Every weekday on Marketplace, Kai Ryssdal hosts a lively and unexpected exploration of the day’s business and economic news from Wall Street to your wallet.
We always enjoy Jobs Friday, and this was an especially good one: About 222,000 people got jobs across all kinds of industries last month, and unemployment ticked up a hair because more people are out looking for work. The one black mark on this month's report was wages. Average hourly earnings were barely up in June, and it's the latest in a line of tepid monthly increases. That just isn't the way things are supposed to be working right now. We'll talk about why and break down the rest of the jobs report in the Weekly Wrap. With President Trump at the G-20 this weekend, trade's on the table too. Plus: the business of summer camp.
The G-20 summit in Hamburg, and the street protests happening alongside it, are the big global political story. But it's really an economic story, about the winners and losers in global trade. With that in mind, we're starting with the Commerce Department today and the news that the trade deficit fell last month. It's President Trump's favorite, if misguided, economic metrics, but this drop was more about the dollar than anything else. Then: Hobby Lobby is paying a $3 million fine and handing over a bunch of smuggled antiquities today as part of a bizarre story that broke yesterday. We'll get you caught up on everything. Plus: A merging of two home shopping giants that could create a giant in retail, period.
It's not exactly beach reading, but it's not the Fourth of July anymore either. Congress is back from recess next week and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has his sights on reworking and then passing his party's health care bill. Here's the thing though: reading the bill's 142 pages is really tough unless you're an expert. So we called one. Then: President Trump tweeted Monday that gas prices are the lowest they've been in a decade and he'd like to see them go lower. Because facts matter: they're low, but not that low, and the full picture of what "cheap gas" means is a lot more complicated. Plus, for many people it's easier than ever to get by in this economy without carrying any currency. So what's the future of cash look like?
A Pew Research survey shows that positive attitudes toward the U.S. have declined from 64 percent approval during Barack Obama's presidency to 49 percent in 2017. President Trump as individual scored lower with the international community, 22 percent of people have confidence in him to do the right thing in international affairs. We'll talk about the USA brand and the upcoming G-20 summit as the President is faced with the news of a longer-range missile tests out of North Korea. Also on today's show: The business of making Spider-Man. Marketplace's Adriene Hill talks to the writers of the upcoming movie "Spider-Man: Homecoming."
We know, we know: It's the height of summer vacation, but sadly policy waits for no one. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has made school choice is a top priority, and charter schools are one pillar of that choice. But as charters become more popular, it's becoming apparent that the choice isn't be applied equally, and that's re-segregating some school districts. Plus, millions of students will head to college this fall, including an unknown number of undocumented students. Being a first generation college student is tough, but undocumented status complicates things on another level. We'll talk with a few students about what they're going through. Plus, the latest news from Tesla and just in time for the holiday weekend, a conversation with a professional grillmaster.
Today was the deadline for an Obama-ordered national security investigation into steel and aluminum imports. The Commerce Department missed it, thanks to what the administration called "unanticipated complexities." To paraphrase the President, who could have imagined running the world's largest economy could be so complicated? Then: It's the Friday before a holiday weekend, so what better time to revisit our series "Summer, Brought to You By" with an honest-to-god ice cream historian. Plus, Teslas, Volts, Leafs and the rest are almost commonplace on American roads now, so whats' the next frontier for electric vehicles? The bus lane.