jobs

Photo by Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho - A few months ago, two northwest soldiers returned from Iraq with their National Guard unit. Both started looking for new civilian jobs. Neither is satisfied with what they found. Correspondent Jessica Robinson recently checked in with them and discovered that both soldiers are now thinking about signing up for another overseas tour with the military.

Photo Credit: Amelia Templeton / Northwest News Network

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Representatives from the Northwest released not one, but two controversial forestry bills Thursday. Both would channel funds from timber sales to rural counties. Amelia Templeton reports.

Most days, Nowela Virginie and her two young daughters are here, in her small apartment just off a busy thoroughfare on the outskirts of Boise.

Virginie is 23, and she arrived in Boise three years ago. She was born in Rwanda, but spent 16 years of her life in a refugee camp in Tanzania. She remembers the shock of finding herself in a new city, a place that looked nothing like anywhere she’d ever been. "When I coming USA, nobody can explain to me how USA is to look like, nobody can explain to me," she says.

Wikimedia user: Plazak / Wikimedia Commons

SILVER VALLEY, Idaho - They say the days when you could go from high school to a high-paying, blue collar job are long gone. But there are places in the Northwest where those days still exist -- that is, if you’re willing to work a mile underground.

For gold and silver miners, it looks like boom times right now. Rising salaries, more job opportunities. Even a recent layoff in north Idaho doesn't look like other layoffs. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has this story on a job that's seeing the reverse side of the economic downturn.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Iberdrola Renewables, one of the Northwest's biggest wind and solar power companies, let go about 50 workers out of a nationwide staff of more than 900. The cuts affect 25 workers based at its North American headquarters in Portland. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Energy company Iberdrola Renewables cited multiple factors for a decision to scale back on new projects. That led directly to layoffs in engineering, construction and development.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

WALLACE, Idaho - Residents of Idaho's Silver Valley are outraged over a federal order that will put 250 local miners out of work for a year. They expressed their frustration to Idaho Governor Butch Otter Monday at a town hall meeting in Wallace. Correspondent Jessica Robinson has more.

The Lucky Friday Mine in north Idaho is one of the deepest and most productive silver mines in the country. And in 2011, it had a string of accidents -– including two fatalities.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The number of people who are out of work in Washington is falling. It’s a sign the economy is recovering – albeit slowly. But it’s only been in the last two months that the government sector has started hiring again. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins profiles one person who lost her state job, but found another one.

Keri-Anne Jetzer’s low point came last year when she lost her job as a researcher for Washington’s Sentencing Guidelines Commission.

Jobless people in Idaho will start to see a major transition in its unemployment system. Idaho is phasing out paper unemployment checks and phasing in a system that puts benefits on debit cards. It becomes the second Northwest state to do so.

About one-third of Idaho's 44,000 unemployed people already have their weekly benefits put into some sort of electronic account. Now, Labor Department spokesman Bob Fick says Idaho's moving the other two-thirds that still receive paper checks to the state-issued debit cards.

The Oregon employment department released job data for April today/ yesterday [Tuesday]. As Amelia Templeton of OPB reports, unemployment in the state is still stuck at 10 and a half percent. 

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