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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12:01am

Thu December 1, 2011
Economy

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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12:01am

Wed November 30, 2011
Business

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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3:34am

Tue November 29, 2011
Technology

Following Digital Breadcrumbs To 'Big Data' Gold

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 12:16 pm

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

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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8:00am

Sat November 26, 2011
Business

Early Receipts Indicate A Happier Holiday Season

Originally published on Sat November 26, 2011 5:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The holiday shopping season started even earlier this year in hopes that consumers would spend more in these economic times. Macy's, Toy R Us, Target, all moved up their opening times - in some cases to Thanksgiving Day. Joining us now to talk about Black Friday is NPR correspondent Yuki Noguchi. You've been reporting the scenes in stores. What can you tell us about the volume of shopping?

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3:42pm

Fri November 25, 2011
Around the Nation

Black Friday Madness Sweeps Across The Country

Originally published on Sat November 26, 2011 7:08 am

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

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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4:00am

Fri November 18, 2011
Politics

House Panel Questions Chu About Solyndra Loan

Energy Secretary Steven Chu appeared before a House oversight subcommittee Thursday to defend his agency's decision to lend $500 million in federal money to Solyndra, a company that made solar panels and is now bankrupt. The company is the subject of numerous federal investigations.

12:01am

Wed November 16, 2011
Energy

Solyndra Highlights Long History Of Energy Subsidies

Originally published on Wed November 16, 2011 2:11 pm

Windmills and solar panels in Atlantic City, N.J., power a wastewater treatment plant, with surplus energy going to the area power grid. Solar and wind energy companies receive $370 million in federal subsidies annually, which is less than 1 percent of what oil and gas industries receive.
Mel Evans AP

When Energy Secretary Steven Chu appears on Capitol Hill on Thursday to defend the Obama administration's solar energy subsidy program, he will face questions about the solar panel firm Solyndra, which went belly up this summer.

The Energy Department has drawn stiff criticism over a government loan guarantee program that lent the company half a billion dollars, but the government has a long history of subsidizing many forms of energy.

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4:00am

Mon November 14, 2011
Business

Analysts Have Rosy Outlook For 2011 Holiday Sales

Analysts are predicting a fairly good year for retailers over the holiday season. Those sales are expected to increase 3 percent overall and go up 15 percent for online retailers. Plus, this is the first year tablets like the iPad may make an impact on the retail landscape.

8:43am

Fri November 4, 2011
Business

MF Global CEO Steps Down

Originally published on Fri November 4, 2011 10:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Jon Corzine out of a job.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: The Wall Street veteran and former governor of New Jersey stepped down today from his latest high-powered job as chairman and CEO of the securities firm MF Global. That company filed for bankruptcy earlier this week.

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3:00pm

Fri October 28, 2011
NPR Story

Believing In The Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals' victory means joy and rapture for NPR's Yuki Noguchi. But lest you think it's all about the skill of players, there's a lot of superstitious ritual involved.

4:34am

Fri October 28, 2011
Economy

The Rising Cost Of Doing Business With Greece

Greek's economic problems work their way down the supply chain to people like Kosta Bouyoukas, who imports olives and other foods from Greece. He says suppliers are changing the terms of contracts, and sometimes products don't show up at all.

Helga Csenki iStockphoto.com

As details of the Greek debt deal passed by the European Union Wednesday are worked out, some businesses in the U.S. continue to grapple with the ripple effects of the prolonged debt crisis.

The EU hopes the debt deal will contain Europe's debt problems, and the problem countries will now start their work of implementing fiscal reforms — which has proved troublesome, especially in Greece.

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4:39pm

Fri October 21, 2011
Crisis In The Housing Market

A Bid To Bring Foreign Buyers To The Housing Market

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 8:10 pm

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

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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4:00am

Tue October 18, 2011
Election 2012

Cain's 9-9-9 Plan Gets Positive Voter Reaction

Herman Cain's simplified tax plan has vaulted him into the spotlight and has sent his poll numbers soaring. But do people actually know much about the Republican presidential candidate's 9-9-9 tax plan, and how it would affect them?

12:01am

Thu October 13, 2011
Economy

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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12:01am

Fri October 7, 2011
Economy

Long-Term Unemployment's Strain On The Job Search

Originally published on Fri October 7, 2011 12:05 pm

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

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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4:26am

Wed September 28, 2011
Economy

Recession A Tougher Hit For The Middle-Aged

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 9:11 am

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

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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4:00am

Thu September 22, 2011
Business

Google Chief Defends Company's Search Practices

Google critics accuse the company of playing favorites with its search results. Google executives have always denied this, but the accusations haven't gone away. Eric Schmidt, the company's chairman, was on Capitol Hill Wednesday to answer questions about the company's business practices.

4:00am

Wed September 21, 2011
Business

Senate Panel To Examine Google's Competitive Streak

Google CEO Eric Schmidt testifies before a Senate subcommittee on Wednesday. The panel is examining whether the Internet giant is stifling competition. The European Commission and the Federal Trade Commission have opened inquiries into Google's business practices.

5:39pm

Wed September 14, 2011
Politics

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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5:39pm

Fri September 9, 2011
Business

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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12:01am

Thu September 8, 2011
Business

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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12:01am

Fri September 2, 2011
Economy

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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12:01am

Thu September 1, 2011
Economy

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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11:43am

Wed August 31, 2011
Economy

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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4:01pm

Thu August 25, 2011
Business

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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12:01am

Tue August 23, 2011
Technology

Young Entrepreneur Has A Better Idea. Now What?

Originally published on Tue August 23, 2011 8:30 am

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

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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5:03pm

Thu August 18, 2011
Economy

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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12:01am

Thu August 18, 2011
Economy

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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12:01am

Mon August 15, 2011
Economy

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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3:00pm

Tue August 9, 2011
Economy

Markets Volatile As Fed Makes Announcement

Domestic and foreign markets are still reacting to Standard & Poor's downgrade of the U.S. debt. And now states and cities are seeing their risk assessments lowered.

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