Yuki Noguchi

Yuki Noguchi is a correspondent on the Business Desk based out of NPR's headquarters in Washington D.C. Since joining NPR in 2008, she's covered business and economic news, and has a special interest in workplace issues — everything from abusive working environments, to the idiosyncratic cubicle culture. In recent years she has covered the housing market meltdown, unemployment during the Great Recession, and covered the aftermath of the tsunami in Japan in 2011. As in her personal life, however, her coverage interests are wide-ranging, and have included things like entomophagy and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Prior to joining NPR, Yuki started her career as a reporter for The Washington Post. She reported on stories mostly about business and technology, and later became an editor.

Yuki grew up with a younger brother speaking her parents' native Japanese at home. She has a degree in history from Yale.

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Business
1:31 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Identity Theft A Growing Concern For Businesses

Fake business listings and other forms of business identity theft are a growing concern, causing real business owners to worry about protecting reputations and losing customers.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

You've heard of identity theft — someone using a person's credit information or a Social Security number for ill-gotten gains. Well, experts say similar crimes are also affecting businesses.

Business identity theft involves posing as a legitimate business in order to get access to credit lines or steal customers. Experts believe that the practice has become more prevalent in the past two years.

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Business
10:01 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

New Consumer Agency Eyes Bank Overdraft Fees

Customers use Bank of America ATMs in New York. The head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it is looking into ways to help consumers limit their exposure to banks' overdraft fees.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 7:49 am

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it's looking to overhaul rules on overdraft fees. The new agency will be seeking data from banks about how they handle overdrawn accounts, and how they assess fees. The agency plans to use this information to help consumers limit their exposure to these costly charges.

The CFPB estimates that last year, banks made between $15 billion and $22 billion from overdraft fees.

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Law
10:01 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Age Discrimination Suits Jump, But Wins Are Elusive

Jack Gross filed an age discrimination suit against his employer when he was demoted in 2003. He lost his case at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 8:53 am

For older Americans looking for work, finding a job can be a tremendous challenge. Someone 55 or older will typically take three months longer to find employment than the average job seeker.

And with more people of all ages looking for work in the slow economy, age discrimination complaints are on the rise — but becoming harder to win.

Employment law experts say that has a lot to do with one particular case: Gross v. FBL Financial Services Inc.

'Persona Non Grata'

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Business
1:00 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

RIM Announces Management Shake-Up

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 4:25 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel. And it's time now for All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: Today, reinventing RIM. Research in Motion makes the once ubiquitous BlackBerry. In recent years, it's watched the iPhone and other devices take a huge bite out of its market share.

As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, the Canadian company named a new CEO today and is hoping for a turnaround.

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Cruise Ship Disaster Puts Focus On Safety Concerns

The luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia leans on its side after running aground on the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy. One maritime workers union called the disaster a "wake-up call" highlighting long-standing safety concerns and what it sees as lax regulation.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 5:50 am

The dramatic Costa Concordia accident off the coast of Italy is calling attention to the regulation of the cruise line industry. Experts say there are plenty of rules, but enforcement can be spotty.

Some of the survivors of last week's disaster described the rescue effort as chaotic and disorganized. The crew had not yet conducted a required emergency drill during the cruise.

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Technology
10:01 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Critics See 'Disaster' In Expansion Of Domain Names

mipan iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 3:28 am

Vast new tracts of the Internet are up for sale as of Thursday. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, known as ICANN, is forging ahead with plans to sell new domain categories despite some vocal opposition from regulators and advertisers.

Forget .com or .org — for a registration fee of $185,000, applicants can register a new suffix like .music, or perhaps a brand like .NPR. If you think of the Internet as virtual land, new continents are now on the block.

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Your Money
10:01 pm
Tue January 10, 2012

Credit Card Arbitration Trumps Lawsuits, Court Says

Consumers who sign credit card agreements that feature an arbitration clause cannot dispute fees or charges in court, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The 8-to-1 decision drew immediate fire from consumer advocates.

