(This post was updated at 10 a.m.)

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

If you think kids are too young to worry about unemployment numbers, consider this: Some of our most popular young adult novels fairly shiver with economic anxiety. Take Veronica Roth's Divergent, this week's top New York Times Young Adult best-seller and a perennial on the list since its publication in 2011.

According to fresh numbers out Wednesday from the state employment department, the unemployment rate in Washington state edged up slightly in August to an even 7 percent as hiring slowed.

Slow and steady. That’s how Washington’s chief economic forecaster sums up the recovery in state revenues.

Yoram Bauman calls himself the world’s first and only stand up economist. He’s also advocating for a carbon tax in Washington State through an organization he founded called Carbon Washington. The tax would be modeled after the one British Columbia put into effect several years ago. Companies there pay a price per ton of CO2 that they emit.

Wall Street is casting a favorable eye on Washington now that the state has a new budget and the housing and job markets are showing signs of life. Two credit rating agencies Monday upgraded Washington’s credit outlook from “negative” to “stable.”

State Treasurer Jim McIntire says that change eases earlier concerns that Washington’s double-A plus bond rating is imperiled. "The outlook is really kind of an indication that if they were going to make any changes to the negative, that kind of threat to a downgrade has now been removed.”

Andreas Klinke Johannsen / Flickr

The unemployment rate held steady in Washington state in June. It stands at 6.8 percent, according to the monthly update released in Olympia Wednesday.

Oregon's economic outlook is looking brighter. That's according to state economists, who issued their quarterly revenue forecast Thursday. The news comes as lawmakers get ready to put together the state's next two-year spending plan.

The slow and steady improvement is still steady, just not quite as slow. The overall growth rate is still a bit behind past expansions, but state economist Mark McMullen says some of the factors holding back Oregon's economy are looking better, such as jobs and the housing market.

The border between the states of Washington and Idaho is like a petri dish for what the minimum wage does to the economy. That’s where two extremes meet. Idaho has the federal minimum wage: $7.25 an hour. While Washington’s? It’s nearly $2 more -- the highest in the nation.

You might expect that wage gap to send Washington border businesses fleeing over to Idaho. But that's not what's happening.

After 90 Years, A Southern Oregon Mill Closes

Apr 22, 2013
Amelia Templeton / EarthFix

This week, Rough and Ready Lumber started shutting down its sawmill in the Southern Oregon town of Cave Junction. It’s a story that’s repeated itself in timber towns across the northwest. In 1980 there were 390 mills operating in Oregon. Today there are 103. EarthFix Reporter Amelia Templeton visited the Rough and Ready mill and has this profile.