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Dec 28, 2012

Marketplace Morning Report for Friday, December 28, 2012

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While there may still be hope for a fiscal cliff agreement, and that could prevent income taxes from going up for many Americans. But we are still likely to lose the payroll tax -- that extra money in your paycheck that was put in to stimulate the economy. This year's drought is hurting more than farmers. The Mississippi River is at its lowest level in decades. It's so bad that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is fighting to keep barge traffic moving. And, we look ahead to what the labor market will be like in 2013.

Segments From this episode

Drought lowers Mississippi, holding up barge traffic

Dec 28, 2012
One stretch of the river is closed during the day so Army Corps of Engineers can blast away rock just below the low water.

Fiscal cliff aside, payroll tax holiday to end

Dec 28, 2012
For two years, paychecks have been a little fatter thanks to a payroll-tax cut. But did it stimulate the economy, and what happens when it goes away?

What could happen to jobs and labor in 2013

Dec 28, 2012
As we all patiently await the new year -- and the fiscal cliff -- what will happen to the labor force remains unclear. But there are some clues as to what we can expect.

The fiscal cliff could impact Asian economy

Dec 28, 2012
As the drama unfolds here at home, it is important to see how the fiscal cliff is affecting economies elsewhere in the world -- like Asia.

Charitable foundations look towards impact investing

Dec 28, 2012
Most charitable foundations take a big pot of money, usually bequeathed by a rich guy, and invest it for profit -- then take those profits and donate to charity. Great system … unless you aren't actually earning a profit.

East Coast port strike looms

Dec 28, 2012
The stuff we all buy – shoes, clothes, tools and nails – could all be harder to come by starting soon. Longshoremen on the East Coast and shipping companies and port operators have until midnight Sunday to work out a new contract.

The East Coast port strike could impact retailers

Dec 28, 2012
We head into the weekend facing not one, but two possible shocks to the economy. There's the fiscal cliff, of course. And then there's the ports. Unionized longshoremen at 14 ports from Maine to Houston threaten to strike at midnight on Saturday, over a pay dispute.

High school grads head straight for jobs in Montana

Dec 28, 2012
We've told you about the energy boom unfolding in the Northern plains states. Centered in North Dakota, the industry is quickly spilling over into Montana.

PODCAST: Port strike averted, the fiscal cliffhanger continues

Dec 28, 2012
After a quick update on the strike that almost was, we'll talk about the end of that payroll tax break you probably forgot you were even getting... we'll see how this whole fiscal cliff thing is playing overseas, find out why kids in eastern Montana are putting off college. And the iPhone -- now available in Brazil. And Apple ain't happy.

While there may still be hope for a fiscal cliff agreement, and that could prevent income taxes from going up for many Americans. But we are still likely to lose the payroll tax — that extra money in your paycheck that was put in to stimulate the economy. This year’s drought is hurting more than farmers. The Mississippi River is at its lowest level in decades. It’s so bad that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is fighting to keep barge traffic moving. And, we look ahead to what the labor market will be like in 2013.

The team

Stephen Ryan Producer, BBC