To get a credit card, a consumer generally must sign a detailed agreement. In the fine print, almost always, is an arbitration clause that says that if consumers want to dispute fees, they must do so through arbitration, not in court.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

The Real Holiday Party For Weight Loss Firms? It's Now

Jenny Craig brand ambassador and singer Mariah Carey (left) poses with Dana Fiser (right),CEO of Jenny Craig, at a press conference in New York City in November.
Cindy Ord Getty Images

The New Year is almost always happy for the weight-loss industry. When the holiday gorging ends, the resolutions to shed those extra pounds begin.

Weight Watchers North America president David Burwick says the first week of the year is the biggest week in what is typically his company's most profitable quarter.

"This is our Super Bowl," he says. "The first week of January is our Super Bowl for Weight Watchers."

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Business
10:01 pm
Thu December 29, 2011

Happy Holidays? Indeed, For Some Stuck At Work

Louise Tucker-Mitchell laughs on the phone with a customer at Enterprise Rent-A-Car at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. She says she likes working the week between Christmas and New Year's, as it's calmer and a good time to catch up.
Sara Carothers NPR

It's the last workweek of the year, and just about half of American workers have been in the office.

If that sounds like a drag, well, meet Louise Tucker-Mitchell.

She works for Enterprise Rent-A-Car at Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National Airport. For her, at least, being stuck at work between the holidays is a secret pleasure.

Things are unusually quiet. Traffic is uncharacteristically light. "This is the free time when you can sort everything out and get it done," she says.

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Business
1:42 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

'Twas The Busiest Week All Year For Shipping

Bill Ferguson, a courier for FedEx, loads his truck at a sorting facility in Chicago on Dec. 12 — the company's busiest day in its history.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 5:36 pm

This week marks the busiest time of the year for shipping services like UPS, FedEx and the Postal Service. The post office handled 600 million cards and letters alone on Tuesday, and UPS says it is delivering 300 packages per second, on average.

At one FedEx facility in Washington, D.C., the logistics of last-minute shipping are on full display.

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U.S.
2:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Corzine Claims No Knowledge Of MF Global's Missing Money

Former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine testified on Capitol Hill on Thursday day. The former New Jersey Senator and governor was subpoenaed by a congressional panel that wanted to hear how MF Global wound up in bankruptcy. Corzine apologized repeatedly but denied knowingly breaking any rules.

Economy
10:01 pm
Wed November 30, 2011

Recent Veterans Find Higher Jobless Rates On Return

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks on Capitol Hill about the Hire Heroes Act, which gives tax breaks to businesses that hire unemployed veterans. Vets that have served since 2001 face a higher unemployment rate than the population overall.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

The jobless rate has declined a bit in the last year, but among veterans who served in conflict since 2003, it is increasing. The unemployment rate for vets serving since the Iraq war began has risen 1.5 percentage points to more than 12 percent in the past year.

Many veterans say they face a tougher job market than civilians. Tom Tarantino spent a decade in the military, where he served in Iraq and led a platoon. But when he separated from the military in 2007, he spent nearly a year looking for a job.

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Business
10:01 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

The Search For Analysts To Make Sense Of 'Big Data'

Courtesy The Climate Corp

Second in a two-part series

Businesses keep vast troves of data about things like online shopping behavior, or millions of changes in weather patterns, or trillions of financial transactions — information that goes by the generic name of big data.

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Technology
1:34 am
Tue November 29, 2011

Following Digital Breadcrumbs To 'Big Data' Gold

Big data is huge in both scope and power.
Yury Kuzmin/iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 10:16 am

First of a two-part report

What do Facebook, Groupon and biotech firm Human Genome Sciences have in common? They all rely on massive amounts of data to design their products. Terabytes and even zettabytes of information about consumers or about genetic sequences can be harnessed and crunched.

