Economy

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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Around the Nation
3:11 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Can A Small Town Survive Without Its Bank?

Terry Tatro and Irene Clarke stand in front of the People's United Bank branch on Main Street in Alburgh, Vt. The two feared that the bank's closing would leave a gaping hole in their community.
Sarah Harris VPR

Alburgh, Vt., is a town with unusual geography: It's on a peninsula that borders Quebec and is surrounded by Lake Champlain. Even though the town is small and isolated, its residents have always had somewhere to do their banking.

But in January, the People's United Bank branch on Main Street announced it was closing its doors. When Irene Clarke heard the news, she decided to do something about it.

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Planet Money
3:05 am
Thu March 29, 2012

The $200,000-A-Year Nanny

iStockphoto.com

I met Zenaide Muneton in the offices of the Pavillion Agency in New York, which specializes in hiring house staff for some of the richest folks in the country. Muneton says she knows how to make everything fun for kids, even homework, and that's why she is one of the better paid nannies at the agency. I asked her what that means.

"It means over $150,000 a year," Muneton said.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
4:50 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Spring Brings Some Green Shoots In Housing Market

A recently sold home in Palo Alto, Calif. Home inventory is declining nationwide, and real estate agents say they are seeing more interest among would-be buyers.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 2:14 pm

Housing prices are still declining, but many analysts see some signs for optimism in the housing market. The mild spring has brought buyers out earlier than usual, and real estate agents are busy.

Doug Azarian is one of them. One of his clients recently signed a deal on a $1.5 million house in Cape Cod, Mass. — a contemporary waterfront property with three bedrooms.

"The buyers came in, and they loved it from the minute they walked in the door," Azarian says.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:12 am
Wed March 28, 2012

The Price of a Dollar... Store

Photo by Blandenburg Nostalgia-BurgerChefGuy Variety Pics, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Don’t let the profit margin fool you: dollar stores are one of the fastest growing niche retail markets.  Just this week, the national chain Family Dollar reported much higher than predicted second quarter earnings, with a profit of more than one hundred and thirty six million dollars. I guess all those dollars add up…

But in some communities, dollar stores aren’t welcome additions.  Vermont public radio reporter Steve Zind covered the recent battle over a proposed dollar store in Chester, Vermont, and joins us now to tell us about it.

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StateImpact
11:17 am
Tue March 27, 2012

100 Jobs To Return To NH From China

A New England-based manufacturer is moving some of its operations from China to New Hampshire–and bringing 100 new jobs with it.  Watts Water Technologies is building up its facilities in Franklin.  As

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Word of Mouth - Segment
1:59 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Your Local Wise-Guys

On Saturday Cash Mobs will take to the streets in hundreds of cities and towns to celebrate National Cash Mob Day: an occasion for shoppers to meet at a designated time and place, then disperse with at least $20 to spend in  local, independent stores.  Allison Grappone is organizing Concord’s cash mob day this Saturday.

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Economy
5:00 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Startup Converts Plastic To Oil, And Finds A Niche

JBI CEO John Bordynuik holds a jar of No. 6 fuel oil, derived from discarded plastic like that seen on a conveyor belt at his plant.
Daniel Robison WNED

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 9:58 am

Only 7 percent of plastic waste in the United States is recycled each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A startup company in Niagara Falls says it can increase that amount and reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil at the same time.

It all starts with a machine known as the Plastic-Eating Monster. Thousands of pounds of shredded milk jugs, water bottles and grocery bags tumble into a large tank, where they're melted together and vaporized. This waste comes from landfills and dumps from all over the United States.

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Economy
4:51 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

The Market's Finally Looking Up: Will It Last?

Trader Peter Tuchman reacts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on March 13. That same day, the Dow Jones industrial average had its highest close since 2007.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 11:03 pm

The stock market hit some major milestones this week: The Standard & Poor's 500 index reached its highest level in more than three years, the Dow Jones industrial average settled in above 13,000 — up about 24 percent since early October — and the Nasdaq rose to its highest level in 11 years. Still, the Federal Reserve has been warning not to get too excited about where the economy is headed next.

David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer at Cumberland Advisors, says there are a bunch of reason for stocks to be rising.

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Planet Money
1:06 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Why Are Some Countries Rich And Others Poor?

Haiti's brown landscape contrasts sharply with the rich forests of its neighbor Haiti-Dominican Republic Border, South Of Dajabon, Dominican Republic.
National Geographic/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 5:37 pm

Why are some nations rich and others poor? In a new book called Why Nations Fail, a pair of economists argue that a lot comes down to politics.

To research the book, the authors scoured the world for populations and geographic areas that are identical in all respects save one: they're on different sides of a border.

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Looking Up: Pockets Of Economic Strength
4:34 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Optimism Rising Along With The Number Of New Jobs

Economists say job growth plays a big role in how consumers are feeling about the U.S. economy.
Robert Galbraith Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 10:10 pm

Part of a series

As 2011 was winding down, consumer spirits were starting to rise. Now the momentum has carried into the new year, with polls showing consumer sentiment continuing to improve.

Economists say that negative factors, such as falling home values or rising meat prices, are nowhere near as important as the growth in jobs.

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Looking Up: Pockets Of Economic Strength
12:01 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Auto Parts Suppliers Hiring As Fast As They Can

Workers build cars on the assembly line at the Ford Motor Co.'s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., in December. As auto sales boom, parts suppliers are having a tough time finding the labor they need to catch up, having lost workers during the recession.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 8:17 am

Part of a series

Detroit automakers are creating thousands of new jobs amid a sales boom. And as they expand, their suppliers are racing to keep up, adding tens of thousands of new jobs.

At Bridgewater Interiors in Warren, Mich., for example, the pace is intense. Hundreds of union employees scurry to fill a growing list of orders. The factory floor is packed with stacks of foam cushions, seat covers and headrests.

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Looking Up: Pockets Of Economic Strength
4:18 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Factories 'Reshore' Some Work From Overseas

AGCO employees work on the assembly line in the company's newly expanded Jackson, Minn., manufacturing plant. The expansion brought the facility's staff from 850 to 1,050 workers and allows the plant to make tractors that were previously made in France.
Jackson Forderer for Minnesota Public Radio

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

Part of a series

During the worst of the Great Recession, U.S. factory jobs were disappearing at a furious pace. As 2007 began, about 14 million Americans were working in manufacturing.

Three years and one frightful recession later, only 11.5 million were.

But since 2010, employment has been ticking back up, with companies adding about 400,000 jobs.

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Looking Up: Pockets of Economic Strength
12:01 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Jobs Abound In Energy Industry's New Boom Time

Oil workers on a drilling rig owned by Chesapeake Energy in Ohio. Students are flocking to the energy field.
Gus Chan The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:47 pm

Part of a series

Economists say many industries are looking up this year. But perhaps none has a better outlook than the energy sector.

New drilling technologies and rising fuel prices have generated a boom in drilling — and lots of high-paying jobs for people with the skills to work in the oil patch. On some college campuses, companies are so eager to find petroleum engineers that they are offering jobs to students even before they have graduated.

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