Meet the wonks

What’s eating Generation’s X’s wealth?

She found Gen Xers had built up far less wealth than their parents. She wanted to know why.

  • Danielle Paquette
  • ·
  • 9 hours ago

‘He was alive. They burned him’: Congolese refugees call for long-overdue justice

10 years after a brutal massacre, Congolese-Americans are speaking out in the hopes that Washington will listen.

  • Zoeann Murphy
  • ·
  • 10 hours ago
Public policy experiments

As welfare shrinks, some of the neediest are being left without a lifeline

It's true that welfare reform has pushed people back to work. It's also true that it has withdrawn crucial support from Americans on the fringes of the workforce.

  • Tina Griego
  • ·
  • 13 hours ago
Uneven recovery

Where income inequality has fallen the fastest in America

What we can learn from the counties that saw the greatest decreases in inequality since the end of the recession.

  • Lydia DePillis and Jeff Guo
  • ·
  • 1 day ago
Global health

Ebola: A guide to the best longreads

A guide to the best longform journalism on the biggest Ebola outbreak in history.

  • Ryan McCarthy
  • ·
  • 1 day ago
Global health

Love in the time of Ebola

Her family begged her not to return to Sierra Leone. But the love of her life was there. So Najmeh Modarres had to make a choice.

  • Todd C. Frankel
  • ·
  • 1 day ago
The cost of college

How one student got burned by a for-profit college and bailed out by Occupy Wall Street

Consumer Bureau charges Corinthian Colleges with trapping its students in debt, while Occupy Wall Street wipes it out.

  • Lydia DePillis
  • ·
  • 2 days ago
Uneven recovery

The economic recovery is historically terrible for the middle class

At the median, the aftermath of the Great Recession is unmatched. Not in a good way.

  • Jim Tankersley
  • ·
  • 2 days ago
Growing up American

What it feels like to lift your child out of poverty

She sought a full-time job -- and a better life for her 6-year-old son.

  • Danielle Paquette
  • ·
  • 2 days ago
Pocket Economist

What test scores tell us about inequality and American schools

American's aren't great at standardized tests, but our education system is relatively equal, compared to other nations.

  • Jeff Guo
  • ·
  • 3 days ago
Pocket Economist

How a decade of testing made education ‘significantly’ better

Data-gathering has helped kids learn more, Oregon's schools chief says.

  • Jim Tankersley
  • ·
  • 3 days ago
Public policy experiments

Why temporary assistance may not be enough for the neediest of families

TANF was envisioned as a runway for the poor to launch themselves out of poverty, but a troubling fraction still skid along the rock bottom of the economy.

  • Jeff Guo
  • ·
  • 4 days ago
Public policy experiments

The danger of being pushed off public assistance

For America's poor, the security of public benefits can outweigh the risks of a low-paying, uncertain job.

  • Tina Griego
  • ·
  • 4 days ago
Public policy experiments

The Postal Service is losing millions a year to help you buy cheap stuff from China

Online merchants are running into a particularly troubling quirk of international postal law.

  • Jeff Guo
  • ·
  • Sep 12, 2014
Meet the wonks

Meet the woman who just upended health-care research

Maybe demography - and not geography - is the key to understanding high costs of care.

  • Danielle Paquette
  • ·
  • Sep 12, 2014
The way we work

Why not having a college degree is a bigger barrier than it used to be

A new report finds employers are requiring BAs more than ever -- and not always because it's necessary to do the job.

  • Lydia DePillis
  • ·
  • Sep 11, 2014
Outdoor economics

Fracking hasn’t restored the Rust Belt’s lost jobs

National gas development is big for Youngstown, but less so for workers

  • Jim Tankersley
  • ·
  • Sep 11, 2014
Pocket Economist

America’s top execs seem ready to give up on U.S. workers

A case for pessimism about the divide between companies and workers.

  • Jim Tankersley
  • ·
  • Sep 11, 2014
Miscellany

Live near fracking? You’re more likely to report health problems, new study says

The mystery of why people who live near fracking report more health problems.

  • Danielle Paquette
  • ·
  • Sep 10, 2014
The way we work

Are you actually an independent contractor? A rough diagnostic.

Employers like to dodge taxes by pretending its workers are just "contractors."

  • Lydia DePillis
  • ·
  • Sep 10, 2014
The way we work

At the Uber for home cleaning, workers pay a price for convenience

The house cleaning startup Homejoy can offer better pay -- at the cost of zero protection for workers.

