Economy & Innovation

Mass Transit
12:11 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Video: Big Buses To Hit The Road In June

Credit Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Ray Friem of Metro has a simple message to riders of its Grand Line: “The big buses have arrived.” 

Metro showed off its refurbished, 60-foot, articulated buses on Friday. The buses represent the transit service’s response to overcrowding on the #70 Grand Line. Metro’s busiest route is often so crowded that riders have to stand – or can't even get on.

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Economy & Innovation
5:04 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Boeing Competes to Build Pentagon's Next Military Breakthrough

The Defense Department has chosen one of Boeing’s aircraft concepts as a candidate for its Vertical Takeoff and Landing X-plane program.

The company's St. Louis-based defense branch is competing to develop an aircraft that takes off and lands vertically, hovers and efficiently flies at speeds up to 400 knots, said Garrett Kasper, a communications representative for advanced Boeing military aircraft.

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St. Louis on the Air
11:50 am
Thu March 20, 2014

North Side Redevelopment: A Conversation With Paul And Midge McKee

Paul McKee
(St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated following the show.

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Renewable energy
9:46 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Loss Of Rebate Clouds Missouri's Solar Industry

Microgrid Solar installer prepare to put panels on an O'Fallon, Missouri home.
Stephanie Zimmerman, St. Louis Public Radio

Those in Missouri’s solar industry are losing their sunny outlook.

A combination of lower solar equipment costs, a federal tax incentive, and an attractive state-mandated rebate pushed sales through the roof in 2013. The solar industry reported an additional 1,700 jobs in the state.

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Minimum Wage
4:50 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Pi Pizzeria Owner Won't Wait On Congress To Raise His Minimum Wage

Pi Pizzeria and Gringo owner Chris Sommers talks to a television reporter at one of his locations in Downtown St. Louis. Sommers will now pay all of his employees at least $10.10 an hour.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Chris Sommers is putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to the minimum wage. 

Sommers is the owner of six Pi Pizzerias restaurants and Gringo in the Central West End. Instead of waiting for Congress or the Missouri General Assembly to act, he’s heeding President Barack Obama’s call for business owners to voluntarily raise the minimum wage his employees.

Starting on April 1, everybody who works at one of Sommers’ restaurants will make at least $10.10 an hour. It’s a move Sommers said will help entry-level workers make a decent living.

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Minimum Wage
3:51 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Group Presents Minimum Wage Petitions To Sen. Blunt's Office

Shnette Hooker (L) talks with Allison Dreith of the Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition in Clayton. The two dropped off petitions to Sen. Roy Blunt's office in Clayton in favor of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Raising the minimum wage would be a big help for people like Shnette Hooker, an employee at a McDonald’s in Spanish Lake. Hooker said, it would allow people “to save a little money,” “take care of their kids” and “get off the assistance that everybody is on.” 

But more than just that, Hooker said boosting the minimum wage is a matter of fairness.

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St. Louis on the Air
9:43 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Jefferson Cowie On Economic Inequality, Organized Labor And The Working Class

St. Louis workers on strike to raise the minimum wage.
Erin Williams / St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson Cowie is a professor in Cornell University’s School of Labor and Industrial Relations teaching courses in labor relations, law and history.  His most recent book, Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class served as inspiration for Rebecca Gilman’s play, “Soups, Stews and Casseroles: 1976” which is now playing at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.  While Cowie was in St.

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Economy & Innovation
8:43 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Economy & Innovation Rundown: Unemployment And Fun With Numbers

Credit (Credit: Flickr/Andreas Klinke Johannsen

As a journalist, I admit that I am guilty of loving the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics report about the unemployment rate. I love it because it’s a clear cut report with hard numbers that seem to tell a story we can all understand; a story that says “this number of people are officially unemployed. That’s down from last month, which means the economy is getting better.”  

Simple, right?

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On the Trail
11:54 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

As Lawmakers Debate Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Syndicators Face More Scrutiny

Credit Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 3/17 at 10:30 a.m.)

State Sen. John Lamping learned two important lessons during his relatively short tenure in the Missouri General Assembly: It’s hard to pass new laws; and it’s easy to stop changes to existing ones. 

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Economy & Innovation
11:00 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

St. Louis In Line With National Trends: Youth Employment Down Sharply Since 2000

Employment rates for young people have been falling since the turn of the millennium.
Credit (Credit: Flickr/Thomas Karl Gunnarsson)

If you’re in your late teens or early twenties, here’s some news you might already know: Employment rates for those age categories plummeted in the U.S. from 2000 to 2011.

A new report from the Brookings Institution looked at the 100 largest metropolitan areas. The picture was stark for people in their late teens and early 20s.

16-19 year olds:

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