Scott Horsley

Scott Horsley is NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent. He reports on ups and downs in the national economy as well as fault lines between booming and busting communities.

Horsley spent a decade on the White House beat, covering both the Trump and Obama administrations. Before that, he was a San Diego-based business reporter for NPR, covering fast food, gasoline prices, and the California electricity crunch of 2000. He also reported from the Pentagon during the early phases of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before joining NPR in 2001, Horsley worked for NPR Member stations in San Diego and Tampa, as well as commercial radio stations in Boston and Concord, New Hampshire. Horsley began his professional career as a production assistant for NPR's Morning Edition.

Horsley earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and an MBA from San Diego State University. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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The used car market in Jacksonville continued its upward spike in June with prices up 39.8%, according to iSeeCars, which said that translates into an average increase of $8,473 over the same period last year.

Bob Sinner, a specialty soybean producer in North Dakota, has a major problem on his hands: He has plenty of beans, but he's struggling to ship them to his customers overseas, and his deliveries are running at least a month and a half behind schedule.

"We've had customers in Asia that have had to stop their operations waiting for supply," Sinner says. "Our farmers need to get their storage facilities emptied because we have a new crop that's coming in September, October. We have to get this product moving."

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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is calling for the child tax credit expansion to be made permanent as the first installment of the monthly allowance was delivered to parents' bank accounts this week.

Under the Biden administration's American Rescue Plan passed by Congress in March, parents are set to receive $250 to $300 per child every month for the rest of this year. The first of those monthly payments, totaling $15 billion, were delivered on Thursday.

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Surging prices for used cars have been a major driver of inflation this year. Now, there are signs those price hikes may be shifting into reverse — and that could provide important clues about where inflation is headed next.

The prices dealers pay for used cars at massive auctions across the country finally dipped in June after hitting record highs in each of the four previous months, according to the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index.

It's been a roller-coaster ride for lumber prices over the last year – and it's drawn outsize attention from the aisles of Home Depot to the Federal Reserve.

Lumber prices surged to record highs this year on the back of booming demand from homebuilders and do-it-yourselfers with plenty of time on their hands. The price surge was so big and sudden, it became a symbol of what some economists feared: rampant inflation.

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The pace of hiring is picking up but not as quickly as many employers would like. The Labor Department said this morning that employers added 850,000 jobs in June. Many businesses say they'd like to hire more folks if they had more applicants.

Solstice Wood Fire Pizza in Hood River, Ore., made it through the depths of the pandemic. And now that Americans are eating out and doing all the things that had been off-limits, this should be a booming time for owner Aaron Baumhackl.

Instead, Baumhackl is facing an unexpected problem. He's struggling to find all the workers he needs to churn out his pizzas, and he's losing valuable business.

"The demand is like we've never seen before," says Baumhackl. "It would have been a record-breaking year."

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John Nephew thought he had a winner with a new tabletop game called Dice Miner. Importing the games from China turned out to be its own roll of the dice.

Nephew, founder of Atlas Games in Duluth, Minn., ordered a 40-foot cargo container full of games from Shanghai in December, anticipating delivery in about six weeks.

Updated June 16, 2021 at 5:19 PM ET

The Federal Reserve will continue pumping money into the economy despite a sharp jump in consumer prices.

The central bank said Wednesday it would leave interest rates near zero and maintain its aggressive program of bond purchases in hopes of encouraging a faster rebound from the pandemic recession.

"We at the Fed will do everything we can to support the economy for as long as it takes to complete the recovery," Fed chairman Jerome Powell told reporters Wednesday.

Updated June 10, 2021 at 9:56 AM ET

Prices for a lot of things are surging across the U.S., and John McConnell's recent car-shopping experience helps explain why.

McConnell, from Colorado Springs, Colo., was recently looking for a Toyota Tacoma to replace his two-year-old Nissan Altima and was shocked to see the one he wanted priced several thousand dollars above the sticker price.

He plans to buy it anyway.

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Updated June 12, 2021 at 6:35 AM ET

The United States is about to embark on a big national experiment with 4 million unemployed workers serving as guinea pigs. And it all centers on $300 a week.

That payment was intended as a lifeline for millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic: an extra $300 a week on top of regular unemployment benefits.

Updated June 4, 2021 at 1:21 PM ET

Hiring picked up steam last month, providing a mild shot of relief to an economy that needs workers as millions of Americans start to venture out again.

U.S. employers added 559,000 jobs in May. That's about twice the number of jobs that were added during a disappointing April but is still a slowdown compared with the 770,000 jobs created in March.

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The 1970s are starting to trend – for all the wrong reasons.

Today, prices for everything from gasoline to groceries are surging as the economy roars back from the pandemic recession. And that's raising concerns in some quarters about whether the United States is headed back to the awful economic days of the 1970s, when the country was gripped by double-digit inflation that required painful action by the Federal Reserve.

President Biden wants the government to measure the financial fallout of a changing climate on American families, businesses and the federal government.

On Thursday, Biden signed an executive order compelling key regulators including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to assess the risks that a changing climate poses to the U.S. financial system.

It also suggests the Council make recommendations within six months on steps to reduce those risks.

Updated May 7, 2021 at 1:18 PM ET

Hiring unexpectedly slowed last month as businesses struggled to keep pace with booming demand from newly vaccinated customers.

U.S. employers added just 266,000 jobs in April, according to a monthly snapshot from the Labor Department. It was the weakest month of job growth since January.

Beverly Pickering says her neighbors in suburban Detroit are hitting the road. And that's good news for her pet sitting business.

"I have people going to California, Florida, the Carolinas — all over the country," she said. "It's travel, travel, travel. It's just exploded."

From iPads to dresses, Americans flush with cash are stepping up their spending, helping turbo-charge the U.S. economy.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that personal income jumped 21.1% in March — the largest increase on record as the government sent out $1,400 relief payments as part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue effort.

Personal spending also jumped by 4.2%. The stimulus checks arrived at a time of rising hope as coronavirus vaccines continue to roll out.

Lowes plans to hire more than 50,000 workers nationwide.
Lowes

Lowes has announced it will be hiring nearly 550 new employees across its Jacksonville stores during the company’s national hiring day on Tuesday.

Updated April 29, 2021 at 8:43 AM ET

The U.S. economy expanded at a rapid pace in the first three months of the year, setting the stage for what's expected to be the strongest annual growth in nearly four decades.

When the pandemic hit last year, Andrew Leckie, who runs half a dozen restaurants and a catering company in Edmonds, Wash., was forced to lay off more than 200 employees.

Demand for his oysters and craft cocktails had dried up and his businesses were in trouble until a program intended to provide loans to small businesses like his came to his rescue.

"I don't think there's any way we would have been able to withstand the financial challenges that existed without this money," Leckie says.

Updated April 15, 2021 at 4:52 PM ET

Signs of an economic boom are emerging as Americans open up their wallets to spend freely.

Retail sales soared 9.8% in March, according to a report Thursday from the Commerce Department. The increase follows a 2.7% slump in February, which analysts blamed partly on severe winter weather.

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Prices for some of your favorite things are going up. The big question is how long the price hikes will last.

Consumer prices rose 0.6% in March, according to the Labor Department — the sharpest increase in nearly nine years. Higher gasoline prices account for nearly half the increase, but prices for hotel rooms, baseball tickets and haircuts were also higher.

The United States may just become the engine of global economic growth this year, according to a new forecast released Tuesday by the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF expects the U.S. economy will grow 6.4% this year, its strongest growth in decades. That's faster than the 5.1% growth it was projecting just two months ago and nearly double the growth rate it predicted in October.

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