Job training programs are failing to turn out enough skilled workers to fill job openings in the U.S., a phenomenon that puzzles some European companies that expand into the U.S.
President Obama freely admits that America needs to improve the way it trains workers. In a speech at a General Electric manufacturing plant in Wisconsin earlier this year, he said, "We gotta move away from what my labor secretary, Tom Perez, calls 'train and pray.' You train workers first and then you hope they get a job."
Just a few years ago, Detroit Symphony Orchestra was in bad shape. An auditor predicted they'd be shuttered in months.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: His famous line was we had no business being in business.
SIMON: Tomorrow on WEEKEND EDITION, how after a financial crisis, a bitter contract dispute, and a musicians' strike, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra still plays on. This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block. The past 36 hours have brought us a splashy cover story claiming to have found the figure behind a shadowy multi-billion dollar enterprise, also a media circus replete with an OJ Simpson-like car chase through the streets of Los Angeles and an army of online debunkers intent on proving the article false.
Cossacks stand guard at the entrance to the Crimean Parliament building on Friday in Simferopol, Ukraine. Russian Cossacks, some heavily armed, have taken up guard duties at road checkpoints, border crossings and other key facilities that were previously guarded by local, pro-Russian militants across Crimea in recent days.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block. There was some positive economic news today. Job growth in February was stronger than expected. The government monthly employment report showed 175,000 jobs were added to the economy last month. There were also upward revisions for December and January. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, that improvement comes despite evidence that stormy winter weather may have restrained job growth.
There's a lot of talk about virtual currencies lately — how they work, economic implications and whether they're safe. But now a Native American tribe is using a bitcoin-like currency to help strengthen its sovereignty.
In South Dakota, the Oglala Lakota Nation has become the first Native American tribe to launch its own form of virtual currency. Payu Harris, its creator, calls it mazacoin.
Credit-card rivals Visa and MasterCard said Friday they have formed an industry-wide group aimed at improving payment security in the wake of a number of breaches that compromised customers' data.
"The recent high-profile breaches have served as a catalyst for much needed collaboration between the retail and financial services industry on the issue of payment security," Visa President Ryan McInerney said in the statement.
It was pretty clear that the recent bout of winter weather that many of us have seen was going to have an effect on job growth in February. The question was how much. And it turns out less than expected. That's the message from the government's monthly employment report that's out today. It found that U.S. employers added 175,000 jobs to their payrolls last month. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, it's more than expected.
The recent bout of winter weather that many of us have felt has hit the U.S. economy. Winter storms cooled job growth in February. The only question is by how much. Economists, investors and job seekers are looking to today's employment report from the government for an answer. NPR's John Ydstie says their predictions have been dampened by the weather too.
JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: John Sylvia is the top economist for Wells Fargo. His forecast for job growth in February has been pounded down by the weather.
On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
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President Obama and Russian President Putin have had another long telephone conversation about how to end the crisis in Ukraine. The White House says President Obama stressed that a diplomatic solution is possible, but Russian soldiers have to leave their current positions in Crimea and return to their base in the region.
By most measures, David Kesten's hens are living the good life.
"They can act like chickens, they can run around," says Kesten, who's raising hens in an old wooden shed in the open countryside near Concordia, Mo. "They can go out and catch bugs, they can dig in the ground."
But most U.S. hens live crammed into very close quarters, according to Joe Maxwell, with the Humane Society of the U.S. And he says that's just wrong.
Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management has offered to buy Safeway, Inc., the nation's second-largest grocery chain, for a reported $9.4 billion. Cerberus plans to merge Safeway with another grocer, Albertson's.
"Safeway has been focused on better meeting shoppers' diverse needs through local, relevant assortment, an improved price/value proposition and a great shopping experience that has driven improved sales trends," Safeway CEO Robert Edwards said in a statement. "We are excited about continuing this momentum as a combined organization."
The big monthly jobs report that came out Friday has tons of numbers describing the American labor force. The numbers are helpful as far as they go, but they skip over a whole dimension of work: What it's really like.
So, over the past few weeks, we asked people over Twitter and Instagram to send us pictures of themselves at work, and to tell us: What's your job title? And what do you really do? What follows are some of the answers.
President Obama is hoping lawmakers will raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Many Republicans call that a potential job killer, and they're blocking the president's efforts in Congress. So as NPR's Tamara Keith reports, the president took his pitch to a place with a more receptive audience.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It is good to be back in Connecticut.
Across the country, communities stranded in food and retail deserts are asking how they can enjoy the bounty afforded to other urban centers. One Washington, D.C., community thinks it might have an answer.
Just a 10-minute drive south of the U.S. Capitol, across the Anacostia River, sits Congress Heights. The Southeast D.C. neighborhood is less than 2 miles long and home to more than 8,000 people, many in single-family houses. But if you're looking for a sit-down meal, options are scarce.
Now a view of the president's national initiative from a man whose long worked with young men of color at the local level, Malik Washington. He's acting executive director of the William Killebrew Foundation based here in Washington, D.C.
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We're going to spend the next few minutes talking about a new initiative unveiled recently by President Obama. It's called My Brother's Keeper. The goal, in the words of the White House, is to help every boy and young man of color who is willing to do the hard work to get ahead. But the challenges are great. Here's President Obama.
You can buy just about anything on Amazon.com — clothes, books, electronics. You can buy answers, too. College students and professors are doing all sorts of research on an Amazon site called Mechanical Turk.
Need 200 smokers for your survey on lung cancer? Have a moral dilemma to pose for your paper on Kierkegaard? Now researchers can log in, offer a few pennies in payment and watch the data roll in.
Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula brought with it threats of U.S. sanctions, but Europe, while condemning President Vladimir Putin's actions, has been more circumspect. Part of the reason: Europe's dependence on Russian money and energy.
"It is a matter of simple economics," Alex Melikishvili, senior Europe/CIS Analyst at IHS Country Risk, said in an email.
He noted that the EU is Russia's main trade partner; bilateral trade is in hundreds of billion of dollars annually, in contrast with much lower U.S.-Russia trade (see chart).
Looks like reports of a looming "guacapocalypse" have been vastly overstated.
This morning, guacamole lovers woke to headlines warning that Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle could eventually be forced to drop the dip from its menu, if changing global weather patterns continue to drive volatility in the price of avocados.
Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 11:56 am
A judge held an unusual hearing in New Jersey on Tuesday: a lawsuit brought by an 18-year-old who says her parents kicked her out of their house. Rachel Canning is seeking to force her parents to give her financial support and money for college, in addition to pay for tuition at her private school.
Superior Court Family Division Judge Peter Bogaard, who heard the case in Morristown, N.J., on Tuesday afternoon, denied Canning's requests in what's seen as the first round of hearings in the case.