Marilyn GeewaxMarilyn Geewax is a senior business news editor, assigning and editing stories for radio. She also writes and edits for the NPR web site, and regularly discusses economic issues on NPR's mid-day show Here & Now.
Workers line up pipe while drilling for oil outside Watford City, N.D. While the energy sector has been strong, millions of Americans have been out of work since the recession ended.
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A Smithfield ham at a grocery store in Richardson, Texas, in 2011. Some senators expressed qualms Wednesday about the intentions of Shuanghui International Holdings, which is buying Smithfield Foods.
Jeff Caldwell checks a vehicle on the assembly line at the Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit in May. U.S. auto sales rose last month to their fastest pace since 2007.
Jim White of Pennsylvania pumps gas at a BP station in Ocala, Fla., in April. The price of gasoline remains stubbornly high, which may put a crimp on summer travel plans.
Doug Engle/Ocala Star-Banner / Landov
A 2013 Accord is ready to come off the line at the Honda automobile plant in Marysville, Ohio, in 2012. Accords built at the 4,400-employee plant are shipped to South Korea — an example of the importance of trade to manufacturing jobs.
Graduates of Bowie State University wave to friends and family at the school's graduation ceremony in College Park, Md., on May 17. This year's graduates are finding better job prospects than at any time since 2008.
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Smithfield hams hang outside the Taste of Smithfield restaurant and gourmet market in Smithfield, Va. Shuanghui International Holdings plans to buy Smithfield Foods, the world's biggest hog producer.