economy

Unemployment Rate
4:38 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Washington Jobless Rate Holds Steady In June

The Washington unemployment rate stands at 6.8 percent.
Credit 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.

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Revenue Forecast
4:09 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

State Economist: Oregon's Growth Rate Improving

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 4:31 pm

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.

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Minimum Wage Workers
7:10 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Why Won't This McDonalds Move 20 Feet Into Lower-Wage Idaho?

Jessica Robinson Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 5:00 pm

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.

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Oregon Lumber Mill
6:15 am
Mon April 22, 2013

After 90 Years, A Southern Oregon Mill Closes

Travis Griess stacks lumber at the Rough and Ready mill, a day after it announced its shut down and laid off most of its workers.
Credit 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.

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Washington Unemployment
4:04 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Washington's Jobless Rate Dips To Four Year Low

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:51 pm

The unemployment rate in the state of Washington is falling again after being stuck in holding pattern for three months. The state Employment Security Department Wednesday pegged the jobless rate at 7.3 percent. That number for March is down .2 percent from February's rate.

State labor economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman says Washington's unemployment rate is at its lowest point in more than four years.

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Oregon Unemployment
5:24 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Oregon's Unemployment Drops To 8.2 Percent

Oregon's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues its slow decline. It reached 8.2 percent in March.

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Snake River Dredging
6:48 am
Mon April 8, 2013

U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Prepares Snake River Dredging Plans

Barges take goods from Idaho's Port of Lewiston to the Pacific Ocean. Sediment is building up behind the lower Snake River's Lower Granite Dam, making travel more difficult.
Credit Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers wants to dredge a deeper channel for barges in the waters behind southeastern Washington’s Lower Granite Dam. Idaho’s Port of Lewiston says the work is important to keep the local economy moving. But as EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz explains, some environmental groups opposed to the plan.

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Economic Recovery
4:55 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Washington Economic Recovery Hits Milestone

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 4:44 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – If you’re marking milestones in the slow climb out of the Great Recession, here’s a new one: Washington state tax collections have now recovered to pre-recession levels. That was one key takeaway from Wednesday’s quarterly revenue forecast.

In late 2007, the economy went into free fall. For two years, Washington tax revenues plunged. Since 2010 it’s been a slow, steady climb back up. Now tax collections are back to where they were before the economy tanked. Bright spots include an uptick in auto sales and signs of an improving housing market.

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Washington Jobs
4:02 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Washington Jobs Return To Expected Numbers In February

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 3:56 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington state saw a surge of new jobs in January, but job growth was sluggish in February. New numbers out Wednesday from the State Employment Department show a gain of 4,000 jobs, mostly in education, healthcare and manufacturing.

Labor economist Anneliese Vance-Sherman says last month’s job trends brought few surprises.

“Pushing January out of the picture and just focusing in on what we’re seeing with the month change here as well as the year over year change, this month was really looking like what we would expect the data to look like.”

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Oregon Jobs
4:25 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Oregon Is Adding Jobs

A number of job sectors in Oregon are seeing growth.
Credit KLCC

Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February remains unchanged at 8.4 percent. A number of sectors are seeing growth.

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