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Anna King


Washington state apple farmers are gearing up to harvest the second-largest crop in history, but it appears there won't be enough workers to get the fruit off the trees quickly enough. The shortage comes as apple prices are high because of crop damage elsewhere in the country. Correspondent Anna King has our report from an apple orchard outside of Prescott, Washington.

Northwest News Network

American coal companies are looking to the Northwest as the fastest way to bring their product from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana to Asian markets. There are now 5 ports in Washington and Oregon considering coal export terminals. In part two of our series on Coal in the Northwest we head to the site of what could one day be the largest coal export facility on the west coast, Bellingham, Washington. 

Oregon's Economy Continues Uneven Recovery

Jul 31, 2012

Oregon's economy showed mixed recovery in May. Most of the state's metropolitan regions continued to struggle, but the Portland area showed real progress. KLCC's Jes Burns reports.

The University of Oregon's Regional Economic Index for May found that Portland outperformed the rest of the state. Oregon Economic Forum Director Tim Duy says that area is once again growing at the average rate of the last 14 years.

With lingering high unemployment and the endless talk of the down economy – it’s hard to believe that there are some industries putting help-wanted signs out by the dozens. But that’s the case in Northwest orchard country where there appears to be a dwindling supply of migrant workers for cherry picking. Cherry season started this past week, and as correspondent Anna King reports, farmers and shop-keeps alike are anxiously waiting for more workers to arrive.

The shift to private liquor sales in Washington is affecting some 1,200 state employees. But they’re not all out of a job. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins checked in on how workers at one former state liquor store are doing under new system.

Photo credit: Wikimedia user Jay8G / Wikimedia Commons

Washington’s jobless rate continues to inch downward. The April numbers out Wednesday put unemployment at 8.1 percent. That’s down from 8.3 percent in March. Most of April’s job growth was in manufacturing. State economist Dave Wallace says so far 2012 is proving to be a recovery year in Washington.

Photo credit: Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Harry & David will be bringing its seasonal call center back to Eugene this year. They'll employ 700 to 800 people from November through mid-December.

Harry & David shut down their Eugene call center in 2010 and 2011, when it was going through financial hardship.

Darren Prescott is Vice President for Customer Care. He says the company tried outsourcing.

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.

Ashley Ahearn / N3

Six ports in the Northwest are now considering building export terminals to bring American coal to Asian markets. One of those ports is Grays Harbor – west of Olympia. 5 million tons of coal could move through that port each year. If that coal is burned in places like China that would be the same as putting about two and a half million new cars on the road. But the new terminal represents much-needed jobs in this county – and that has people talking.

Photo by Amelia Templeton / Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. -- Congress may be close to funding county timber payments for one more year. The senate passed a transportation bill Wednesday that included an extension of the rural aid program.

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