Mar 4, 2021

Texans deal with exorbitant electricity bills

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Sky-high electricity bills for utilities and individual customers alike as a result of the deadly power outage last month, and how Texas is dealing with them. Plus, a forecast for the February jobs report from the government due out tomorrow. And, critical pandemic oxygen shortages in a barely regulated market in Mexico.

Segments From this episode

It looks like we will see gains in the February jobs report

Here's what Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, has to say: "It's really hard to get government positive, although we are beginning to reopen schools. That will help to bring government numbers back up. What's interesting is, you know, this month is a critical month because it's comparing to the peak of the last expansion, and we're still going to be down close to 10 million jobs from that period of February 2020 to February 2021. The unemployment rate will probably tick up a little bit to 6.4%. But as we know, that number looks elusively good, because so many people are literally not participating in the labor market right now, because there aren't jobs to go back to yet." Swonk added, "We're down 4.3 million people who were working in the labor force a year ago, who aren't there today. Sixty percent of them are women."

With COVID surging, Mexico faces a shortage of oxygen to treat patients

Mar 4, 2021
As prices climb, the government says it is trying to crack down on unlawful trade in oxygen and related equipment.
In Guadalajara, Mexico, people line up to refill oxygen tanks for relatives with COVID-19.
Ulises Ruiz/AFP via Getty Images

Music from the episode

Can’t Let Go, Juno Kishi Bashi

The team

Nicole Childers Executive Producer
Victoria Craig Producer, BBC
Stephen Ryan Producer, BBC
Jonathan Frewin Producer, BBC
Daniel Shin Producer
Jay Siebold Engineer
Brian Allison Engineer
Alex Schroeder Digital producer
Meredith Garretson Producer
Erika Soderstrom Producer/Director