Jim Zarroli

Jim Zarroli is an NPR correspondent based in New York. He covers economics and business news.

Over the years, he has reported on recessions and booms, crashes and rallies, and a long string of tax dodgers, insider traders, and Ponzi schemers. Most recently, he has focused on trade and the job market. He also worked as part of a team covering President Trump's business interests.

Before moving into his current role, Zarroli served as a New York-based general assignment reporter for NPR News. While in this position, he reported from the United Nations and was also involved in NPR's coverage of Hurricane Katrina, the London transit bombings, and the Fukushima earthquake.

Before joining NPR in 1996, Zarroli worked for the Pittsburgh Press and wrote for various print publications.

He lives in Manhattan, loves to read, and is a devoted (but not at all fast) runner.

Zarroli grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, in a family of six kids and graduated from Pennsylvania State University.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Over the years, the federal government has spent trillions of dollars more than it brings in, racking up big deficits even in good times, when it ought to be paring debt down.

Now, as it struggles to repair the damage from the coronavirus epidemic, it's getting ready to spend trillions more, pushing up this year's deficit above $3 trillion.

"It's mind-boggling. I never contemplated this," says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, who headed the Congressional Budget Office under President George W. Bush.

Updated at 10:51 a.m. ET

A record 3.28 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country. The Labor Department's report for the week ended March 21 was one of the first official indicators of how many people have suddenly been forced out of work nationally.

In the prior report, for the week ended March 14, initial claims totaled 282,000.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

There's been a sharp spike in the number of companies laying workers off. A lot of states say they're suddenly flooded with unemployment claims. And as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, some are not prepared for the onslaught.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET

Stocks took another steep dive Friday, deepening a multi-day rout fueled by fears about the coronavirus' impact on the global economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 357 points on Friday, capping a week in which the blue chip index fell 3,583 points or 12.4%. The Dow is down 16.3% from its recent peak on Feb. 12.

The S&P 500 stock index lost 11.5% for the week and is now down 14.6% from the all-time high it reached only last week.

In March 2009, Wall Street was a fearful and anxious place, where fortunes had been decimated and retirement funds deflated.

What few people could foresee in the depths of the Great Recession was that the stock market was also on the verge of a historic recovery, one that persists today. The decadelong run is also raising caution flags for some analysts who worry that investors are accepting too much risk.

Stocks are finishing 2019 on a remarkable upswing, with all of the major indexes hitting record highs and the S&P 500 up nearly 30% for the year.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

This was the year that President Trump's trade strategy began showing results - a revised NAFTA sailed through the U.S. House; the administration got a trade deal with China. But as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, some of the thorniest trade problems remain unsolved.

When Gordon Sondland arrived at the Capitol last month to provide what would be pivotal testimony in the Trump impeachment inquiry, a reporter asked the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, "Are you here to salvage your reputation?"

"I don't have a reputation to salvage," Sondland shot back.

Until recently, Sondland, 62, had a pretty low profile outside his hometown of Portland, Ore., where he and his wife, Katy Durant, are big Republican donors and contributors to numerous arts and civic organizations.

The last time Samya Stumo's family heard from her, she had sent a text letting them know she was about to board an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi. She would write again when she got there, she promised.

But the 24-year-old from western Massachusetts was among 157 people who were killed when the flight crashed last March.

For her family, it was the start of a painful, grief-choked odyssey that has turned them and dozens of other families into reluctant activists, taking on federal regulators and Boeing over the crashes of two 737 Max airplanes.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The chief executive of the country's best-known vaping company, Juul, is stepping down. And a planned merger between two tobacco giants linked to the company was called off. The changes come at a time of soaring controversy over vaping. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

When President Trump announced a new round of tariffs on Chinese imports last week, he made clear he was ready to sever ties between the United States and China, if necessary, to win the trade war.

"We don't need China," the president tweeted, "and, frankly, would be far better off without them."

At 74, Steven Hoffenberg spends a lot of time reflecting on his long and checkered past, which included a lengthy prison sentence for running a Ponzi scheme.

Since last weekend, he says his thoughts have increasingly turned to the man he says conspired with him in that scheme — the notorious sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in his cell at New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center last Saturday.

When Nancy Dunne goes to see her family outside Chicago, she likes to fly Southwest Airlines from Newark Liberty International Airport near her home in Maplewood, N.J.

Starting in November, she'll need to make alternate arrangements.

Last week, Southwest announced it would no longer fly to Newark. The grounding of the Boeing 737 Max after two deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia has caused the airline to cancel flights and consolidate routes into places such as Newark, which are less profitable.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

California is home to some of the wealthiest places in the country and some of the poorest. Among them is the Imperial Valley in the hot desert country east of San Diego. The county is home to some huge rich farms growing crops such as spinach, potatoes and cauliflower. But the area also has what the Labor Department calls the highest unemployment rate in the U.S. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

Updated at 11:33 a.m. ET

The U.S. economy expanded at a solid 2.6 percent rate during the last three months of 2018, but growth was significantly lower than it had been earlier in the year, the government said Thursday.

For 2018 as a whole, the economy grew 2.9 percent, a touch below the Trump administration's projected target of 3 percent.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Investors worried about a slowdown in global growth helped push stocks sharply lower Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 602 points, or 2.3 percent.

Technology stocks fared especially badly, with Apple down 5 percent, after a report it was cutting orders for iPhone parts. The decline knocked 100 points off the Dow and helped lead to a broader rout. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell almost 2.8 percent., wiping out its gains for November.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

President Trump promised to cut the U.S.-China trade deficit. Well, just the opposite is happening. That gap reached a record level in September. NPR's Jim Zarroli explains.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

General Electric has booted out its chairman and chief executive, John Flannery, after a little more a year on the job, amid declining profits and cash-flow problems.

Flannery will be replaced by H. Lawrence Culp, a current GE board member who served as chief executive of the Washington, D.C.-based conglomerate Danaher Corp. from 2000-2014, GE said.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Pages