economy

Washington’s Republican candidate for governor said he supports raising the minimum wage in some parts of the state -- but not everywhere. Bill Bryant outlined his position Tuesday in a jobs and economy speech to the Association of Washington Business Policy Summit at the Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum.

Oregon's economy continues to be strong. That's according to the latest revenue forecast from state economists, which was delivered Friday at the capitol in Salem.

Oregon's unemployment rate rose slightly in May to 5.3 percent. That’s up from 5.2 percent in April.

According to the Oregon Employment Department, the rate was still lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 5.5 percent in May.

The rate in Oregon is near the lowest it’s been during the last 40 years.

Nick Beleiciks is a state employment economist.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

President Barack Obama was at Nike's campus near Beaverton Friday, pitching the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. 

The president said a progressive, high standard trade agreement like the Trans-Pacific Partnership would open new markets and support high quality jobs. He used Nike factories across the world as an example.

So far, few Northwest Democrats are getting on board with a deal to "fast track" a pending Pacific trade agreement, The Trans-Pacific Partnership.

How Ocean Acidification May Harm The Northwest Economy

Feb 23, 2015
ClaryRain / Flickr

A new study has found the Pacific Northwest faces a higher risk of economic harm from ocean acidification than other parts of the country.

When excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbed into the ocean, it triggers changes in ocean chemistry that makes it harder for mollusks to build shells.

The study is the first to look at which regions are most vulnerable to the damage acidic water can do to shellfish.

George Waldbusser of Oregon State University is a co-author of the study.

In Olympia, legislative budget writers got a shot of good news Friday regarding tax collections.

Kevin Rank / Flickr

Idaho’s annual legislative session starts next week, but some lawmakers are already at work. Each year, just before the session, a group of lawmakers meets to try and get an idea of what Idaho’s economy will be like in the coming year. They use what they hear to inform their budgeting decisions.

A new Census Bureau report out Wednesday indicates the economic recovery is lifting children out of poverty unevenly around the Northwest.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Low wage workers picketed and rallied across the country Thursday in support of a $15 per hour minimum wage.

On the steps of the Washington state capitol, you could see a group of about 50 people. Some of them carried signs saying "Strike poverty." They called for a $15 an hour base wage in Washington state.

Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, a Democrat, indicated he would like to move a minimum wage bill in the upcoming 2015 legislative session. But with Republicans in charge of the Washington Senate, it seems likely that that effort would face roadblocks going forward.

Jodi Green / Flickr

The latest reading on unemployment in Washington state shows the rate holding steady in August at 5.6 percent. That's half a percentage point below the national rate according to a report from Washington's employment department Wednesday. 


Northwest Gas Prices Among Nation's Highest

Aug 29, 2014
futureatlas.com / Flickr

Northwest drivers plan to hit the roads this holiday weekend despite paying some of the highest gas prices in the nation. That's according to Triple A.

Oregon Revenue Forecast Steady, Kicker A Possibility

Aug 27, 2014
Doug Kerr / Flickr

Oregon's economy is humming along at a good clip, according to the latest outlook released Wednesday by state economists. But thanks to a unique Oregon law, if the state revenues keep going up, they'll actually go down.

Tom Magliery / Flickr

Washington state’s unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent in July, the lowest rate since August 2008.

Jan Arrhenborg / Wikimedia

A proposed liquefied natural gas terminal near Astoria, Ore. received the U.S. government’s blessing today to export to all overseas markets. That’s a necessary approval to make the controversial project pencil out. However, many hurdles remain.

Sam Churchill / Flickr

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has cancelled a police escort that helped grain inspectors cross a union picket line at a terminal in Vancouver.

Wikimedia

Washington’s jobless rate has dropped to below 6 percent. That's the lowest level in six years. That’s according to the June jobs report released Wednesday. Seattle’s King County is leading the recovery. But most Washington counties remain above the statewide average. And some rural counties of the state are much higher.

In the town of Bassett in southern Virginia, some of the downtown street lights are dark. The lamps, maintained by the once prosperous Bassett Furniture Co., are now funded by voluntary contributions from residents and businesses — when they can afford it.

Bassett is just one of many towns and cities in Virginia and North Carolina where scores of furniture-making plants have closed in the past 20 years, mostly because of competition from China and other foreign countries.

SeaTac Minimum Wage Fight In Hands Of Supreme Court

Jun 26, 2014
Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Voters in SeaTac narrowly approved a $15 an hour minimum wage. Now, the state Supreme Court will decide whether that law should stand. And, if so, whether it should apply to workers at SeaTac Airport. Currently it does not. The justices heard oral arguments Thursday in a case that pits a city against a port and workers against businesses.

Cacophany / Wikimedia

Should SeaTac’s voter-approved $15 an hour minimum wage apply to airport workers? Washington’s Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on that question Thursday. The case pits airport vendors, Alaska Airlines and the Port of Seattle against supporters of the higher wage.

tallasiandude / Flickr

Oregon's second-largest city could be the next place to mandate employer-provided sick leave. The Eugene City Council Wednesday voted to direct city staff to draw up an ordinance that would take effect next year. 

Andreas Klinke Johannsen / Flickr

The unemployment rate in Washington state is holding steady at 6.1 percent according to the latest numbers out Wednesday from the state Employment Security Department. 

Port of Seattle

Pacific Northwest travelers will get ringside seats to see if two airlines can be partners and rivals at the same time. One of those "frenemies" - if you will - is Seattle-based Alaska Airlines. And in the other corner is Delta Air Lines. The two are long-term contractual allies. But the relationship is being tested.

Seattle has become the first city in the country to establish a $15 an hour minimum wage. The City Council voted Monday to enact the new law, which was the result of months of negotiations.

It represents a 60 percent increase from the current state minimum wage, which at $9.32 an hour is the highest in the country.

Proponents say it’s a first step towards closing the rising income gap between rich and poor. Some businesses say they will go to court to fight it. KUOW’s Deborah Wang reports.

Oregon Revenue Forecast Up As Job Growth Continues

May 28, 2014
M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia

Oregon's economy still hasn't recovered to pre-recession levels. But state economists told lawmakers Wednesday that job growth is driving an expected increase in tax revenue for the state.

mr_jeffreed / Flickr

New housing starts are a key economic indicator. But not all new houses are created the same. A new report issued Friday shows that Oregon and Washington are following a national shift away from single family homes towards more apartment complexes.

Elected officials in Seattle heard an earful Tuesday night about a proposal to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15 an hour. Dozens of people testified before a Seattle City Council public hearing.

Picture a cozy cafe. At a small table, an economics professor from Paris is chatting with a wealthy businessman from New York.

As they sip coffee, they discuss economic history, and often nod and agree.

Then, as they stand to leave, each states a conclusion drawn from their conversation. But what they say is exactly, completely opposite.

One says economic history proves governments must impose very heavy taxes to break up concentrations of wealth. The other says governments should cut taxes to encourage wealthy people to pursue even bigger profits.

Nick Lantz speaks from the failed and fallen heart of middle-class Americans, the everyday folks whose lives and bank accounts were gutted when the housing bubble burst. What does that heartbreak look like? Deeper and uglier than plunging stock market charts and foreclosure signs, and more personal. Welcome to an America in which ambition is turned upside down, where someone is likely to say, when asked what he's doing for work these days, "you know those cracks people fall through?/ We're the crack regulators, we keep/ those cracks up to code."

According to a National Park Service report, towns around national parks lost an estimated $414 million during the partial government shutdown last October.

Pages