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Around the Nation
1:42 pm
Fri November 25, 2011

Black Friday Madness Sweeps Across The Country

Customers shop for electronics items during Black Friday at a Best Buy in San Diego.
Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 26, 2011 5:08 am

By the time it opened at 9 p.m. Thursday night for Black Friday, the Toys R Us in New York City's Times Square had a line snaking around the corner from its entrance on 44th Street. It went on for two blocks.

Angela Jenkins was there with two of her girlfriends and no kids. "I left my boyfriend with all of our kids ... by himself," she says with a laugh.

"You gotta do what you gotta do," Jenkins says.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
2:39 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

A Bid To Bring Foreign Buyers To The Housing Market

A home in Seattle is advertised for sale in January. A housing boom 140 miles north in Vancouver, British Columbia, is being fueled by buyers from India and China, while building remains at a standstill in Seattle, one housing expert says.

Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 6:10 pm

Existing home sales and home prices declined last month, indicating the market remains in a slump. Now there's a proposal in Congress to try to change that. Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., introduced a bill Thursday that would grant U.S. tourist visas to foreign homebuyers paying with cash.

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Economy
10:01 pm
Wed October 12, 2011

U.S. Banks Can't Hide From Europe's Debt Crisis

The Congressional Research Service estimated direct U.S. banking exposure in troubled European economies at $641 billion. U.S. banks say the amount is much lower.

Sandor F. Szabo iStockPhoto.com

For months now, Europe's debt crisis has hung ominously over the U.S. markets and economy. But even as U.S. banks begin lessening their investments in Europe, it remains difficult to quantify the threat they face.

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Economy
10:01 pm
Thu October 6, 2011

Long-Term Unemployment's Strain On The Job Search

A job seeker makes a list of his skills during a workshop in Burlingame, Calif., targeted toward people who have been out of work for at least six months. According to the Labor Department, there are now more than 2 million people who have been jobless for at least two years.

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 7, 2011 10:05 am

Long-term joblessness is one of the unfortunate legacies of the recession. Earlier this year, the Labor Department started tracking longer periods of unemployment. According to that data, there are now more than 2 million people who have been jobless for at least two years, and 700,000 of those have been looking for work for at least three years.

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Economy
2:26 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Recession A Tougher Hit For The Middle-Aged

Job seekers participate in a career counseling session targeted to an over-50 demographic in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. Human resources professionals say there are fewer leadership positions available, so it may take middle-aged workers longer to find a good job.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 7:11 am

Joblessness can be particularly tough for those in middle age. The recession hit this age group hard, and they aren't getting rehired as quickly during the sluggish recovery.

Middle-aged workers face more financial demands than other age groups and are too young to retire, yet they also don't have as much time to work their way up again from the bottom rung like younger workers.

Networking For A New Job

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Politics
3:39 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

Political Divide At Congressional Hearing On Solyndra

A congressional hearing on Tuesday over a company called Solyndra became a politically charged referendum on the administration's effort to promote green energy.

Until recently, Solyndra made solar panels. It received more than half a billion dollars in government loan guarantees back in 2009. Now, the company is in bankruptcy and is being investigated by the FBI.

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Business
3:39 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

Earlier Stimulus Offers Lessons For A Second Round

President Obama called on legislators on Thursday to pass his American Jobs Act, which proposes billions of dollars in new spending on infrastructure.

"Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us an economic superpower," Obama told a joint session of Congress.

It's difficult to say exactly how much additional infrastructure spending would take place if the president's plan is approved by Congress. But experts say examining how — and if — previous stimulus projects created jobs can help maximize results for this round.

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Business
10:01 pm
Wed September 7, 2011

Yahoo Must Search For A Clear Focus, Analysts Say

Yahoo's future is up in the air. Earlier this week, the Internet company's board of directors ousted its chief executive officer, Carol Bartz, who was hired two years ago to try to revitalize Yahoo.

Though it is still very profitable, Yahoo has been losing its relevance, and it is less clear where the company is headed.

Gregory Thune, an industrial designer in San Francisco, not far from the company's Sunnyvale campus, represents one of Yahoo's biggest problems: He's never once used Yahoo.