  • Lydia DePillis
  • ·
  • Sep 10, 2014
Miscellany

Hard drives, hiking trails and homeless families: How the economy looks outside the headline stats

An anecdotal - and personal - measure of the economy's health.

  • Jim Tankersley and Lydia DePillis and Jeff Guo and Danielle Paquette
  • ·
  • Sep 9, 2014
How the ACA is changing us

The simple ways health insurance can change your life

The Affordable Care Act has been controversial -- but it's changing the many small health decisions that make up everyday life.

  • Todd C. Frankel
  • ·
  • Sep 9, 2014
Public policy experiments

Music from mid-sized American cities: a non-definitive Spotify playlist

A selection of indie music from Minneapolis, Athens, Chapel Hill, and Portland.

  • Ryan McCarthy
  • ·
  • Sep 8, 2014
Public policy experiments

Meet the man who studies indie music economies. (Yes, he’s in a band too)

Music geographer Michael Seman on how music can transform cities.

  • Danielle Paquette
  • ·
  • Sep 8, 2014
Public policy experiments

Why it pays to live near creative people — just not too many

What research from 17th century classical musicians tells us about creative clusters.

  • Jeff Guo
  • ·
  • Sep 8, 2014
Public policy experiments

Can indie music save your neighborhood?

Omaha's lesson in music as economic stimulus, as told through one up-and-coming Nebraska band.

  • Danielle Paquette
  • ·
  • Sep 8, 2014
Uneven recovery

Is the government making it harder for the middle class to buy homes?

Many would-be borrowers are 'boxed out' from loans. Lenders blame muddled regulations.

  • Dina ElBoghdady
  • ·
  • Sep 5, 2014
Public policy experiments

Bad luck meets bad policy: Why it can be so hard to get the unemployed back to work

In Richmond, bad luck and bad choices collide with bad policy.

  • Tina Griego
  • ·
  • Sep 5, 2014
Getting by

First Person: Would raising the tipped minimum wage devastate sit-down restaurants?

This owner of a sports grill chain thinks so.

  • Lydia DePillis
  • ·
  • Sep 4, 2014
The way we work

Millennial or Gen X? The ultimate guide to generational confusion

A guide to separating the data from the generational cliche.

  • Ryan McCarthy
  • ·
  • Sep 4, 2014
The way we work

Millennials want to be job-hopping generation. But economy won’t let them.

A sour economy is locking America's most dynamic generation of workers into less-than-ideal jobs.

  • Brigid Schulte
  • ·
  • Sep 4, 2014
The way we work

Millennials aren’t changing jobs as much. That’s a big problem for the economy

What low today's job churn tells us about the economy.

  • Jeff Guo
  • ·
  • Sep 4, 2014
Pocket Economist

Why the U.S. economy is outperforming many of its peers

What U.S. policymakers got right on the job front.

  • Jim Tankersley
  • ·
  • Sep 3, 2014
Global health

Ebola: Eight facts about American perception and West African reality

The head of the CDC says the 'window of opportunity' to contain Ebola is closing.

  • Danielle Paquette
  • ·
  • Sep 3, 2014
Global health

West Africa’s last line of defense against Ebola: the thermometer

In Sierra Leone, authorities are scrambling to contain the Ebola outbreak, and using some surprisingly simple tools.

  • Todd C. Frankel
  • ·
  • Sep 3, 2014
Public policy experiments

What unemployment support is available in your city?

Not every city supports the unemployed in the same way. What's working in your town?

  • Julia Carpenter
  • ·
  • Sep 2, 2014
Public policy experiments

The former capital of the Confederacy’s all-out plan to fight poverty — and confront its past

Can the city of Richmond fix problems hundreds of years in the making?

  • Tina Griego
  • ·
  • Sep 2, 2014
Public policy experiments

What’s America doing to train its workers? Not nearly enough

The evidence is in: worker training programs lead to higher wages.

  • Jeff Guo
  • ·
  • Sep 2, 2014
How the ACA is changing us

‘Christians are just healthier’: One family’s cost-sharing alternative to Obamacare

Health-care sharing gives some Americans a faith-based support system -- as long they pledge to refrain from sin.

  • Danielle Paquette
  • ·
  • Aug 29, 2014
The culture of guns

Life in the small Colorado town that requires a gun in every household

A look at the culture of guns in Nucla, Colorado, where the nearest stop light is two hours away.

