The halting pace of the economic recovery is all too apparent, despite glimmers of hope in housing and other sectors. But in some places, the recovery has ended and the economy is in expansion mode.
One of those places is Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a city which Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal said has more to do with the American and global economy than you might think.
"I was at a food processing plant two days ago where they are making pre-packaged meals that will in probably a week and a half be on lunch trays for kids in the Los Angeles Unified School District."
And the economy of Sioux Falls looks pretty darn good. Unemployment is at 3.5 percent, compared to the national rate of 7.4 percent. And this week, Capital One just announced they are bringing 175 new jobs to town.
But here’s the catch: 3.5 percent unemployment is actually, if you ask economists, too low. There isn’t enough turnover between jobs and companies can’t find the employees they need. In fact, local business leaders in Sioux Falls say that when they work to woo new companies to come open stores in Sioux Falls, the companies first question is about that unemployment rate: With so few unemployed workers, how will firms find the employees they need?
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There never seems to be a good time to talk about money with family, but putting it off can be more painful in the long run. When should you first initiate a conversation about finances with your aging parents?
Tara Siegel Bernard, a personal finance reporter with The New York Times, says the sooner the better.
"I recently spoke with a family that thought they had plenty of time, then their mother died unexpectedly," says Bernard. "They didn't know their mother had a mortgage, and once they figured out that she did have a mortgage, it was in default."
So when you do decide to start a dialogue, how do you go about it? Bernard says don't be too confrontational.
"You don't want to put anybody on the defensive," she says. "Don't say, 'You're disorganized, you're going to make this so difficult on me.' You want to kind of spin that around and use 'I' statements like, 'I'm really concerned about doing the right thing, how can we approach this together?'"
Encouraging parents to be proactive about setting up special accounts or keep important documents organized can be important as well. Parents can actually help their kids by keeping their papers out of safety deposit boxes, which might be hard to access after they pass away.
"What you want to do is get what's called a 'strong box,' or some kind of fireproof box that you can put in your house in a safe place," says Bernard.
What may be most helpful in the long run, Bernard says, is more than one conversation.
Click play on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.