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Marketplace is not only about money and business, but about people, local economies and the world — and what it all means to us.

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  • As more cities and states debate abolishing subminimum wages for tipped workers, we’re keeping an eye on Washington, D.C., where the tip credit system is being phased out. Though food service staff shrunk last year, some current servers say their paychecks are much more stable. Plus, corporate defaults climb and the cost of Asian imports falls as the cost of goods from Mexico increases.
  • Like a choreographed dance, central banks usually move together in managing interest rates. But with a high U.S. inflation reading in March, other banks might cut rates before the Fed. The European Central Bank is closer to its target and has signaled a cut in June. Plus, West Texas natural gas extractors are paying to get rid of their excess, colleges are hiring managers to help athletes get name, image and likeness deals, and a complicated insurance tactic is raising patients’ out-of-pocket costs.
  • Inflation is hotter than anticipated, according to today’s consumer price index. Electricity, for instance, cost 5% more year over year. And in the coming months, demand for electricity is expected to grow — scientists predict this summer is gonna be a hot one. In this episode, an air conditioning price forecast. Plus, the lone busy cargo facility in Baltimore, country music’s Black influences and an economic fortuneteller that’s always changing its mind.
  • Curious about which way the global economy’s headed? Take a look at copper prices. Demand for the metal is soaring, and copper futures are now at the highest levels in almost two years. Also in this episode: $10 billion. That’s how much Blackstone’s paying to acquire luxury apartment owner AIR Communities. Plus, the impact of a federal shutdown on tribal nations and the latest for a seller of records and comics in Jackson, Mississippi.
  • There have been mixed messages on interest rate cuts, and that uncertainty is weighing on consumers. As the Federal Reserve continues its effort to bring inflation down to 2%, economists watch how consumers interpret that kind of messaging and what their expectations are. Also in this episode: Black unemployment spikes, the impact of cyberattacks on small businesses and the growing use of psychometric assessments for job seekers.
  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is back in China, less than a year since her last visit. In 2023, she was focused on gently reopening communication channels. This time she has a clear message: You’re making too much stuff. In this episode, why the U.S., Japan and some European countries are pressuring China to slow its manufacturing sector. Plus, we’ll hear from cargo ship workers stranded in Baltimore and learn about the welder shortage.
  • The legal right to ignore an after-hours call from your boss might seem appealing but unlikely. A California lawmaker, though, hopes to follow the lead of a dozen countries that have laws against it. Allowing employees to disconnect could be a plus for overall health and happiness, but not everyone supports the bill. Plus, women suffer a setback in the C-suite, economic data feels sorta choose-your-own-adventure right now, and denim is eternal.
  • Venture investments fell in the first quarter of 2024 to a near five-year low, PitchBook says. Funds started falling when the Federal Reserve first raised interest rates, and large exits have slowed in the past couple of years. Plus, “another test for the community”: Where Baltimore port workers and nearby businesses stand. Also, how campaign ads shape voters’ economic views and what the Realtors settlement means for buyers and sellers.
  • Interest rates on savings accounts have climbed in recent years. And high rates are great if you have money to squirrel away. With the Federal Reserve signaling it’s likely to cut rates, people can expect their banks to do the same. In this episode: how Fed rate cuts would impact high-yield savings and CDs. Plus, February job openings data, the cost of the Key Bridge collapse and the problem for TikTok-dependent beauty brands.
  • Twenty years ago, Google launched Gmail. Users thought the promise of 1 gigabyte of free storage was an April Fools’ joke. It wasn’t. In this episode, how Gmail came to dominate the email space — and everything connected to it. Plus, legislators rush to help workers affected by the Baltimore bridge collapse, small businesses prep for next week’s eclipse, and some states might cut funding for parent caregivers of disabled kids.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell sat down with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal to discuss inflation expectations, the central bank’s political independence, and humility in the face of national crises. The chairman also talked about how he consults with members of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee, why he worries when interest rates are covered like a “horse race,” and more.
  • Americans often vote based on economic conditions, but how voters feel about the economy doesn’t always align with the data. That disconnect can cost candidates an election — it might have happened in 1992 and it might happen in 2024. Also in this episode: Resume-spamming bots speed up job applications, the Federal Reserve hunts for “good data” and Home Depot bets on big construction projects as the DIY craze dies down and infrastructure funding kicks in.