economy | KCUR

economy

News coverage of the economy.

Seg. 1: Boomer Entrepreneurs. Seg. 2: Terry Teachout

Feb 28, 2019

Segment 1: More baby boomers are choosing to open up their own businesses. 

Retirement? Not for these people. Despite the trope of the young, millennial entrepreneur, research shows that people between 55 and 64 make up about a quarter of new entrepreneurs. In this conversation, we talk with an author who's reported on this trend and a 69-year-old businessowner who's living it. 

Segment 1: Teacher pay in Missouri comes in almost dead last compared to the other 50 states.

Missouri places 49th in a study ranking teacher pay state-by-state. In this conversation, we discuss why that is and look into how the issue affects local educators.

Chris Neal / Kansas News Service

Life is expensive. Rent, health care, raising a family, saving for retirement — it adds up. But so does college debt. In fact, the cost of college shot up many times faster than typical U.S. earnings in recent decades.

So, what to do after high school? Here’s what you need to know.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / KCUR/Kansas News Service

TOPEKA — The glittery gold print on Cara Simon’s graduation cap begged — maybe only half-jokingly — for a break: “Can I take a nap now?”

Toilsome college coursework may have kept the Wichita native up at night, but looking for a job won’t. Simon lined one up at an emergency room before even graduating — one of the benefits of earning a nursing degree.

“It’s so versatile,” she said. “You can work in a million different places. You can work in any state. It’s exciting.”

Former Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke compared the national economy to a Looney Tunes character: magically floating in the air for a moment after running off a cliff before inevitably plummeting in 2020.

Segment 1: Decline in history majors raises question: what's the future of our past? 

New data shows a drop in the number of history majors at colleges in the United States. So what does it mean for the future of our history, if there are fewer people studying it?

Tyler Silvest

A global transportation and supply chain management company is shuttering its Edgerton, Kansas, location, putting 136 people out of work. 

XPO Logistics operates on about 11 acres of the 1,700-acre Logistics Park, a rail intermodal and warehouse district that has been a boon for the Edgerton economy. The district also hosts corporate giants like Amazon, UPS and a terminal of the BNSF railway.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

New data from the Washington Post suggests the Kansas City area is missing out on $10 million a week from government contracts as the shutdown stretches on. That’s in addition to the thousands of federal workers not getting paid. Those missed paychecks for contractors and employees alike have placed a heavy burden on both budgets and families.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service.

Erin Wolfram, with the University of Kansas Career Center, enters a small room in Summerfield Hall on the KU campus, where she is suddenly surrounded by hundreds of suits, dresses, shirts and ties filling floor-to-ceiling racks. The Professional House of Garments is filled with clothes waiting to help students dress for success as they prepare for job and internship interviews.

Spirit AeroSystems announced Wednesday it will add 1,400 new jobs over the course of the next year.

 

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

The cable guy

President Donald Trump is making noises about issuing an executive order that would undo birthright citizenship in the country. He contends he has the authority, through executive order, to deny U.S. citizenship to children born in the country if their parents are here illegally.

Crysta Henthorne / Kansas News Service

Why not Wyandotte

Wyandotte County has long represented undeveloped political muscle for Kansas Democrats. Lots of Democrats there. Not nearly as many Democrats who show up to vote.

Mobilizing that potential could, maybe, mean trouble for incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, whose district includes both Wyandotte and Johnson counties. And in close statewide races (think this year’s contest for governor), a big turnout in Kansas City, Kansas, could be a gamechanger.

Allen Brewer / Flickr-CC

The Kansas City economy is growing at a rapid but unsustainable rate, according to an economic forecast report released Friday by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Cranes dot the skyline and construction contracts have jumped by half since this time last year, but despite a building boom, Kansas City’s economy is not keeping pace with either the national economy or similarly sized cities, according to the report.

Segment 1: Growing up poor in the Heartland.

Local journalist and author Sarah Smarsh has been getting a lot of national attention for her new book, Heartland. On this episode, we chat with Smarsh about the forces that shaped her Kansas childhood.

The Kansas economy has been sluggish the past few years, but the candidates running for governor each have a plan to jumpstart things.