  • Lauren Loftus
  • ·
  • Aug 28, 2014
The culture of guns

A visual tour through Nucla, Colo., where the gun is king

Photos from a small town that passed a law requiring a gun in every household.

  • May-Ying Lam
  • ·
  • Aug 28, 2014

Canadians worry: Will Burger King wreck Tim Hortons?

Hours after the merger announcement, Twitter rose up to say: Don't mess with my coffee.

  • Danielle Paquette
  • ·
  • Aug 27, 2014
Uneven recovery

America’s coal heartland is in economic freefall — but only the most desperate are fleeing

The coal economy in Central Appalachia is in an unprecedented freefall. Which isn't making it easier for workers to move on.

  • Chico Harlan
  • ·
  • Aug 27, 2014
Uneven recovery

Why abundant coal may have ‘cursed’ the Appalachian economy

Is coal country suffering from what economists call the 'resource curse'?

  • Ryan McCarthy
  • ·
  • Aug 27, 2014
Uneven recovery

Tough choices in coal country: A family struggles to move away from mining

A photo gallery of one West Virginia family's struggle to find work as the coal industry shrinks.

  • Whitney Shefte
  • ·
  • Aug 27, 2014
Rural America

Swine for sale: How kids’ livestock shows became a cutthroat (and expensive) business

How kids' livestock shows have become a cutthroat - and competitive - business.

  • Lydia DePillis
  • ·
  • Aug 26, 2014
Rural America

Searching for the ‘perfect hog’ at the West Virginia State Fair

Inside the world of competitive pig shows.

  • McKenna Ewen
  • ·
  • Aug 26, 2014
Rural America

Drugs needles, ‘raw opium’ and other scenes from the county fair over the years

A look back at how the WashPost covered the county fair.

  • Danielle Paquette
  • ·
  • Aug 26, 2014
Rural America

8,500 residents. 12 attorneys: America’s rural lawyer shortage

As young people flee the Heartland, it's getting harder and harder to find a lawyer in rural America.

  • Danielle Paquette
  • ·
  • Aug 25, 2014
Rural America

The areas of the U.S. with a troubling shortage of young people

The younger your neighbors, the healthier your town

  • Jeff Guo
  • ·
  • Aug 25, 2014
Rural America

‘It feels like going back in time’: Life as a rural lawyer

What it's like to work as a lawyer in sparsely-populated towns.

  • Danielle Paquette
  • ·
  • Aug 25, 2014
Racial disparities

Do diverse police forces treat their communities more fairly than almost-all-white ones like Ferguson’s?

It's not clear that just adding minorities makes a police force more empathetic.

  • Lydia DePillis
  • ·
  • Aug 22, 2014
Outdoor economics

Why the job market actually improved after the BP oil spill

Economists forgot that government response to a disaster can be a stimulus.

  • Jim Tankersley
  • ·
  • Aug 22, 2014
Globalization at home

When a factory leaves town: in the shadow of Silicon Valley, a city reels from job losses

Workers in one California town have become collateral damage in the push for globalization.

  • Howard Schneider
  • ·
  • Aug 22, 2014
Globalization at home

The states most threatened by global trade competition

Where jobs could be at risk because of increased global competition.

  • Kevin Schaul and Dan Keating
  • ·
  • Aug 22, 2014
Globalization at home

‘I will never forgive them for closing’: Workers adapt after a factory shuts down

Workers in the town of Fremont, California are slowly picking up the pieces.

  • Lee Powell
  • ·
  • Aug 22, 2014
Racial disparities

First Person: Salinas could’ve been Ferguson. Here’s why it wasn’t.

The city's police chief on policing Latinos, the “swagger years,” and why he loves his MRAP.

  • Lydia DePillis
  • ·
  • Aug 22, 2014
What policy works

What it’s like to be a teen parent: Readers’ stories

'I didn't want to be another statistic': Stories from readers on teen pregnancy

  • Julia Carpenter
  • ·
  • Aug 21, 2014
Aging in America

End-of-life care: An industry with soaring profits, funded by taxpayers

What you need to know about the $17 billion hospice industry.

  • Danielle Paquette
  • ·
  • Aug 21, 2014
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You may have missed

In Richmond, bad luck and bad choices collide with bad policy.
What low today's job churn tells us about the economy.
The coal economy in Central Appalachia is in an unprecedented freefall. Which isn't making it easier for workers to move on.