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Economy
10:01 pm
Thu September 1, 2011

In Jobless Data, Devil May Be In Details

The Labor Department releases its reports on August unemployment on Friday. What economists are expecting is by now a familiar story: That August did not generate enough job growth to move the needle on the jobless rate. But the most intractable part of the jobless problem might be the one that doesn't show up in the numbers.

The unemployment rate is expected to tick up slightly to 9.2 percent. Two years ago, the unemployment rate was 9.5 percent.

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Economy
10:01 pm
Wed August 31, 2011

Will Consumer Queasiness Drag Down The Economy?

Customers shop for kitchen appliances at a Home Depot store in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

When it comes to the economy, there's lots to worry about: Jobs, home prices, debt. And all those concerns seemed to have come together in the latest snapshot of consumer confidence — it plunged to its lowest level in two years.

The concern is that a country full of increasingly pessimistic consumers will stop spending and undermine the recovery.

But the relationship between consumer confidence and spending habits isn't at all straightforward.

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Economy
9:43 am
Wed August 31, 2011

What's Left To Fix The Economy If It Gets Worse?

With the U.S. economy stuck in neutral, analysts are busy adjusting their forecasts to include the possibility of another recession. Most aren't predicting another downturn, they're just saying that the odds have increased.

Meanwhile, policymakers at the Federal Reserve are divided about what to do next. Some are arguing for more aggressive action while others think that would be a mistake, according to minutes from their last meeting released on Tuesday.

Both the Fed and Congress are running out of ideas that they haven't already tried.

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Business
2:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Can Apple Fly As High Without Steve Jobs?

Steve Jobs' resignation from Apple Wednesday prompted all sorts of retrospectives on the man who has run the iconic company for the last 14 years.

Jobs will remain as chairman of Apple. But what's next depends on how well Apple can recover from losing the man whose identity, for so long, was tied up with the company's.

Most companies, if they're lucky, have one great idea, but what's made Apple different is its ability to stage wildly successful second, third, and fourth acts

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Technology
10:01 pm
Mon August 22, 2011

Young Entrepreneur Has A Better Idea. Now What?

Meredith Perry demonstrates her invention at All Things Digital, an annual tech conference.
Asa Mathat AllThingsD

Originally published on Tue August 23, 2011 6:30 am

Meredith Perry turned 22 this month. She just graduated from college and started a new company built around a technology she recently invented.

There's plenty of bad economic news these days, but Perry and her company, called UBeam, are trying to defy it — she's hiring and entertaining funding offers from investors.

Perry's invention: a transmitter that can recharge wireless devices using ultrasonic waves. It's like Wi-Fi, she says, except instead of a wireless Internet connection, her's transmits power over the air.

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Economy
3:03 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

Fears Over Europe, U.S. Weigh On Banks, Markets

Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America all have billions of dollars invested in troubled European countries.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The stock market is at it again. After bouncing back last week, there was a huge sell-off Thursday.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 419 points — more than 3.5 percent on the day — and once again, Europe's debt crisis was a big factor. It's affecting European banks which, in turn, affect the U.S. financial sector.

European bank stocks had lost as much as 14 percent of their value by the time the U.S. markets opened.

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Economy
10:01 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

Why Does The U.S. Sneeze When Europe Gets A Cold?

The crisis in Europe is one of the underlying causes of recent wild swings in U.S. stock markets. U.S. bank stocks in particular suffer badly with any sign that Europe's debt crisis might be worsening.

But the U.S. financial sector's vulnerabilities in Europe are hard to quantify.

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Economy
10:01 pm
Sun August 14, 2011

Oh, The Nerve: Betting On Fear In A Volatile Market

A trader studies his computer screen in the VIX pit at the Chicago Board Options Exchange on April 27.
Brian Kersey Getty Images

If being invested in a wildly unpredictable stock market freaks you out right now, you're definitely not alone.

In fact, there's an index to measure that nervousness, and even trade on it. It's called the Volatility Index, or VIX, but it also goes by another name: the fear gauge. And during times like these, the VIX draws lots of attention.

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