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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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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Economy
1:00 pm
Tue August 9, 2011

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.

Economy
2:08 pm
Mon August 8, 2011

How Much Do Debt Ratings Matter?

President Obama signs the financial reform bill into law in 2010 as Vice President Joe Biden and lawmakers look on.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Standard & Poor's moved to downgrade housing lenders Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and a handful of insurance companies Monday — all in connection to Friday's credit downgrade of long-term U.S. debt.

There's a lot of speculation about how much these risk downgrades are weighing on stock markets, and whether they will continue to ripple through the economy. But, there are systemic reasons ratings matter less than they have in recent years.

Conventional wisdom says a U.S. downgrade would make Treasuries riskier. It would make yields — or interest rates — rise.

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Economy
1:48 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Double Dip: Is U.S. Headed For Another Recession?

Stock markets plummeted Thursday amid growing worries about the U.S. economy and Europe's mounting debt problems. In late-afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down nearly 500 points, or 4 percent, and other indexes saw similar drops.

The U.S. economy barely grew in the first half of the year. And economists aren't expecting good news about jobs from the Labor Department on Friday.

These indicators and more are raising questions about whether the United States is headed for a double-dip recession

No Growth 'Surge' In Sight

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Economy
2:03 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Despite Deal, Credit Downgrade Still A Possibility

Congress' tentative deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling calls for more than $2 trillion in spending cuts, far short of the $4 trillion in deficit reductions proposed earlier in the process.

And that keeps the doors open to a potential downgrade in the country's credit rating. Of the three major ratings agencies, Standard & Poor's toed the hardest line on a possible downgrade to U.S. debt.

Last month, S&P said there was a 50 percent chance the U.S. could lose its top AAA rating if Congress failed to come up with a "credible agreement to reduce the debt."

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