Will any of them actually work?

file photo / Harvest Public Media

President Donald Trump has reached a tentative trade deal with Mexico, and now the focus of tariff talks shifts to Canada.

It’s a high-stakes situation for Kansas industry because Canada is the top export market for the state.

Kansas exports totaled more than $11 billion in 2017, led by agricultural products, aircraft and airplane parts. Nearly $2.5 billion of those exports went to Canada. The other partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico, was the second biggest market for Kansas exports, at nearly $2 billion.

Kevin Collison / CityScene KC

The irony of Bob Jones Shoes making it through the tough times only to close its doors now that downtown Kansas City is coming back isn’t lost on Rocky Horowitz.

“We seen downtown go from bad to good to really good,” he said.

Segment 1: 10 years have passed since the Recession. How are people doing now?

In the depths of the Great Recession, KCUR did a series of interviews about how the economic downturn was affecting people's lives. On this episode, we look back to find out how a couple of interviewees are faring now.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Tenants suffering domestic violence will be able to break their rental agreements without penalty.

Rural Movie Theaters

Jul 31, 2018

Movie theaters are more than a place to watch the latest blockbuster. They're a place of first dates. A place to get out of the rain. A place where communities can share an experience. But what happens to a small town if they lose that theater? On this episode, we explore what's causing rural movie theaters to close and learn about the efforts to keep them alive. 

Luke X Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Kansas GOP candidates faces tough Democratic — and Republican — challengers.

Segment 1: A new app looking to connect people with black-owned businesses has chosen Kansas City as a launch pad.

An app that's something of a mix between LinkedIn and Yelp is hoping to bridge the entrepreneurial gap by connecting members of the community with black owned businesses. Learn what the app hopes to achieve, why Kansas City was chosen as a starting point and how under representation affects the economy.

Segment 1: Kansas City ranks as one of the top cities for women working in tech. 

For the fourth year in a row, Kansas City has been listed as the second best city for women working in the tech industry according to the website Smart Asset. Today, we find out how our city earned that title as well as learn how we can continue to improve. 

Tipping In Restaurants

Mar 20, 2018

Tips. They're more than a way to show appreciation for good service — they're practically a societal obligation. Today, we explore the history of gratuity in restaurants and examine their modern day impact. Also, members of the restaurant industry share their thoughts on tipping and discuss the questions tips bring up on societal issues of gender, race and class. 

Guests:

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

Newly installed Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer described his state Wednesday as vibrant but with trouble spots, telling lawmakers he plans to charge ahead at its problems.

Colyer promised to reform the state’s struggling foster care system, improve its privatized Medicaid program, open government activities into clearer public view and help more Kansans find jobs.

The speech was effectively a State of the State speech by a former two-term lieutenant governor now one week into higher office and trying to distinguish himself from his unpopular running mate, former Gov. Sam Brownback. Brownback delivered a formal State of the State address last month.

Grant Gerlock / Harvest Public Media

In winter, farmers across the U.S. visit their banks to learn whether they have credit for the next growing season, relying on that borrowed money to buy seed, fertilizer and chemicals.

But prices for corn, soybeans and wheat are low enough that some producers have had a hard time turning a profit, and financial analysts expect some farmers will hear bad news: Their credit has run out.

Public Domain / Pixabay-CC

Alternative newspapers offer a unique perspective on the news, events and culture of a city. But how are they handling an era where print media struggles? Today, we look at the role alt-weeklies/monthlies play both here in Kansas City and across the nation. 

Then, we learn how small adjustments to neighborhood parks in Wyandotte have made a big impact on the community surrounding it.

Guests:

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Over the last 12 months, we've had any number of pollsters, pundits and politicos on the program to discuss Pres. Donald Trump's words and actions.

Mike Mozart / Flickr-CC

Today, we meet two high school students from Kansas City's Central Academy of Excellence who are using art to tell stories about gun violence. 

Plus, find out how communities, both rural and urban, are affected by the expansion of dollar stores such as Dollar General.

Guests:

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

One Missouri photographer has spent years collecting stories and making images of musicians and their most prized possession; their guitars. Today, Chuck Holley shares some of his favorites. Then, we visit with Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller about the possibility of an upcoming bubble. Shiller says many harbingers of recessions in the past are present, but something important is missing.

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