Yuki Noguchi

Yuki Noguchi joined NPR News in May 2008 as a correspondent. She is a general assignment reporter covering business for NPR's National Desk. She began reporting for NPR in Washington during hectic times, with the 2008 presidential race underway and as the economy started to experience severe turmoil. Her stories have ranged from declines in SUV sales at Carmax to profiles of important figures involved in the Wall Street bailout. Noguchi's pieces can be heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition Sunday.

Before joining NPR, Noguchi worked at The Washington Post, first as a reporter and later as an editor. Starting in 1999, she covered economic development. Starting in 2000, she covered telecommunications and wrote stories about the major industry mergers, the Federal Communications Commission and the rise of some of the Internet giants. On the side, she also wrote about her love of swing dancing. Later, she covered consumer technology, writing features about people and their relationships with their gadgets. This was her favorite beat. Most recently, Noguchi directed the paper's coverage of national technology news. Prior to joining the Post, Noguchi reported on business and politics for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and The Orlando Sentinel.

Noguchi's parents left Japan to study in the U.S. in the early 1970s. Noguchi and her younger brother grew up in St. Louis. She received her B.A. in history from Yale University. During a year off, she studied in Yokohama, Japan, and worked for Kyodo News Service in Tokyo. She is fluent in Japanese and speaks conversational German. She has forgotten the bulk of a class in Arabic.

Noguchi lives with her husband, Christopher Libertelli, in Bethesda, Maryland. Outside of NPR she practices yoga and still loves swing dancing.

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5:52pm

Thu July 2, 2015
U.S.

New Rules Could Create A New Class Of Overtime Workers

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 7:22 pm

As President Obama promised, a new rule would make 5 million more Americans eligible for overtime pay.

Many workers say it's a welcome change. But businesses say employees could see negative, unintended consequences.

Barrett Zenger has managed a music store in Corpus Christi, Texas, for the past seven years, where he oversees two dozen employees, stocks inventory and fills in for sales clerks who call in sick.

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5:57pm

Tue June 23, 2015
U.S.

State Department Computer Glitch Creates A Visa Nightmare

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 8:56 pm

A glitch in the State Department's visa system has affected people around the world. Many, including athletes, workers and students, have been unable to enter the United States.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

The State Department says it is working around the clock on a computer problem that's having widespread impact on travel into the U.S. The glitch has practically shut down the visa application process.

Of the 50,000 visa applications received every day, only a handful of emergency visas are getting issued.

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4:28pm

Mon June 15, 2015
Business

Judge Rules In Favor Of AIG In Bailout Case, But Offers No Damages

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 7:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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5:03am

Wed June 10, 2015
All Tech Considered

Businesses Are Hanging Up On Voice Mail To Dial In Productivity

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 9:58 am

That little red "message" light may not be as ubiquitous in offices as it used to be.
Photo illustration: Ariel Zambelich/NPR

A few short years after voice mail was developed in the late 1970s, it quickly became an essential business tool.

But in the past few years, its use has been in decline. And some offices have opted to get rid of it altogether.

After JPMorgan Chase said last week it was canceling voice mail for most of its employees, I sent the bank's public relations department an email.

A bit later, there was that familiar red light on my desk phone:

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5:28pm

Fri May 29, 2015
Shots - Health News

When Are Employee Wellness Incentives No Longer Voluntary?

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 6:49 pm

There are legal questions about how far employers can go to encourage participation in wellness programs.
Bjorn Rune Lie Ikon Images/Getty Images

Scotts Miracle-Gro makes products for the care and health of lawns. The Marysville, Ohio, company says it wants to nurture its 8,000 employees the same way.

"It's very much of a family culture here," says Jim King, a spokesman for the Scotts company, which offers discounted prescriptions, annual health screenings and some free medical care.

In states where it's legal, the company refuses to hire people who smoke.

"We've been screening for tobacco use for about a decade," King says. "We no longer employ tobacco users."

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3:24am

Wed May 20, 2015
All Tech Considered

How A Bigger Lunch Table At Work Can Boost Productivity

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 3:09 pm

A view of the central area of Atlassian's office in San Francisco. The software company found that desks were used only 20 percent of the workday — half as much as conference rooms were used.
Atlassian

The loftlike San Francisco office of software maker Atlassian has an open central amphitheater, where all-staff gatherings and midday boot camp exercises are held.

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4:22am

Thu April 23, 2015
U.S.

