Marilyn Geewax

Marilyn Geewax is a senior editor, assigning and editing business radio stories. She also serves as the national economics correspondent for the NPR web site, and regularly discusses economic issues on Tell Me More and Here & Now.

Her work contributed to NPR's 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award for hard news for "The Foreclosure Nightmare." Geewax also worked on the foreclosure-crisis coverage that was recognized with a 2009 Heywood Broun Award.

Before to joining NPR in 2008, Geewax served as the national economics correspondent for Cox Newspapers' Washington Bureau. Before that, she worked at Cox's flagship paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, first as a business reporter and then as a columnist and editorial board member. She got her start as a reporter for the Akron Beacon Journal.

Over the years, she has filed business news stories from China, Japan, South Africa and Europe.

Geewax was a 1994-95 Nieman Fellow at Harvard, where she studied economics and international relations. She earned a master's degree at Georgetown University, focusing on international economic affairs, and has a bachelor's degree in journalism from The Ohio State University.

Pages

Business
4:28 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

DOJ Suit Seen Delaying, Not Killing Big Airline Merger

A United Airlines jet takes off behind a US Airways jet at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Tuesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

The government's decision Tuesday to oppose the merger of US Airways and American Airlines stunned airline analysts, but many predicted the deal eventually will win go through.

"Given that other airline mergers were approved, this was a surprise," University of Richmond transportation economist George Hoffer said. Other major carriers already have been allowed to combine forces, so "it's illogical to oppose this merger. This move comes a day late and a dollar short," he said.

Read more
Business
11:06 am
Fri August 2, 2013

U.S. Job Growth Slows A Bit As Wages Shrink

Employees and supporters demonstrate Monday outside of a Wendy's fast-food restaurant in New York City to demand higher pay and the right to form a union. Incomes have been stagnant, especially for minimum-wage workers.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 12:10 pm

Employers added 162,000 workers in July, and the U.S. unemployment rate slipped to 7.4 percent, the lowest level since December 2008, the Labor Department said Friday.

But while the number of jobs did increase, the hiring pace was slower than in the spring, marking a setback for unemployed Americans who had hoped for a better summer.

Read more
Business
2:02 am
Thu August 1, 2013

As Back-To-School Shopping Begins, Consumers May Turn Frugal

Chris Viehland helps her daughter Jenna try on shoes for the new school year at a Famous Footwear store in Fenton, Mo., Aug. 9, 2012.
Christian Gooden MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 5:01 pm

As August begins, retailers are stepping up sales promotions to attract back-to-school shoppers. And several states are offering tax-free shopping to encourage purchases.

But most economists say this year's sales will be slower than last summer's because consumers have been coping with more expensive gasoline and higher payroll taxes.

Read more
Economy
7:29 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Part-Time Workers Say Schedules Are Getting More Erratic

Part-time jobs have been proliferating this year as employers hold back on hiring.
iStockphoto.com

In the 1980s, a popular fast-food commercial touted chicken-breast sandwiches — and mocked chicken nuggets sold by competitors.

In the ad, a competitor's doofus clerk explains nuggets. "All the parts are crammed into one big part," he said. "And parts is parts."

Read more
Business
2:27 am
Sun July 14, 2013

Baggage Fees Turn Five Years Old; Passengers Turn Blase

A traveler collects his bag from a luggage carousel in the Philadelphia International Airport in 2011. Baggage fees have helped financially desperate carriers stay aloft.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 11:41 am

Hey, baggage fees — happy fifth birthday!

Even if passengers aren't eager to celebrate, airlines are. The fees, born in 2008, helped financially desperate carriers stay aloft as the U.S. economy was spiraling down.

"That was a watershed year that scared the bejeezus out of the airline industry," said Mark Gerchick, an aviation consultant who has just released a book, Full Upright and Locked Position. Even as ticket sales were sliding, jet fuel prices were shooting to historic highs.

Read more
Business
12:00 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Does The Canadian Rail Explosion Make Pipelines Look Safer?

A police photograph shows burned and wrecked crude oil carrying rail tankers piled up in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, on Monday. Dozens of people died in the disaster.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 12:48 pm

When an oil-laden train derailed last weekend, it turned into an inferno that killed dozens in Lac-Megantic, a small town in Quebec.

This week, the Canadian tragedy is morphing into something very different. It is becoming Exhibit A in the political case for building pipelines — as well as for opposing them.

How could the same tragedy prove opposite points? Listen in to the debate:

Read more
Business
1:32 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Smithfield Says Pork Won't Change, But Some Aren't Buying It

A Smithfield ham at a grocery store in Richardson, Texas, in 2011. Some senators expressed qualms Wednesday about the intentions of Shuanghui International Holdings, which is buying Smithfield Foods.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 9:08 am

Americans will get the same ham slabs and bacon slices they have enjoyed for generations, even after Smithfield Foods becomes a Chinese subsidiary, Smithfield CEO Larry Pope told Congress on Wednesday.

