these salaries are in keeping with a competitive job market and reward highly skilled leaders.

Guests

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Getting By, Getting Ahead
5:12 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Is High Business Rent Changing the Shape of Downtown Portsmouth?

Downtown Portsmouth
Squirrel Flight via Flickr/Creative Commons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/squirrelflight/1355544138/in/photostream/

We learned recently that the cost of rental housing has been climbing in New Hampshire – a typical two bedroom apartment in the state now costs more than a thousand dollars a month. And in some parts of the Granite State, businesses are dealing with high rental costs as well.

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StateImpact
11:34 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Getting By, Getting Ahead: Voices of N.H.'s Economy

Mill worker Rollie Leclerc.
Amanda Loder NHPR

In this seven week series, NHPR’s StateImpact reporter Amanda Loder explores how N.H. residents feel about the state’s economy and the role state government should play in economic recovery.

Listen to series reports on-air Tuesday mornings through August 14, and any time online at StateImpact NH

Series stories

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NH News
11:38 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Unemployment Numbers for May Hold Steady

bytemarks Flickr Creative Commons

Twenty-three hundred jobs were added to New Hampshire payrolls between April and May, but the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains stuck at 5%.

There was good news for Coos County: the North Country’s rate dipped below 8% for the first time this year.

Grafton County has the State’s lowest unemployment at 4.1%.

All in all, the data met expectations, says Bob Cote, a researcher with NH Employment Security.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Fri June 15, 2012

The U.S.-Canada Two-Way Economy

With the focus on Europe’s economic woes and China’s clout, it’s easy to overlook that our nation’s largest geographic border, Canada, is also our largest trading partner.  Although, it works well most of the time, there are some tensions, like  over duty-free status, controversial energy projects, and imbalances in tourism traffic.  We’ll look at how these issues affect the bottom dollar in both countries. 

Guests

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu June 14, 2012

The Foreclosure Fiasco Continues!

Even though the Housing Market seems to be stabilizing, foreclosures are still a major problem.  Some homeowners, who have tried to negotiate with banks are now going to court, saying they’ve not been able to get any clarity.  Meanwhile,  Lenders say they are making efforts, as they still are wading through an unprecedented number of troubled mortgages.  We'll look how foreclosures are fairing in the Granite State.

Guests

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed June 13, 2012

The Savings Dilemma

When the recession began, Americans started pinching their pennies and repaying debt, causing some to speculate that consumers might permanently abandon their free-spending ways.  But now, Americans are again loosening their purse-strings. We’ll  look at how and why our saving habits change and how these variations affect the larger economy. 

Guests

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu May 31, 2012

A New Case of the Economic Jitters

With looming debate over the  federal debt and deficits, a recent government report warns the U.S. could fall over a “fiscal cliff", and quite possibly slip back into recession.  On top of that, job growth has been uninspiring and across the pond, European economies remain shaky.  We’ll look at these new fiscal rumblings…and how we may feel them in New Hampshire.

Guests

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Word of Mouth
11:25 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Theatre…NO MORE!

Photo by haydnseek, via Flickr Creative Common

When Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman hit Broadway and swept the Tony’s in 1949, it was a middle-class masterpiece – a transformative play that could bring even stoic-factory workers and tough-love fathers to tears. These days, the price of a ticket for the Broadway revival may be as out of reach for the average American family as a pro sports career was for Biff. 

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Planet Money
12:17 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

JPMorgan's $2 Billion Loss, Explained

Chris McGrath Getty Images

What just happened?

JPMorgan Chase, the biggest bank in America, announced that it lost $2 billion on a massive trade placed out of its London office.

What was the trade?

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Economy
5:29 pm
Sun April 22, 2012

Poverty In America: Defining The New Poor

President Clinton prepares to sign legislation overhauling America's welfare system at the White House Rose Garden on Aug. 22, 1996. Today, the ranks of the nation's poor have swelled to a record 46.2 million — nearly 1 in 6 Americans — as the prolonged pain of the recession leaves millions still struggling and out of work.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 10:50 am

Welfare changes in the 1990s helped slash cash benefit rolls, yet the use of food stamps is soaring today. About 15 percent of Americans use food stamps. The program has become what some call the new welfare.

A big reason why is a deal struck between President Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress in 1996. At that time, the number of Americans who received cash payments — what's often thought of as welfare — was at an all-time high.

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Economy
6:34 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

U.S. Wallet Closed As IMF Seeks To Build Crisis Fund

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde made the case for an international crisis fund at a briefing in Washington on Thursday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

On the eve of the spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the IMF's managing director, Christine Lagarde, says there's a spring wind blowing in a recovery for the world economy.

But, she cautioned, there are still dark clouds on the horizon — a reference to the continued threats posed by Europe's sovereign debt crisis. Lagarde says making sure the IMF has the resources to manage that threat is this meeting's top priority.

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Europe
5:54 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Spain Scrambles To Avoid A Financial Bailout

A broker sits in the stock exchange in Madrid. Worries about Spain's finances intensified last week as the country's bond yields rose on international markets, making it more expensive for Spain to borrow money.
Paul White AP

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy visited Poland last week and tried to assure international markets that Spain would not join the list of European nations needing a bailout.

