economy

Oregon Employment
3:43 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Oregon's Jobless Rate Edges Gradually Down

Oregon has seen a decrease in the unemployment rate of a full percentage point over the last year.
Photo credit: Wikimedia user M.O. Stevens Wikimedia Commons

Oregon's unemployment rate edged down to 8.6 percent in March, essentially unchanged from 8.7 percent the month before. At 8.6 percent, Oregon's unemployment rate is higher than the national average. It stands at 8.2 percent.

But Employment Department Spokesman, Tom Fuller, says Oregon's economy appears to be improving, and fewer and fewer people are claiming unemployment insurance.

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Northwest Wind Company
6:20 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Report: Chinese Companies Consider Vestas Takeover

A prominent wind energy company – with North American headquarters in the Pacific Northwest – may be acquired by a rival Chinese corporation. Correspondent Courtney Flatt has more.

A Danish newspaper is reporting that two Chinese companies are considering takeover bids for Vestas Wind Systems. The Danish firm’s North American headquarters are based in Portland.

Vestas has faced financial trouble over the past year. The company’s chairman and chief financial officer resigned in February.

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Washington Budget
5:33 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Wash. Lawmakers Miss Midnight Deadline, Work Through Night

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers missed a midnight deadline Tuesday night to rebalance the state budget. But they didn’t go home. Instead, Governor Chris Gregoire called yet another overtime session. At this hour, lawmakers are still voting on a final budget deal. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has the latest.

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Washington Budget Battle
6:00 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Wash. Gov: Progress, But No Deal As Final Day Of Special Session Arrives

OLYMPIA, Wash. – It’s the final day of Washington’s 30-day special session. But still no deal on a plan to rebalance the state budget and pass a series of government reform measures. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports closed door talks broke up late Monday night.

A weary Governor Chris Gregoire held a news conference just before midnight.

Gregoire: “We’ve made progress over 11 hours, but we’re not done and everybody’s still working.”’

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Northwest Immigration
5:58 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Even In Down Economy, Northwest Draws New Residents

Forest Spiritdancer, Ted Layman and Marie Montalbano moved to Portland last year from the Midwest.
Photo by Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

PORTLAND - The Northwest has long been a draw for people moving here from other parts of the United States. That continues to be a key driver of the region’s economy. Despite high unemployment rates, Oregon and Washington still lure folks from the Midwest and elsewhere. And they bring in new money and job skills. In a collaboration with public radio's Changing Gears, Chris Lehman introduces us to some rust belt transplants to the Northwest.

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Oregon Business Investing
5:07 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Oregon Investment Act signed

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has signed the 'Oregon Investment Act' into law Friday.
Photo credit: Oregon Office of the Governor Oregon Office of the Governor

Monica Enand runs the Oregon start-up 'Zapproved,' which makes legal software.  She thinks the 'Oregon Investment Act' will be a shot in the arm for new small businesses.

Monica Enand: "In the very beginning, especially in Oregon, it's tough to get any kind of investment dollars to get things rolling and get off the ground."

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Tri-Cities Growth
3:39 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

U.S. Census Numbers Show Tri-Cities, Wash. Is At the Top For Growth

Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco which comprise the Tri-Cities, are the fastest growing metro area.
Photo credit: Wikimedia user Umptanum Wikimedia Commons

RICHLAND, Wash. – Newly released U.S. Census numbers show the Tri-Cities, Washington, is the fastest growing metro area in the United States. The population increased 4.3% between 2010 and 2011. Jobs at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, stable agricultural prices and the sun appear to be drawing more families to the Tri-Cities.

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Unemployment Benefits Shortened
5:09 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Extended Unemployment Benefits Ending In Wash. & Oregon

Federal Unemployment Rate 2002-2012
Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Thousands of long-term unemployed workers in Washington and Oregon will no longer receive unemployment checks soon. The federal government won't pay for extended benefits anymore because the jobless rates have improved in both states.

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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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Coos Bay Terminal
6:14 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Coos Bay Rail Needs Overhaul To Handle Coal

COOS BAY, Ore. -- An engineering study found that a rail line between Coos Bay and Eugene needs about $100 million worth of work before it can handle heavier train traffic. The study was paid for by anonymous investors interested in exporting coal from Coos Bay. Amelia Templeton reports.

The Port of Coos Bay bought the line in 2009, after it was shut down by a Florida company.

It’s been back in service for less than a year, moving small amounts of freight for sawmills and timber companies.

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