WAMU 88.5 : News

Economic Consequences Of Extended Shutdown Spreading

The federal government shutdown means a lot of penny-pinching, which isn't good for the recovering economy.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kayaker1204/5058491970/
The federal government shutdown means a lot of penny-pinching, which isn't good for the recovering economy.

As the government shutdown enters its third week, the unforeseen economic consequences are spreading.

Do you know how we get unemployment data? A team of about 2,200 people fan out across the U.S., knocking on doors and compiling the survey. Mark Rother is one of those field representatives at the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We have eight days to get it done," he says.

Eight days—starting yesterday. The problem is that it didn’t start yesterday. Rother and the team remain furloughed. While we may not have exact data next month, Rother says some of the numbers are clear.

“I just finished filling out my unemployment insurance," he laments.

Not having exact unemployment data is a seemingly small thing, but it could have big implications. Maryland Democrat John Delaney is a businessman who founded two companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange. He says not having that report could pinch the savings of countless people because pension fund managers rely on those numbers to make investments.

“They build very complicated models that have lots of different inputs into them, and the models become unpredictable if you don’t have inputs because you don’t know what the data means," he says.

Even though they risk undercutting a wobbly economy, House and Senate lawmakers have failed to find a way to turn all the government’s lights back on.

WAMU 88.5

Colson Whitehead On The Importance Of Historical Fiction In Tumultuous Times

Kojo talks with author Colson Whitehead about his new novel "The Underground Railroad" and its resonance at this particular moment in history.

NPR

Whales, Sea Turtles, Seals: The Unintended Catch Of Abandoned Fishing Gear

An endangered whale was found dead over the weekend, entangled in derelict fishing gear. Such incidents have been on the rise in recent years. A new California law aims to combat the problem.
WAMU 88.5

Rating The United States On Child Care

A majority of parents in the U.S. work outside the home. That means about 12 million children across the country require care. A new report ranks states on cost, quality and availability of child care - and says nobody is getting it right.

NPR

Tech Giants Team Up To Tackle The Ethics Of Artificial Intelligence

Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and IBM form a group to set the first industrywide best practices for the technology already powering many applications, such as voice and image recognition.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.