Business & Labor

Oregon GDP
5:54 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Oregon Gets Good Financial News With Its GDP

Oregon's gross domestic product grew by 4.7 percent last year, that's the second biggest increase seen in all states.

Gross domestic product is defined as the value added by production, so the wages of employees; the profits of businesses; and the taxes paid to governments.

In Oregon, the GDP of the construction sector, the education sector and health all grew by about 4 percent.
But Josh Lehner of the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis says it's the 15 percent increase in the high tech manufacturing sector that pushed the state to the top of the growth chart.

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Alaska Air DIY Luggage
5:33 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Alaska Airlines Tries Do-It-Yourself Luggage Tagging

Alaska Airlines will try out a new do-it-yourself luggage tagging system at SeaTac.
Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is trying out a new luggage-tagging system at SeaTac Airport. It relies on customers using new kiosks to weigh their own bags and print out and attach labels. Travelers still must drop off luggage with agents and show I.D. But airline spokeswoman Bobbie Egan says the change should save some time. She says Alaska and its sister carrier Horizon tried out the system last year in Bend.

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Northwest Gas Prices Soar
5:52 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

West Coast Gas Prices Higher Than Other Regions

Gas prices in the Northwest are among the highest in the nation.
tinatinatinatinatina/ Flickr Northwest News Network

Gas prices nationwide have been dropping but not in the Northwest. In fact, this Memorial Day weekend, the region's gas prices are among the highest in the nation.

Gas in Washington and Oregon is selling above $4.20 per gallon. It's cheaper in Idaho. But all three states are well above the national average of $3.68 per gallon. The U.S Department of Energy says oil supplies on the West Coast are the lowest they've been since the 1999. Several California oil refineries are offline. And Washington's Cherry Point BP refinery hasn't fully recovered from a fire there in February. Denton Cinquegrana is an editor at the Oil Price Information Service. He says the Northwest just doesn't have the supply routes that other parts of the country have.

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Oregon Jobs Gains
4:53 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Oregon's Recovery Uneven Around The State

Oregon's economy is recovering slowly but steadily according to the latest forecast from state economists.
Photo credit: Wikimedia user M.O. Stevens Wikimedia Commons

Oregon's economy is recovering slowly but steadily according to the latest forecast from state economists. But not all parts of the state are along for the ride.

Some economic indicators are looking up in Oregon. That's according to state economist Mark McMullen. But he told state lawmakers that even though the pace has been slow statewide, it's even worse once you get away from the Willamette Valley and the Columbia Gorge.

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Oregon Revenues uneven
4:30 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Oregon Revenue Forecast Mostly Flat

Combined general fund and lottery fund revenue forecasts from Dec. 2010 - June 2012.
Graph by Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

Oregon lawmakers got so-so news from the state's economist Tuesday. Revenues are predicted to remain mostly steady over the rest of the budget cycle.

The latest projection of state income tax collections is down slightly since the last forecast. But the drop was offset by a series of budget actions that lawmakers took earlier this year.

State economist Mark McMullen told a legislative panel that Oregon's economic recovery is still on track. It's just slow.

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Harry & David in Eugene
4:00 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Harry & David Will Bring Seasonal Call Center Back to Eugene

Harry & David's flagship store in Medford.
Photo credit: Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Harry & David will be bringing its seasonal call center back to Eugene this year. They'll employ 700 to 800 people from November through mid-December.

Harry & David shut down their Eugene call center in 2010 and 2011, when it was going through financial hardship.

Darren Prescott is Vice President for Customer Care. He says the company tried outsourcing.

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Direct Flights Portland-D.C.
5:46 pm
Mon May 14, 2012

New Non-Stop Flight From PDX to D.C.’s Reagan National

Alaska Airlines will run the service from PDX to D.C.'s Reagan National Airport.
Photo Courtesy of Alaska Airlines

The Federal Aviation Administration restricts flights to and from the D.C. area. But it has now authorization for eight non-stop flights from Western cities to Reagan National. Senator Ron Wyden says it'll be good for business.

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Oregon Sues BP
4:45 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Oregon Sues BP Over Lost Investments

BP deep water oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.
Photo credit: © BP p.l.c. BP

Oregon has filed a securities lawsuit against the petrochemical giant, BP.  The state wants to recover investment losses triggered by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill two years ago.

The lawsuit alleges that investors, like the state, were misled about the safety of deep water drilling. Lawyers say BP made 'materially false' and 'misleading' statements. James Sinks of the Oregon State Treasury says state lawyers did their due diligence before filing, and are confident.

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Horizon Expands- Spokane, Medford, Boise
3:53 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Horizon Air To Base Flight Crews In Boise, Medford and Spokane

Horizon will now base flight crews in Spokane, Medford, and Boise rather than putting them up in hotels.
Boise State Public Radio

Horizon Air will be establishing new inland northwest bases of operation starting in August. The airline plans to expand to three Northwest cities.

Horizon Air now bases its flight crews in Seattle and Portland. By the end of the summer, its nearly 900 pilots and flight attendants will also call Boise, Idaho, Medford, Oregon and Spokane, Washington home. Paul McElroy is a spokesman for the airline.

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Oregon Jobs
4:33 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Oregon Loses Jobs, Unemployment Rate Flat

Oregon State Capitol - despite “surprising” job losses, the employment picture is slowly improving.
Photo credit Wikimedia user M.O. Stevens Wikimedia Commons

Oregon's unemployment rate remained unchanged last month, according to new numbers from the state Tuesday. Officials say the 8.8 percent  jobless rate is the lowest in Oregon since November 2008. Employment department economist Nick Beleiciks says the non-farm payroll lost 6,400 jobs. But he says despite what he called “surprising” job losses, the employment picture is slowly improving.

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