Some Companies Fight Pay Gap By Eliminating Salary Negotiations

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 10:56 am

Women stage a protest demanding equal pay for women at a 2012 rally in Miami.
J Pat Carter AP

When it comes to negotiating salaries, the research is pretty clear: women are less assertive than men. It's one reason women who start their careers with a narrower pay gap see it widen over time.

Carnegie Mellon economics professor Linda Babcock, who studies the gender pay gap, says men are four times more likely to negotiate their pay. That keeps women at a disadvantage, though they're not always aware of it.

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5:40pm

Mon April 13, 2015
Business

New York Investigates Retailers For Unpredictable Work Schedules

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 2:49 pm

Gap is among 13 big retailers that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating for possible violations of "reporting time" laws. Gap says it is establishing "sustainable scheduling practices."
Andrew Burton Getty Images

The unpredictable schedules of retail and fast-food workers is a big issue in workers rights campaigns. Now, the New York attorney general is investigating the way some of the country's biggest retailers handle scheduling.

In New York, if a worker shows up for a shift that he doesn't end up being needed for, the law says he still is due four hours of pay. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says retailers, especially, rely heavily on systems that require workers to be ready to work a shift — regardless of whether they end up working. It's called on-call work.

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3:20am

Tue April 7, 2015
All Tech Considered

A New Internet Domain: Extortion Or Free Speech?

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 3:48 pm

iStockphoto

A rash of new Web domain suffixes has popped up in recent years to supplement .com and .net — terms such as .bargains or .dating.

Several new suffixes seem to invite negative feedback. There are .gripe and .fail. There's even .wtf — a colorful variation on "what the heck." And soon, there will be .sucks.

J. Scott Evans says his objection isn't that it sounds whiny — it's the price. Evans is associate general counsel at Adobe Systems, and for a trademark owner like his to claim Adobe.sucks would cost $2,500 a year. That's more than 100 times the typical fee.

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6:34pm

Wed April 1, 2015
Shots - Health News

Germanwings Crash Highlights Workplace Approaches To Mental Health

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 2:12 pm

When it comes to an employee's mental health status, what does an employer need to know, or have a right to know?
iStockphoto

The horrifying crash last week of the Germanwings flight operated by Lufthansa has put a spotlight on what the airline knew — and what it should, or could have done — about its pilot's mental health.

Lufthansa could face unlimited liability, after the pilot allegedly brought the plane down deliberately. Here in the U.S., employment experts say monitoring employees' mental health status raises a thicket of complicated issues.

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9:34am

Sat March 21, 2015
Business

As Americans Eat Healthier, Processed Foods Starting To Spoil

Originally published on Sun March 22, 2015 2:24 pm

This week Kraft Foods recalled nearly 2.5 million boxes of macaroni and cheese that were potentially contaminated with metal pieces. Kraft and other processed food manufacturers are facing many challenges.
Toby Talbot AP

Kraft Foods is going through a rough patch.

This week, Kraft recalled nearly 2.5 million boxes of macaroni and cheese that were potentially contaminated with metal pieces.

Also, Kraft Singles, a pre-sliced processed cheese product, earned a nutritional seal from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The seal prompted outrage from nutritionists.

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6:22pm

Fri March 6, 2015
U.S.

Part-Time Workers Struggle With Full-Time Juggling Act

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 8:05 pm

Note: Seasonally adjusted, in millions, for each February (2007-2015)
NPR Bureau of Labor Statistics

The cold weather did not hamper hiring last month. Employers added nearly 300,000 jobs to payrolls, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.5 percent.

Despite another strong report, there is little evidence that all the hiring is putting upward pressures on wages.

And there are more than 6.5 million people working part time who would like to have more hours.

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3:50am

Wed February 25, 2015
All Tech Considered

Recruiting Better Talent With Brain Games And Big Data

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 1:49 pm

With the technology to conduct more nuanced tests, some companies say they can provide more useful detail about how people think in dynamic situations.
Marcus Butt Getty Images/Ikon Images

The job interview hasn't changed much over the years. There are the resumes, the face-to-face meetings, the callbacks — and the agonizing wait, as employers decide based on a hunch about who's best suited for the job.

Some companies are selling the idea that new behavioral science techniques can give employers more insight into hiring.

For most of her life, Frida Polli assumed she'd be an academic. She got her Ph.D, toiled in a research lab and started a post-doctorate program before she realized she'd been wrong.

