Business

3:21am

Wed June 19, 2013
Business

U.S. Automakers Are On A Roll, But Hiring Is Slow And Steady

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 9:40 am

A worker installs parts on a Chrysler SUV engine at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit. Plants in the U.S. are now operating above 90 percent capacity, but automakers are wary of adding large numbers of new workers.
Geoff Robins AFP/Getty Images

There is one basic question that keeps being asked about the U.S. auto industry: Is it on the rebound?

"People ask a lot, is the auto industry back?" says Kristin Dziczek, a director at the Center for Automotive Research. "And it depends on what scale you want to look at."

So if we're looking at scales, let's start with productivity. In this case, how many work hours it takes to build a car. Productivity in U.S. plants is 39 percent higher than it was in 2000. "Productivity has never been this high," Dziczek says.

Read more

3:20am

Wed June 19, 2013
Parallels

Fashion's Victims: An Artist's Focus On Garment Workers

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 2:35 pm

A woman tries on a jacket at a Zara store in Madrid. Zara's parent company, Inditex, was among Spanish companies to sign fire and building safety agreements for their factories in Bangladesh following a deadly factory collapse in April, though Inditex was not directly involved in that incident.
Susana Vera Reuters/Landov

On Madrid's posh Gran Vía, thousands of shoppers and tourists visit the flagship stores of some of the biggest names in European fast fashion — Zara, Mango and H&M.

Suddenly, the hordes of bargain-hunters stop dead in their tracks.

Read more

5:34pm

Tue June 18, 2013
The Two-Way

Perk Backlash: Do Surprise Upgrades Make Us Uneasy?

A new study finds that while "receiving unearned preferential treatment does generate positive reactions, it is not always an entirely pleasurable experience." Examples include getting a free upgrade on a hotel room.
iStockphoto.com

Whether it's a free upgrade on a hotel room or skipping ahead in the check-in line, many businesses give preferential treatment to some customers, hoping to make them more loyal. The practice often works — but a new study suggests that when we get perks we didn't earn, negative feelings can result. And they can make a surprise deal a little less sweet.

Read more

5:24pm

Tue June 18, 2013
The Two-Way

'We Were Told To Lie,' Say Bank Of America Employees

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 6:13 pm

Employees say Bank of America encouraged them to lie and falsify records to push more accounts into foreclosure.
Chuck Burton AP

Six former employees and one contractor say Bank of America's mortgage servicing unit consistently lied to homeowners, fraudulently denied loan modifications and offered bonuses to staff for intentionally pushing people into foreclosure, according to a Salon.com report.

Read more

4:06pm

Tue June 18, 2013
The Salt

The Mystery Of the Ridiculously Pricey Bag Of Potatoes

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 5:39 pm

How much for that bag of potatoes?
iStockphoto.com

On Monday we told you about allegations that America's potato growers had banded together in a price-fixing Potato Cartel.

Read more

3:52pm

Tue June 18, 2013
All Tech Considered

Mexico's Tech Startups Look To Overcome Barriers To Growth

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 6:18 pm

Enrique Lima is a co-founder of Publish 88, a Mexican startup that develops software for publishing companies.
Mónica Ortiz Uribe for NPR

In the past decade, Mexico's tech industry has flourished, growing three times faster than the global average. Most of that growth has been fueled by demand from the United States. But as Mexico's startups strive to make it in foreign markets, they say they need more engineers and ways to finance their growth.

Read more

12:04pm

Tue June 18, 2013
Money Coach

Fixing Credit Report Errors: More Hassle That It's Worth?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more

6:04am

Tue June 18, 2013
Business

Business News

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 1:52 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with Ben Bernanke's future.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: OK, President Obama has given the clearest hint yet, that Ben Bernanke's time as chairman of the Federal Reserve may soon be up. In an interview that aired last night on PBS's "Charlie Rose" program, the president said this...

(SOUNDBITE OF "CHARLIE ROSE" SHOW)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I think Ben Bernanke's done an outstanding job. Ben Bernanke's a little bit like Bob Mueller, the head of the FBI...

CHARLIE ROSE, HOST:

Read more

6:04am

Tue June 18, 2013
Business

Feds Raid 7-Eleven Stores In Immigration Scam

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 1:52 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news. Authorities in New York have announced the arrest of eight men and one woman who operate several 7-Eleven convenience stores in New York and in Virginia. They're accused of staffing their stores with undocumented workers and then stealing those workers' wages.

From member station WNYC, Ilya Marritz has details.

Read more

6:04am

Tue June 18, 2013
Business

European Aviation Firms Spotlighted At Paris Air Show

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 1:52 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Paris Air Show is celebrating its golden anniversary this year. Even after 50 years, it remains the leading showcase for the global aerospace industry.

But as NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, with U.S. Defense cuts, this year it's the Europeans who are taking the spotlight.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Welcome to the Paris Air Show...

Read more

Pages