Inflation, immigration and the labor force
Jan 20, 2023

Inflation, immigration and the labor force

A slowdown in immigration to the U.S. has helped fuel the labor shortage and inflation. Plus, COVID-19 changed how Lunar New Year affects supply chains.

Segments From this episode

The Weekly Wrap

“Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal talks with Jordyn Holman of the New York Times and Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post about what the latest retail reports say about the economy, what the implications of the debt ceiling dance are, and more of this week’s economic news.

Has the drop in immigration contributed to inflation?

Jan 20, 2023
Immigrants have accounted for a major share of labor force growth for years, increasing production, which keeps inflation lower, experts say.
Immigration to the U.S. dropped dramatically during the pandemic. Above, new U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony in Massachusetts on Jan. 5.
Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

The average U.S. renter now spends 30% of their income on rent, a new all-time high

Jan 20, 2023
When people have to spend more and more on rent, there's not much left over for other essentials.
Though there are large geographic differences, the average renter household in the U.S. is spending 30% of their income on rent.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Lunar New Year usually meant factory slowdowns. The pandemic changed that.

Jan 20, 2023
Traditionally, workers in parts of Asia travel during the holiday to spend time with family. Here's how COVID has changed that part of the supply chain.
Lunar New Year typically marks a time of slowed production in East Asia, but that changed during COVID. Above, an employee at a carbon fiber factory in China's eastern Jiangsu province.
AFP via Getty Images

Steadily (and quietly), more electric school buses are getting on the road

Jan 20, 2023
The vehicles have struggled to gain traction, but school districts are being swayed by new funding options, as well as environmental and health concerns.
A Beverly Public Schools electric school bus charges in the parking lot. The district will get three more electric buses in spring.
Robin Lubbock/WBUR

Music from the episode

Wooden Ships Crosby, Stills & Nash
She is Whimsical Arthur Benson
Supalonely BENEE, Gus Dapperton
Part of the Game 50 Cent, NLE Choppa, Rileyy Lanez
Simple Step Vulfpeck

The team

Nancy Farghalli Executive Producer
Maria Hollenhorst Producer II
Andie Corban Producer I
Sarah Leeson Producer I
Sean McHenry Director & Associate Producer II
Richard Cunningham Associate Producer I
Dylan Miettinen Associate Digital Producer