"It will be the same old Smithfield, only better," Pope said at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing.

But several senators weren't buying the bacon-will-be-unbroken story once Hong Kong-based Shuanghui International Holdings owns Smithfield.

Read more
Business
10:57 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Four Years Into Recovery, Are We Well Yet?

Jeff Caldwell checks a vehicle on the assembly line at the Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit in May. U.S. auto sales rose last month to their fastest pace since 2007.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 2:30 pm

The next couple of days will bring fireworks, hot dogs — and a new unemployment report.

At least the first two will be fun.

As for Friday's job-market assessment, the Labor Department report likely will show little or no change in the 7.6 percent unemployment rate. "There is still a general weakness in the labor market," says Daniel North, economist with Euler Hermes, a credit insurance company.

Read more
Business
2:02 am
Thu June 20, 2013

If Supplies Of Oil Are Up, Why Is Gas Still Pricey?

Jim White of Pennsylvania pumps gas at a BP station in Ocala, Fla., in April. The price of gasoline remains stubbornly high, which may put a crimp on summer travel plans.
Doug Engle Ocala Star-Banner / Landov

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 7:00 pm

Supplies of oil have been surging this year, and U.S. drivers, who have been switching to more fuel-efficient cars, are using less gasoline.

That would seem to be the right economic combination to push down prices at the pump, but gasoline prices have remained stubbornly high this summer.

Even some people in the industry are wondering whether the law of supply and demand somehow has been repealed.

Read more
Business
9:54 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Economists To G-8: Want Growth? Try This

A 2013 Accord is ready to come off the line at the Honda automobile plant in Marysville, Ohio, in 2012. Accords built at the 4,400-employee plant are shipped to South Korea — an example of the importance of trade to manufacturing jobs.
Paul Vernon Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:13 am

If economists were cheerleaders, their favorite shout-out might be: "What do we want? Growth! When do we want it? Now!"

They won't actually shout those words, but they may be thinking them as global leaders meet this week for a G-8 summit. Economists are hoping that at the gathering in Northern Ireland, leaders of eight major economies will discuss expanding global trade and investment to spur job creation.

Read more
Economy
10:58 am
Fri June 7, 2013

No Big Waves In The Labor Pool

Shoppers walk along Broadway in New York City. Retailers added 28,000 in May amid signs of strength in consumer spending.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 12:44 pm

June is a nice month for treading water — if you happen to be in a swimming pool.

But if you are in the labor pool and trying to make your way toward a job, a stronger current in the right direction would be appreciated.

Unfortunately, the jobs report released Friday by the Labor Department showed that the economy continues to drift along at a languid pace.

Read more
Business
10:14 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Can A Huge Hog Deal Pose A National Security Risk?

Smithfield hams hang outside the Taste of Smithfield restaurant and gourmet market in Smithfield, Va. Shuanghui International Holdings plans to buy Smithfield Foods, the world's biggest hog producer.
Rich-Joseph Facun Reuters/Landov

Americans do love their bacon, but is that romance a national security issue?

Maybe.

This week, China's biggest pork producer announced plans to buy Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc. Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa wants a national security review by an interagency panel known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS.

Read more
Business
2:21 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

What's Under Youngstown May Help What's On Top

By leasing land for drilling, city leaders in Youngstown, Ohio, hope to generate funds to demolish vacant buildings.
M.L. Schultze for NPR

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 6:18 pm

A century ago, when fiery steel mills were roaring to life in Youngstown, Ohio, builders were racing to put up homes, storefronts, barbershops and more.

Today, many of those buildings sit empty and rotting. With the mills mostly gone and the population down 60 percent from 1960, to just 67,000, the city needs millions of dollars to tear down roughly 4,000 vacant structures.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

U.S. Airlines Forecast A Sunnier Summer

More passengers are expected to fly on U.S. airlines this summer, an industry group said Thursday.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 3:53 pm

After a long bumpy ride that started five years ago, the domestic airline industry seems to be pulling up and smoothing out.

The number of passengers planning to fly this summer will tick up 1 percent from 2012, climbing back to the highest level since 2008, an industry group said Thursday.

The airlines' profit outlook is also brighter, as jet fuel prices have settled down a bit. Passenger complaints are quieting down, too.

Read more
Business
10:12 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Comp Time Or Cold Cash. Which Would You Pick?

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 12:19 pm

Overtime or comp time? Which one suits you best?

Both you and your boss may agree it would be best for you to work a sixth day when a big project is due in March, and then take off for a long weekend in June. No big deal.

But under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, private employers must pay time and a half to workers who put in more than 40 hours on the job in any one week.

Read more
U.S.
12:53 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Flight Delays Push Congress To End Controller Furloughs

Travelers stand in line at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday. Congress moved quickly this week to give the Federal Aviation Administration flexibility to end air traffic controller furloughs that resulted in flight delays at several airports.
Damian Dovarganes AP

The U.S. Congress — a body not exactly known for its swift feet — raced Friday to complete legislation to help travelers avoid delays at airports.

