Scott Horsley

Three U.S.-based economists will share this year's Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for their innovative work with "natural experiments" – events or policy changes in real life that allow researchers to analyze their impact on society.

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Three economists are sharing this year's Nobel Prize for their work on so-called natural experiments, including how changes in the minimum wage affect the labor market. NPR's Scott Horsley is here with details. Hey, Scott.

Updated October 8, 2021 at 10:59 AM ET

A few months ago, forecasters thought September would be a banner month for hiring.

Schools would reopen, freeing parents to go back to work. Supplemental unemployment benefits that some employers blamed for keeping workers on the sidelines would expire. Most importantly, widespread vaccinations would put the pandemic in the rearview mirror.

It hasn't exactly worked out that way.

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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned lawmakers Tuesday that the federal government could run short of cash to pay its bills by Oct. 18 unless Congress acts quickly to increase the government's borrowing authority.

The warning, at an appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, comes amid a standoff in Congress over the so-called debt ceiling. Senate Republicans blocked a measure to increase or suspend the debt ceiling on Monday.

Updated September 22, 2021 at 4:46 PM ET

Federal Reserve policymakers now think inflation will run hotter than previously expected this year, but the central bank still believes price hikes will moderate in 2022 as pandemic pressures fade.

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Nicole Wolter runs a factory in Wauconda, Ill., that makes gears and pulleys used in a variety of industrial equipment. She has plenty of orders, but she's straining to get all the parts she needs – and that's creating trouble across the supply chain.

"I'm getting phone calls of 'Hey, you're holding up a $5 million machine,'" says Wolter, adding that customers sometimes offer to pay for overtime in her factory or next-day air delivery. "I think there's just that air of desperation."

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Updated September 14, 2021 at 8:48 AM ET

Prices for beef, pork and chicken have surged during the pandemic, and the Biden administration believes it knows who's partly behind it: a handful of big meatpacking companies that control most of the country's supply.

Beef prices alone jumped 12.2% over the last year, according to new consumer inflation data on Tuesday, making it one of the costliest items in the surging bills that consumers face today at the grocery store.

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Hiring slowed sharply in August as a new surge in coronavirus infections slammed the brakes on the economic recovery.

U.S. employers added just 235,000 jobs last month, a sharp slowdown from the torrid pace of hiring in June and July.

"The labor market recovery has downshifted," said Nela Richardson, chief economist for the payroll processing company ADP. "The U.S. economy is facing increasing headwinds as the pandemic wears on and the delta variant creates uncertainty."

The unemployment rate fell to 5.2% in August from 5.4% in July.

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