Low interest rates have sparked a record wave of mortgage activity, and the need for more people to process the paperwork. Mortgage employment rose by 9 percent this year, to its highest level since the financial crisis in 2008.
In the coming year, the USDA predicts that American corn exports will be at a 40-year low. That's because the U.S. drought has led to a corn shortage and high domestic corn prices. To adapt, grain exporters have had to change their business models.
The fiscal cliff has economists and politicians in a tailspin. The term is used to describe what will happen if Congress fails to come to an agreement on budget cuts or tax increases by the end of the year. Some say the term is inaccurate, and somewhat alarmist. Linda Wertheimer talks to linguist and Boston Globe language columnist Ben Zimmer about the origin of the term fiscal cliff.
Hostess Brands and its second-largest have agreed to a day of mediation to see if they can end a strike by bakers and prevent the company from shutting down. The parties will meet Tuesday with a bankruptcy judge. He announced on Monday that he wasn't ready to approve a liquidation.
This year American consumers are expected to take advantage of retailers' holiday promotions and spend big on gifts for themselves. Fifty-nine percent of shoppers polled plan to "self-gift" — the highest number in a retail industry survey's 10-year history.
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