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Economy

 

Clean solar concentrator
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Solar Power: Can the blazing demand for it be sustained?

Solar Power:  Sometimes a theme won’t take no for an answer; it keeps bubbling up here and there demanding to be recognized. A couple of weeks ago, a tradesman recommended a solar-powered charger for one of my electric-powered household gadgets.  Then I came across this story about solar-powered smartphone-charging park benches.  A few blocks down […]

Alibaba orange shopping bags. The company has almost single-handedly turned China into the world’s second-largest e-commerce market. Photo: Bloomberg
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Alibaba’s mega-IPO highlights evolving e-commerce scene

Talk about “party like it’s 1999.”   The upcoming IPO from e-commerce giant Alibaba is going to smash records for initial public offerings at an already sold-out $21.1 billion, according to Reuters, and it brings back memories of the good old days when stock buyers were clamoring for shares of other Internet sellers like Amazon, eBay, […]

Getting the unemployment story right
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Getting the unemployment story right

Homey is back from vacation with the same mandate. As Yoda would say, “Butt, I will kick. Names, I will take.” As I write the unemployment report for August has come out. At all too many places, the emphasis will be placed on the unemployment rate, which fell 0.1 percentage point to 6.1 percent. The […]

Labor Day activities boating
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Chronicle the changing nature of jobs for a fresh take on Labor Day

With Labor Day only a week away, you may be pondering ways to commemorate the holiday, which was first observed in September 1882 in New York City, according to an account on the U.S. Department of Labor website. In the ensuing 132 years, the ebb and flow of the organized labor / collective bargaining movements […]

Ongoing Ferguson strife highlights economic, business concerns elsewhere
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Ongoing Ferguson strife highlights economic, business concerns elsewhere

The ongoing civil unrest in Ferguson, Mo., sparked by the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown, seems a bit of a stretch as a premise for business coverage. But with no end in sight to the confrontations and headlines – especially in light of another shooting on Tuesday in the St. Louis area – and […]

Will Santa's sleigh be full of drones this year?
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Will Santa’s sleigh be full of drones this year?

OK, it’s the first week in August and I’m going to go on record as predicting one of the hot gifts of the coming holiday season:  Personal drones. In fact, for the selfie-obsessed who want to take it to the next level, there’s the just-out Air Dog, a drone that follows its owner everwhere, shooting […]

Cronkite News Watch student reporter
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Reynolds Foundation establishes university-based business newsroom

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is establishing what will be the only university-based business newsroom in the country producing daily business and economic coverage for regional and national media outlets. The student business newsroom will open in January and is being funded through a $1 million grant […]

Will Family Dollar-Dollar Tree merger affect the local discount store scene?
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Will Family Dollar-Dollar Tree merger affect the local discount store scene?

Buzzing around on a little road trip recently, I was intrigued by the number of dollar stores occupying prime real estate in the small Midwestern towns and villages along my route.  Then I got home, flipped open a mass-market women’s magazine and noted that the fashion spread not only featured ensembles from major department stores […]

FRED graph employment
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What a friend we have in FRED

Mark Twain noted that there are “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Fraud with numbers is something business journalists should always be alert to. But there are gold-standard statistics that no one outside the lunatic fringe questions. And the top place to find them is on the FRED site run by the Federal Reserve Bank of […]