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Marketplace Morning Report for Wednesday, November 2, 2011

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The job placement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas said this morning that the number of planned layoffs at U.S. companies hit a four month low last month. What is the future of the solar industry in the wake of Solyndra and Beacon Power? The TV show "X Factor" is hoping to boost ratings via Twitter. And elementary school students are scoring better on math tests these days, but reading scores are still subpar.

Segments From this episode

U.S. leads the world in GDP, but not in other measures

by Steve Chiotakis Nov 2, 2011
According to a measure called the Human Development Index, America ranks lower than other developed countries -- especially when it comes to the wealth gap.
Mid-day Update

Mid-day Extra: Spending is unleashed on pets

by Marketplace Staff Nov 2, 2011
In a time of belt-tightening, why are Americans spending more on their pets?

The future of energy research and development

by Marketplace Contributor Nov 2, 2011
After the Solyndra scandal, the energy R&D industry finds itself in a tough spot.

Italy's economic concerns grow

by Jeremy Hobson Nov 2, 2011
While all eyes are on Greece, many other European countries are at risk. We look at why the Italian economy could be in trouble.

G20 summit to begin amid ongoing drama in Europe

by Adam Allington Nov 2, 2011
With the news of a Greek referendum on austerity cuts, G20 leaders will be taking on the idea of a Greek default and looking into the future of other troubled European countries.

Rural areas could be hard hit by postal cuts

by David Nogueras Nov 2, 2011
The Postal Service is expected to post millions in losses this quarter, which would lead to the closure of hundreds of post offices across the country. Small towns could be the hardest hit.

'X Factor' and Twitter team up

by Jennifer Collins Nov 2, 2011
The reality show competition will allow viewers to vote using direct Twitter messages. The show hopes to attract a bigger audience audience, and entice advertisers.

Could holiday retail jobs help cut employment?

by Marketplace Staff Nov 2, 2011
We speak to John Challenger about the encouraging jobs numbers from October, and what they could mean for the coming months.

Math scores on the rise in the U.S.

by Eve Troeh Nov 2, 2011
A new report out today shows American students are steadily improving when tested in math, but reading scores continue to disappoint.

Josh Brown: Job growth coming from small and mid-sized businesses

by Marketplace Staff Nov 2, 2011
A report out today says that the number of planned layoffs in October were at their lowest level in four months.

Voters reject tax increases in Colorado

by Marketplace Staff Nov 2, 2011
Citizens of Colorado voted down a tax plan that would have helped out cash-strapped schools in the state.
BBC World Service

Poll: Optimism prevails in emerging economies

by Andrew Walker Nov 2, 2011
A new BBC poll shows that while people in developed countries have a negative outlook for the future, those in the developing world are much more optimistic.

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