Why Are So Many Businesses Struggling To Find Workers?

Republicans say enhanced pandemic unemployment benefits are what’s keeping people out of the workforce. That could be playing a role, but the complete picture is far more complicated.

NPR chief economic correspondent Scott Horsley lays out the evidence for what’s really behind the struggle to find workers.

Stacey Vanek Smith, host of NPR’s daily economics podcast The Indicator, explains why the problem may be specific to a certain subset of the economy. More from the Indicator on that topic here. Find more episodes on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

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‘It’s Top-Down’: Three Generations Of Black Officers On Racism And Police Brutality

Three officers, each from a different generation, weigh in on Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction and other recent acts of police violence.

Isaiah McKinnon became a police officer for the city of Detroit in the 1960s, and eventually became chief of police. He also served two years as the city’s deputy mayor starting in 2014.

Cheryl Dorsey is a retired Los Angeles Police Department sergeant who first joined the force in the 1980s.

Vincent Montague is president of the Black Shield Police Association, which supports officers serving in the Greater Cleveland area. He’s been in law enforcement for 13 years.

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How One LA Neighborhood Reveals The Racist Architecture Of American Homeownership

Property ownership eludes Black Americans more than any other racial group. NPR’s Ailsa Chang and Jonaki Mehta examine why. They tell the story of LA’s Sugar Hill neighborhood, a once-vibrant black community that was demolished to make way for the Santa Monica Freeway.

Their story is part of NPR’s special series We Hold These Truths.

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BONUS: We Buy A Superhero

Comic book publishers like Marvel and DC sit on a treasure trove: thousands and thousands of comic book characters. Pieces of intellectual property. You know the big ones–Superman, Ironman, Captain America. They each make millions off of movies and merchandise. But for every marquee character, there are hundreds of others sitting unused.

NPR Turns 50 Amid Reckoning In Journalism Over Who Tells Stories — And How

Now 50 years old, NPR has grown up alongside American journalism. We take stock of some lessons learned along the way.

In this episode: Linda Wertheimer, Robert Siegel, Brooke Gladstone, Ira Glass, Michele Norris, and Andy Carvin.

Hear more from NPR’s very first broadcast of All Things Considered.

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Supply Scarce Abroad, Demand Down At Home: Vaccine Access Is Starkly Unequal

Vaccine demand is beginning to slide in the U.S., but in other parts of the world, the pandemic is devastating countries where vaccines are more scarce. India is one of those countries. There only 2% of the population is fully immunized.

There’s an argument that waiving intellectual property rights could boost global vaccine production, and this week the Biden administration came out in support of that idea. Mustaqeem de Gama, South Africa’s counsellor at the World Trade Organization, tells NPR that U.S. support is a “game changer.”

Meanwhile, in some parts of the U.S., it’s getting harder to find enough arms for vaccine doses. Katia Riddle reports from Oregon.

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Scotland May Try To Break Away From The United Kingdom — Again

On Thursday, Scots vote in Regional Parliamentary elections. That’s not usually an international story, but the ruling Scottish National Party is running on a platform to hold another independence referendum. Another vote on whether Scotland should leave the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland and Wales could follow their lead.

Scotland voted to stay in the U.K. during the last independence referendum in 2014. But then the Brexit vote happened. Scots heavily voted against leaving the European Union but were outnumbered by the British. Ultimately, the U.K. voted to leave the E.U.

NPR’s London correspondent Frank Langfitt has been driving across Scotland over the past few days, asking people how they feel about another referendum and the reviews are mixed.

Ailsa Henderson, a senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, describes what might happen after this week’s vote and what, if anything, is still keeping the U.K. together.

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Is The Biden Rescue Plan Working? ‘American Indicators’ Weigh In On The Recovery

The pandemic economy has left different people in vastly different situations. Today, we follow up with four American indicators — people whose paths will help us understand the arc of the recovery. You first heard their stories back in February. Now, we’re talking to them again to ask how the American Rescue Plan has affected their lives — or not.

Brooke Neubauer in Nevada, founder of The Just One Project; Lisa Winton of the Winton Machine Company in Georgia; Lee Camp with Arch City Defenders in Missouri; and New Jersey-based hotel owner Bhavesh Patel.

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How Brazen Smugglers Are Fueling Record Numbers At The Southern Border

A record 172,000 migrants were apprehended at the southern border in March. Those numbers are fueled, in part, by smuggling organizations that exploit desperate migrants, most of them from central America. NPR’s John Burnett and KTEP’s Angela Kocherga report on their tactics.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tells NPR about a new multi-agency effort to crack down on smugglers.

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How India’s COVID-19 Outbreak Got So Bad, And Why It May Be Even Worse Than We Know

Things have gone from bad to worse in the pandemic’s global epicenter. India reported nearly 400,000 new COVID-19 cases on Friday — and the death count is likely higher than current estimates. Lauren Frayer, NPR’s correspondent in Mumbai, explains why. Follow more of her work here or on Twitter @lfrayer.

The surge in India may be due, in part, to new coronavirus variants circulating in the country. NPR’s Michaeleen Doucleff reports on one that’s been referred to as a “double mutant.”

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