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3:33am

Tue February 17, 2015
All Tech Considered

You Might Want To Take Another Pass At Your Passwords

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 12:24 pm

They might be hard to remember sometimes, but good passwords may be the best defense against hackers.
iStockphoto

Compromises of private corporate or consumer data are all too common. This month, health insurer Anthem announced its customer data was hacked.

Yet even President Obama last week poked fun at our common line of defense: the lazy password.

"It's just too easy for hackers to figure out usernames and passwords like 'password' or '123457.' Those are some of my previous passwords," he said.

In short, passwords have, in some cases, undermined their own security intent.

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4:37pm

Wed February 4, 2015
Business

Staples Takes Another Shot At Buying Rival Office Depot

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 7:33 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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5:31pm

Fri January 30, 2015
The Salt

Shake Shack Sizzles With IPO As McDonald's Fizzles

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 8:40 pm

The founder and chairman of Shake Shack, Danny Meyer, visits the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Shake Shack, the Manhattan-based burger chain, has a cult following, and investors gobbled up shares Friday when it became a publicly traded company.

In its initial public offering, shares were priced at $21, but they jumped to nearly $50 as trading began, and closed the day just under $46.

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4:14am

Thu January 29, 2015
Business

And So We Meet, Again: Why The Workday Is So Filled With Meetings

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 8:46 am

PW Illustration Ikon Images/Getty Images

The ouster of Bryan Stockton from his perch as CEO at Mattel this week came as the toymaker's best-known brands like Barbie stagnate and it loses business to Web-based games.

Stockton himself said last year that Mattel lacked an innovative culture and blamed it in part on something specific: bad meetings. That's a common and persistent corporate ailment.

Scott Ryan-Hart is a cartographer for the Ohio Department of Transportation, where a typical meeting can last more than two hours.

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4:51pm

Thu January 15, 2015
Business

Largest Unit Of Gambling Giant Caesars Files For Bankruptcy

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 6:33 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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3:21am

Thu January 15, 2015
Business

Businesses Try To Stave Off Brain Drain As Boomers Retire

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 8:02 pm

Dave Tobelmann worked for 33 years at General Mills before retiring five years ago. Not long after, he returned to the company, this time through a staffing firm specializing in retiree placement.
Courtesy of Dave Tobelmann

In the U.S., roughly 10,000 people reach retirement age every day. And though not everyone who turns 62 or 65 retires right away, enough do that some companies are trying to head off the problem.

Dave Tobelmann, who for 33 years developed new products for General Mills, retired five years ago at age 57 — around the same time as a number of other colleagues. "Yeah, I went to a lot of retirement parties," Tobelmann says.

Losing veteran workers is a challenge, even for big companies like General Mills.

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4:38pm

Thu January 1, 2015
Business

More States Raise Minimum Wage, But Debate Continues

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 10:34 pm

Protesters march in New York City on Dec. 4 to demand an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour. New York state's minimum wage rose to $8.75 on Wednesday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

The minimum wage went up in 20 states Thursday, a day after the state of New York boosted its minimum, which means a majority of states now have a minimum wage higher than the federal government's, which is set at $7.25. The state with the highest minimum wage is now Washington state, at $9.47 an hour.

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4:20pm

Tue December 30, 2014
Business

Comcast-Time Warner Deal Tops A Year Of Corporate Mergers

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 7:05 pm

There were $3 trillion worth of corporate mergers in 2014. Comcast's proposed acquisition of fellow cable company Time Warner was the largest at $45 billion.
Gene J. Puskar AP

This year saw some very large corporate mergers and takeovers. Comcast and Time Warner's proposed deal topped the list.

Globally, there were $3 trillion worth of deals announced this year — the biggest year for mergers and acquisitions since the financial crisis. And the trend is expected to continue next year.

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4:21pm

Tue December 23, 2014
Economy

GDP Growth At Highest Level Since 2003

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 7:03 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:05am

Tue December 23, 2014
Business

A Year Later, Delivery Services Up Their Holiday Game

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 5:12 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Well, here's an idea for a lampooning December movie - it's the holidays and shipping companies can't get their act together. They disappoint millions of customers because they can't deliver gifts on time.

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6:16pm

Fri December 12, 2014
Around the Nation

Do Guns On The Premises Make Workplaces Safer?

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 8:49 am

In 2010, Omar Thornton killed eight colleagues in Manchester, Conn., before killing himself. Private employers used to create their own rules about guns on their property. But over the past five years, many states have adopted laws that allow employees to keep firearms in their vehicles at work.
Douglas Healey Getty Images

This year, Tennessee joined 21 other states that allow employees to leave guns in their cars in the office parking lot. The laws have left many employers debating how best to ensure safety at work.

