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Award-winning Marketplace is public radio's daily magazine on business and economics news "for the rest of us."  Hosted by Kai Ryssdal, award-winning Marketplace is public radio's daily magazine of business and economics. Marketplace takes a fresh approach to business news covering  listeners from wallet to Wall Street. 

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As part of a nationwide expansion, Wal-Mart is adding 10,000 jobs this year. But in 2016, the retail giant announced thousands of cuts. With all of this job shuffling, what should we make of this announcement? Also on today's show: a new report from Oxfam that reveals eight of the world's richest men are wealthier than 3.5 billion of the world's poorest people, and a look at how social media is changing the way activists coordinate.

Wal-Mart touts new jobs in 2017

14 hours ago

In a press release Tuesday, Wal-Mart announced it’s adding 10,000 jobs in 2017, as part of 59 new stores or expansions around the country. But the announcement comes on the tail of a year of job cuts and retooling at America’s biggest private employer. It announced hundreds of store closures in January 2016, and in September said it would eliminate some 7,000 office positions.

Oxfam released a startling new report on income inequality this week. It says just eight rich men – six of them in the U.S. — own as much wealth as 3.5 billion of the world’s poorest people. What’s driving this income inequality? And what can be done about it? 

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

Sabri Ben-Achour

April 2, 1792 is the exact date the Coinage Act was passed, a measure that led to the creation of the U.S. Mint and required coins to depict an "impression emblematic of liberty."

To commemorate its upcoming 225th birthday, the U.S. Mint is releasing a new set of $100 gold coins. And for the first time ever, these coins will depict Lady Liberty as an African-American woman. 

Adam Allington

President-elect Trump’s inauguration is expected to attract the biggest mass protest of an elected president since Richard Nixon in 1973, when 60,000 protesters descended on Washington.

The idea for the Women’s March on Washington was conceived on Facebook and pulled together in a few short months, a feat that would have been impossible even a decade ago.

March organizers are predicting as many as 200,000 attendees. People like Sara Archambault, from Providence, Rhode Island.

01/17/17: A new Lady Liberty

18 hours ago

As U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May gears up to give a speech on Brexit, we'll look at what some of her objectives might be. There's been speculation over whether the U.K. will try to keep some benefits of EU membership, but now it appears that the prime minister wants a hard break. Next, we'll look at U.S. Mint's plans to release a $100 gold coin with the symbol of liberty depicted as an African-American woman. 


01/17/17: It began with a BlackBerry

18 hours ago

When Obama was first sworn in, some were worried about allowing him to keep his BlackBerry. Eight years later, he's cemented his status as a pretty tech-forward president. As his second term ends, we'll look back at the role of technology in his administrationNext, we'll chat with Gray Space co-founder Matthew Hoffman about the influence of virtual reality on the architecture industry. 

One of coal’s last strongholds is under review

Jan 16, 2017

The coal industry is suffering these days. And regardless of campaign promises, it’s unlikely the Trump administration will be able to do much to bring coal back to its glory days. Fracking and natural gas are just too competitive an energy source. There are still some areas, though, where coal’s so cheap, it holds its own: coal leases on federal land. Now, recent recommendations about that program could make even those spots less viable. 

Will Trump finally dump the estate tax?

Jan 16, 2017

Estate-tax repeal has been a priority of the Republican Party for years. That’s a tax on estates worth $5.45 million or more. President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has said his administration would aim to roll back the tax as part of a larger package of tax cuts. How likely is that repeal and what would it mean for the deficit? 

Trump takes aim at NATO

Jan 16, 2017

In interviews with European newspapers this weekend, President-elect Donald Trump slammed NATO. He said the military defense partnership is important to him, but he called the 70-year old alliance "obsolete." He says it's too divorced from the fight against terrorism. But not all experts see it that way.

Molly Wood

Depending on who you ask, the fifth generation wireless networks (5G) will either herald a totally new era of connected technologies, or just make the internet on our phones a little faster.

At CES, the huge technology trade show in Las Vegas earlier this month, the mood about 5G was good. Mobile chip maker Qualcomm was among the companies making announcements related to 5G. So while I was there, I sat down with Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf, and I asked him why 5G could be so much more than just faster internet on your phone.

Sleeping like a baby is a $325 million industry

Jan 16, 2017
Jenny Gold

Lindsay Barrick and her husband  had been trying to get their baby Arlo down for his nap for almost an hour.

“He sounds so miserable,” said Barrick, bouncing her screaming infant up and down. “I know, if you just would go to sleep you'd feel better!”

It would definitely make Arlo’s parents feel better. Since this adorable red-haired baby was born three months ago, they haven’t gotten much sleep.  The previous night, Barrick and her husband Jerry Talkington, who live in Oakland, Calif.,  were up three separate times with Arlo.

1/16/2017: It's Inauguration week

Jan 16, 2017

Welcome to Inauguration week! On this MLK Day we're looking at three themes of President-elect Donald Trump's campaign: An obsolete NATO, rolling back the estate tax and bringing back coal jobs. We'll talk about the state of all three and how Trump might act on them after he's sworn in Friday. Plus: a chat with the CEO of Qualcomm and how getting your kid to sleep became a $325 million industry.

Sam Harnett

The desire for increased productivity in Silicon Valley is spawning a new market, for substances under the heading “nootropics.”

Nootropics are marketed as pills that will increase your productivity and boost your brain power. Many in the scientific community question the claims. But in Silicon Valley, nootropics have become part of a subculture that is trying to work as many productive hours a day as possible.

Like many who take nootropics, Daniel Wiggins works in tech. “It started about nine months ago when I was working on my own startup,” Wiggins said.

Why are investors punishing the pound?

Jan 16, 2017

The British pound's sizable fall on Monday; pushback against the World Economic Forum; and the rise of food insecurity on college campuses.