economy

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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Washington Budget Shortfall
4:02 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Washington Budget Shortfall May Get Worse With Revenue Forecast

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 3:56 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington’s nearly $1 billion shortfall could grow after Wednesday’s revenue forecast. The state already faces higher than expected Medicaid costs. It’s widely expected the March forecast will show revenues coming in lower than expected. The governor and legislative budget writers have been waiting to see what the forecast brings before they roll out their spending proposals.

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Washington Jobs
4:01 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Washington Records Unusually Strong Job Gains In January

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 3:22 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The state of Washington recorded unusually strong job gains in January. That's according to new numbers released Wednesday by the state Employment Department. A regular survey of businesses found more than 24,000 new jobs created.

The state's chief labor economist, Joe Elling, says there's evidence of gathering "momentum" in the economy. But the January job gains are so strong, he doesn't quite believe them.

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Voices of Coal
6:45 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Voices Of Coal: Tribal Fisherman

This week we’re bringing you our special EarthFix series, "Voices of Coal."

Each day we'll hear from someone with a personal stake in the Northwest's debate over coal export terminals.

Oregon Budget
6:59 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Budget Debate Kicks Off In Salem

Ways & Means Co-chairs Representative Peter Buckley (left) and Senator Richard Devlin (right) outline their budget proposal at a state capitol press conference.
Credit Photo by Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The stage is now set for a protracted battle over the upcoming state spending plan in Oregon. Legislative budget-writers Monday released a proposal that relies on rolling back tax breaks and reducing benefits to retired public workers. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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Timber Market
6:54 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Demand For Western Lumber Increases, While Log Supply Is Tight

Hundreds of sawmill representatives gathered in Portland Monday for a trade association meeting. Thanks to a recovering housing market, the U.S. demand for lumber is increasing. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix has more.

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Rural Idaho Economy
4:37 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Early Economic Recovery Leaves Rural Idaho Behind

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:59 pm

New numbers out Monday show Idaho's rural areas experienced the post-recession years very differently from the state's cities. While places like Boise and Pocatello were on the mend, economic output in rural communities in Idaho declined.

At first glance, Idaho's rural counties appeared to be making an economic recovery with the rest of the state. But Idaho’s Department of Labor says when you take inflation into account, the output of goods and services from rural Idaho actually declined by $90 million in 2011.

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Sequester Cuts
6:02 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Local Effects Of Automatic Federal Budget Cuts Hazy

Adm. Samuel J. Locklear addresses officers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Friday.
Credit Photo courtesy I Corps, U.S. Army

Northwest military bases, universities, national labs and parks await guidance for how to implement automatic federal budget cuts. The so-called "sequester" is scheduled to take effect at the end of this week. Not much else is certain beyond that including who in the region could feel the pain immediately, if anyone. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

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