We've been hearing the latest employment numbers show things moving in a positive direction, but the economy and jobs market are still weak. That's, of course, a major factor in an election year. Our friend from the business world, Joe Nocera, joins us. He's an op-ed columnist for the New York Times. Joe, thanks for being with us.
JOE NOCERA: Thanks for having me, Scott.
SIMON: As we heard, of course, the economy added more jobs in February than economists had expected. Is this a trend or true stability?
Japan's Miyage prefecture was one of the hardest hit by last year's earthquake and tsunami. There, the coastal community of Yuriage remains practically deserted. What was once a beautiful harbor filled with boats and a bustling community is now a desolate and deserted place, Doualy Xaykaothao reports.
NPR's Richard Harris talks with host Scott Simon about the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors, one year after multiple meltdowns there spread radioactive materials across a swath of northern Japan. Huge technical challenges remain and prospects for resettling the area are uncertain.
The American job market is still a long way from healthy, but its pulse feels a lot stronger now that it did six months ago. The Labor Department says employers added 227,000 workers to their payrolls in February, a solid — if not spectacular — performance. It continues a trend that suggests a genuine recovery, not a temporary blip.
The unemployment rate held steady at 8.3 percent, even as nearly 500,000 people joined the workforce.
Improvement in the job market is a boon for President Obama as he tries to hold onto his own job in November.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Ready for some creative competition? Weekends on All Things Considered is launching Round 8 of its Three-Minute Fiction contest. Here's what we look for: original, short fiction that can be read in less than three minutes — that's no more than 600 words.
The famous pack mules that carry supplies and people in and out of the Grand Canyon have back pain, as you might imagine. One man is on a mission to make the lives of these beasts of burden a little less painful.
When Rene Noriega retired a few years ago after a long career as a Border Patrol agent, he took what — for him — was the next natural step.