Economy

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From Boom To Bust: The Year In Unemployment

It may be hard to remember, but 2011 began with encouraging numbers on the jobs front. And while November's drop in unemployment provides some hope for a better job market in 2012, a look back at 2011 shows how easily that hope can be crushed.
NPR

Despite Signs Of Hope, Iowa Voters Question Economy

The economy is expected to be the No. 1 issue in next year's presidential race. But the states holding the first primary contests are not exactly typical. In Iowa, the unemployment rate is far below the national average. Jobs in small towns, however, remain scarce.
NPR

Deep Cuts Challenge Families In Frigid North

The high price of home heating oil and the arrival of frigid temperatures has people across New England struggling to pay their energy bills. It's an annual challenge in the region for poor people, and increasingly, for more middle-class families. And this winter, the struggle is even more difficult because of deep cuts to the federal home heating assistance program many depend on to get by.
NPR

Iran Ratchets Up Tension, Threatens To Cut Oil Route

The country's top admiral says his forces can easily close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, where up to 20 percent of the world's oil flows. In response, the U.S. warns that any disruption at the strait "will not be tolerated." And a Saudi official says Gulf Arab nations are ready to offset any loss of Iranian crude.
NPR

Fannie, Freddie 'Catastrophe' Began In 1991

It's been more than three years since the government bailed out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Gretchen Morgenson, of The New York Times, has co-authored a book about Fannie and Freddie called Reckless Endangerment. Morgenson talks to Linda Wertheimer about the taxpayer-owned entities.
NPR

Obama To Nominate 2 Candidates For Fed Vacancies

Harvard professor Jeremy Stein is a Democrat who served as a senior adviser to Obama's Treasury Department. Republican Jerome Powell served at Treasury under the first President Bush.
NPR

'Smart Decline': A Lifeline For Zombie Subdivisions?

With many boomtime developments now just dusty wastelands, Sun Belt suburbs like those outside Phoenix are shifting gears. Some planners argue for a radical option called "smart decline" — letting empty lots go back to nature and even, in some cases, tearing down infrastructure.

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