"Spain will not be rescued," he said at a news conference. "It's not possible to rescue Spain. There's no intention of it, and we don't need it."

However, Spain's borrowing costs are nearing levels that were followed by bailouts for Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

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It's All Politics
8:46 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Small Businesses Get Big Political Hype. What's The Reality?

Tourists walk near shops in the Maine seaside village of Northeast Harbor.
Dina Rudick Boston Globe via Getty Images

The House is scheduled to vote this week on a small-business tax cut bill offered up by Republicans. It's just the latest piece of legislation to focus on small businesses, which are widely praised in the political discourse as engines of job creation. The adoration is nearly universal — and it reflects something beyond economic reality.

"Small businesses create 2 out of every 3 jobs in this economy, so our recovery depends on them," President Obama said in 2012 at a New Jersey sandwich shop where he met with small-business owners.

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NPR News
8:23 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Rough Patches Behind It, Toyota Tries To Accelerate

A crane lifts a Toyota to the top level of New York's Javits Convention Center on April 2, before the New York International Auto Show.
Joe Polimeni PR Newswire

Paul Schubert and his wife decided to buy a new car last summer — a really fuel-efficient one. After a lot of research, they settled on a Toyota Prius. But there was a problem: They couldn't find one.

The tsunami that devastated Japan in March had dried up supplies of the Prius, which is made in Japan, and a dealer told them they would have to wait — "about four months," Schubert says. "And we thought, well, it'd be, probably, end of November, early December before we were going to have a car."

The Schuberts still had a working car.

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Word of Mouth
2:36 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

The Silicon Valley of the 14th Century

Politicians and pundits frequently proclaim that they know what drives innovation and economic development. Despite their assurances, the chicken-and-egg question of whether quality education creates thriving economies or flourishing economies create good schools has been cycling around for years. For clues, Jordan Weissman, Associate Editor at the Atlantic, looked not to India’s booming IT industry or China’s cadre of engineers, but to Germany, circa 1386, when a papal schism opened up new opportunities for innovation.

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NPR News
3:00 am
Tue April 17, 2012

U.S. Has A Natural Gas Problem: Too Much Of It

Oil field workers drill into the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge, Kan. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," to coax out oil and gas has led to a natural gas boom that the U.S. market is having trouble absorbing.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 7:43 am

There's a boom in natural gas production in the United States, a boom so big the market is having trouble absorbing it all.

The unusually warm weather this winter is one reason for the excess, since it reduced the need for people to burn gas to heat their homes. A bigger reason, however, is the huge increase in gas production made possible by new methods of coaxing gas out of shale rock formations.

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All Tech Considered
5:35 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Another Tech Bubble? Maybe Not

Jean-Paul Rodrigue Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 7:16 pm

It's beginning to feel frothy in Silicon Valley. Here are a few numbers:

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Latin America
5:06 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Panama Booms While Poor Watch From Afar

Tourists visit the San Felipe neighborhood in Panama City in December 2011. Panama is experiencing record economic growth, but many fear the benefits aren't trickling down to the poor.
Rodrigo Arangua AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 6:12 pm

The Central American nation of Panama is booming. Fueled by a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal, a thriving banking industry and capital flight from Venezuela, the tiny nation has the highest economic growth rate in the hemisphere.

But even as the government builds a subway system and markets the country as a tropical paradise for multinational corporations, not everyone is sharing in the prosperity.

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Business
2:50 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

City Rents Rise As Buyers Wait Out Housing Bust

The Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village apartment complexes in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 11:05 pm

The turmoil in the housing market over the past few years has scared a lot of people away from homeownership. That means many people who can afford to buy are now renting. With so much demand for apartments, rents are once again on the rise. And in places like New York City, they're near record highs.

A few weeks ago Lauren Weitz got her first apartment in the city. Every night when she gets home from the office, she upholds a New York City tradition.

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Business and Economy
5:17 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Thousands Show Up for Outlet Mall Job Fair

While the state’s unemployment rate is well below the national average, thousands of people are still searching for a job.

Friday, many of the state’s unemployed showed up for a job fair for a new $100 million shopping center in Merrimack. The retail outlet is expected to create more than 800 positions.

By 7 a.m. Friday morning, hundreds of people lined up outside Nashua Community College for the Merrimack Premium Outlet job fair.

When it opens in mid-June, the outlets will feature 100 clothing, home goods, and other stores. 

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It's All Politics
3:46 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Romney's Support For Ryan Budget Has Democrats Crying Foul

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks in San Diego on Monday. Democrats have criticized his support for GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan.
Steven Senne AP

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Thursday on what's known as the Ryan budget, the spending plan from Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that among other things changes the structure of Medicare and rewrites the tax code. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has endorsed the plan, but some are saying his rhetoric on the campaign trail may not match up with at least one reality of the Ryan budget.

Romney said he supported the Ryan budget the day it was unveiled.

"I applaud it," he said. "It's an excellent piece of work, and very much needed."

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