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Mar 11, 2021

Early signs of hiring to come this spring?

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Weekly jobless claims numbers are moving in the right direction after a decline in initial unemployment benefits applications last week. Does this foreshadow more hiring in the weeks and months to come? Plus, what's in the COVID relief package schools. Also, inequities in Black representation in film and TV. And, high school basketball through the frame of wealth and poverty. We revisit the 1994 documentary "Hoop Dreams."

Segments From this episode

Weekly jobless claims are still above the worst point during the Great Recession. But at least they're not getting worse.

At least, looking at last week's claims for state unemployment benefits, that is. Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, said "there is some good news out there," as first-time claims dropped to 712,000. The improvements came in states like Texas, Minnesota and New York. "I think we're going to see a spurt in hiring this spring," Swonk said. She warned, however, that we're a long way from recouping the jobs we've lost to COVID, given the slow pace of employment gains we saw in February. "And so, that's why it's so important that we have stimulus to sustain, and also provide a cushion, even if we lose momentum with the variance in the virus that we're already seeing out there."

Films led by Black off-screen talent are consistently underfunded, study finds

Mar 11, 2021
A McKinsey & Company report finds that addressing racial inequities in entertainment could bring in another $10 billion a year.
Only about 6% of writers, directors and producers who work on films made in the U.S. are Black, and that number has barely budged in 15 years, according to a report from McKinsey & Company.
EvgeniyShkolenko via Getty Images

What basketball can teach us about economic mobility

Mar 11, 2021
Ambitions to go pro are often "a metaphor for the elusiveness of the American dream," says "Hoop Dreams" director Steve James.
Success stories for Black athletes "can sometimes hide the fact that for the great majority of people in these communities, the hurdles are so huge that it makes it hard to succeed," "Hoop Dreams" director Steve James says.
Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

Music from the episode

Bright Moments Flamingosis, The Kount

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