economy

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.

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

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.

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.

Washington Jobs Return To Expected Numbers In February

Mar 20, 2013

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.”

Oregon Is Adding Jobs

Mar 19, 2013
KLCC

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

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.

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.

Voices Of Coal: Tribal Fisherman

Mar 6, 2013

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.

Budget Debate Kicks Off In Salem

Mar 5, 2013
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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