What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us

Manufacturing: The China Inc. model

Feb 2, 2021
Why is it sometimes cheaper for U.S. consumers to buy goods from China than from local vendors?
A worker in a southern China shoe factory. Many Chinese manufacturers say they are making goods Americans no longer want to produce.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

What's a "nonemployee"?

Jan 29, 2021
Well, not an employee, for starters. But to really understand the word and its implications, we have to look back to 19th-century labor law.
Employee or nonemployee?
John Moore/Getty Images

What's in a name? Company titles for gig workers reveal business models.

Jan 20, 2021
"Dasher," "tasker," "driver-partner." How companies pick worker nicknames that reflect the argument that workers are contractors, not employees.
An Uber sticker on a car during a protest by ride-share drivers in 2020. How ride-share and other gig workers are classified remains controversial.
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

The one-child policy is history, but rules in China still restrict families

Oct 13, 2020
Some Chinese couples aren't interested in having more than one child, while unmarried woman aren't allowed to have children at all.
Zhuang Mengyi left a good job in Beijing to raise her son in the cheaper countryside.
Jennifer Pak/Marketplace

Federal rule on gig workers proposed, narrowing definition of employee

Sep 25, 2020
When your work is a gig instead of a job, you have fewer protections and benefits.
Air travelers wait in the ride-hailing lot at Los Angeles International Airport in August.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Meet Steve, 55, professional driver

Feb 18, 2020
The Bureau of Labor Statistics would categorize Steve’s job as “production, transportation, and material moving” along with butchers, sewing machine operators and furniture makers, to name a few. One in 10 workers in the U.S. labor force are in this category.
Steve Fields
Paul Andrews

Meet Rocio, 24, construction worker

Feb 18, 2020
The Bureau of Labor Statistics would categorize Rocio’s job most broadly as “natural resources, construction and maintenance occupations.” One in 10 workers work jobs in that category.
Ben Hethcoat

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Meet Scott, 51, family physician

Feb 18, 2020
The Bureau of Labor Statistics would categorize his occupation under "management, professional, and related occupations," along with four in 10 US workers.
Cassidy Brauner

Meet Kate, 24, new account representative at a bank

Feb 18, 2020
Kate's work is part of the "Sales and Office Occupations," category, like 20% of the U.S. labor force. She has an associate's degree.
Matt Staver

Meet Gaile, 70, convenience store cashier

Feb 18, 2020
Gaile is part of the sales industry and works part time. She's part of the largest growing segment of workers — those over 55.
Melissa Lyttle