The House voted 361-41 to approve legislation that the Senate passed without objection late Thursday. The bill gives the Federal Aviation Administration more spending flexibility to cut its budget while avoiding furloughs of air traffic controllers.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Still In The Middle Class, But Standing On A Banana Peel

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:01 pm

Most U.S. workers fit snugly into the middle class, but they worry a lot about falling out of it, according to a poll released Thursday.

After years of watching home prices slide and job creation stall, 6 in 10 Americans say they fear tumbling from the middle class in the next few years, the Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll suggests.

Read more
Business
4:28 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Airport Delays Raise Questions About Controller Furloughs

Passengers check their flight status at Los Angeles International airport on Monday. The FAA said staffing cuts were causing delays in the Eastern U.S.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Some air travelers faced delays Monday as furloughs of air traffic controllers began taking effect.

Read more
The Changing Lives Of Women
11:47 am
Sun April 21, 2013

An Exploration Of The Changing Lives Of Women

Graphic designer Kaleena Porter sits with her dog, Moby, in the living room of her new home in Washington, D.C.
Marie McGrory NPR

Many revolutions begin with the sound of explosions and marching boots.

Now, another revolution is shaking up the world, and it's moving forward to the beep of alarm clocks and the clack of heels heading out.

Legions of women around the world are leaving their homes to join the paid labor force. Worldwide, 4 in 10 paid workers are female; in the coming decade, an estimated 1 billion more women will enter the formal workforce, pushing up economic growth.

Read more
Business
6:28 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Tax Tips For Procrastinators, And You Know Who You Are

A customer goes over tax documents at a post office in New York City on last year's Tax Day.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 11:40 am

Still haven't filed your taxes, eh?

Well, you have until 11:59 p.m. Monday to get it all done — or at least file for an extension that gets you off the hook until Oct. 15. To help all of you procrastinators, here are answers to a few of your questions.

If I'm filing by mail, can I come skidding into the post office at 11:58 p.m. and still make the deadline?

Read more
Your Money
5:46 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Will You Be Chained To A Smaller Check In Retirement?

Opponents of President Obama's expected proposed changes to Social Security rallied at the White House on Tuesday. Among them were lawmakers like Minnesota Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan.
J. David Ake AP

When President Obama on Wednesday unveils his blueprint for the government's 2014 budget, he'll offer lots of ideas for changes in taxes and spending.

But the proposal likely to grab the most attention will be the one dealing with cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security recipients. Many economists would applaud a change in the way Social Security officials measure inflation, but many older Americans may hiss, fearing a new formula will cut their benefits.

Read more
Economy
9:43 am
Fri April 5, 2013

U.S. Job Growth Slows As Jobless Face Benefit Cuts

Applicants complete forms at a job fair in Newark, N.J. Weak U.S. job growth comes at the same time benefits for the long-term unemployed are shrinking.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Sat April 6, 2013 3:55 pm

The 11.7 million Americans searching for work got discouraging news Friday morning when the Labor Department said employers created only 88,000 jobs in March. The weak job growth comes at the same time benefits for the long-term unemployed are shrinking.

The smaller-than-expected increase in payrolls was a big disappointment, coming after a long stretch of much better results. Over the past year, employment growth has averaged 169,000 jobs a month.

Read more
Business
6:16 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Cheap Natural Gas Pumping New Life Into U.S. Factories

A worker hooks up pipe during natural gas drilling by EnerVest on the Barnett Shale near Fort Worth, Texas, in 2012.
Ron Jenkins MCT /Landov

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 4:13 pm

The millions of Americans who lost factory jobs over the past decade may find this hard to believe, but U.S. manufacturing is coming back to life.

The chest compressions are applied by the pumping of cheap, domestic natural gas.

Read more
Crisis In The Housing Market
11:29 am
Thu March 21, 2013

You Be The Judge: Is The Housing Market Really Improving?

A home for sale in Glenview, Ill. Existing-home sales hit the highest level in more than 3 years in February. But not everyone is convinced that the housing sector's momentum has staying power.
Nam Y. Huh AP

This week, optimists had no trouble finding fresh evidence to suggest that the housing market is recovering.

Read more
Business
3:15 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Why The Crisis In Cyprus May End Up Hurting You Too

Cypriots protest an EU bailout deal outside the parliament in Nicosia on Monday. A proposed bailout deal would slap a levy on all Cypriot bank savings.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 11:28 am

Ask Americans to point out Cyprus, and most would have to spin a globe several times before noticing the small island nation, east of Greece and south of Turkey.

But whether or not you have ever given a thought to the 1.1 million people living there under the warm Mediterranean sun, Cyprus might send a chill up your spine this week.

Read more

Pages