After Georgia passed its law allowing employees to keep firearms in their employers' parking lots, Sally Roberts installed a sign on her newspaper firm's door. It read: "No Weapons Allowed."

A job candidate once threatened her, says Roberts, human resources director at Morris Communications. "She did become violent, and I'm very thankful she did not have a weapon."

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6:04pm

Mon December 8, 2014
The Salt

Big Mac Whacked: McDonald's U.S. Sales Continue To Slide

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 1:34 pm

McDonald's says that same-store sales in its U.S. locations dropped nearly 5 percent in November, continuing a downward trend.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

McDonald's is not loving its financial numbers these days. The fast-food chain reported that same-store sales in the U.S. tumbled 4.6 percent in November compared with a year ago, as the company continues to struggle to find solid footing.

"McDonald's news this morning was jarring," says John Gordon, a consultant with Pacific Management Consulting. He has either worked in or tracked the fast-food industry for four decades. Monday's announcement, he says, had his colleagues abuzz.

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3:20am

Wed December 3, 2014
Around the Nation

Mischief Under The Mistletoe: Office Partygoers Behaving Badly

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Too much partying at the office holiday bash can lead to lawsuits, firings or just plain awkwardness.
Bill Sykes Images Getty Images

Thanksgiving kicks off holiday party season, and at office holiday parties around the country, this means co-workers will make merry and mischief.

This time of year, Minneapolis attorney Kate Bischoff is a busy woman.

"I often represent clients who are handling the aftermath of a holiday party when it has gone off the rails," Bischoff says.

This includes, but is not limited to, bosses hitting on interns. There was also the case in which a manager gave a direct report a sexually explicit gift. Perhaps it was a joke, but it resulted in a harassment claim.

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6:36pm

Fri November 21, 2014
Business

Obama's Immigration Moves Do Little To Help Businesses, Groups Say

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 7:46 pm

President Obama after discussing his executive actions on immigration Friday at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas. Business groups say the plan does little to help U.S. employers attract foreign workers.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Business groups have long been active players in the nation's immigration debate. They represent employers who need to recruit workers, after all — employers who are sometimes investigated, even prosecuted, for hiring workers who are not approved to work in the U.S. legally.

Many big employers have been pushing for reforms that would allow them to keep more science and technology workers and skilled laborers in the country. But the executive action President Obama announced Thursday leaves out much of what the business lobby has been advocating for.

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6:34pm

Fri November 14, 2014
Business

Workers Say Employers In Ailing Atlantic City Hold All The Cards

Paul Smith, a single father and a longtime cook at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City, is worried about losing his health benefits if the casino closes in December.
Rob Szypko NPR

Valerie McMorris has served drinks at the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, N.J., since it opened 24 years ago.

Casinos have sustained McMorris most of her life; both of her parents worked in casinos, she says. "It just allowed so many people a middle class status."

But McMorris says that's changing. Her pay and benefits have been cut. Her husband lost his job at the Revel, a gleaming $2.4 billion casino that went bust this year.

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5:43pm

Thu November 13, 2014
Business

As Casinos Fold, Stakes Are High For Atlantic City Transformation

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 6:46 pm

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian stands in front of an outdoor goods store under construction. The state's Casino Reinvestment Development Authority contributed land and $12 million for the project.
Rob Szypko NPR

In gambling, they say, the house always wins. But that hasn't been the case in Atlantic City this year. By year's end, the city that once had an East Coast monopoly on gaming may lose its fifth casino.

The city is reeling from the closures. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday that the first order of business is to "stop the bleeding." So city and state officials are trying to reposition Atlantic City by literally building it up.

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4:39am

Tue October 28, 2014
Business

Behold The Entrenched — And Reviled — Annual Review

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:24 pm

Nearly 90 percent of companies do formal evaluations at least once a year, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
Zack Blanton iStockphoto

Performance review season is nearing, and if that makes you break out into a cold sweat, you're not alone. Studies show between 60 percent and 90 percent of employees, including managers, dislike the performance evaluation.

Some companies are starting to look at alternatives, but the performance review is pretty entrenched.

"They're fraudulent, bogus and dishonest," says Samuel Culbert, a management professor at UCLA who does research in dysfunctional management practice. "And second, they're indicative of and they support bad management."

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