Economy, Business, Finance, and Labor

Economy and business news

Northwest Household Income Flat ... Except In Oregon

Sep 19, 2013
RichPT / Flickr

Oregon was one of the few states where household earnings went up last year. That's according to a new report out Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Washington State Employment Security Dept.

According to fresh numbers out Wednesday from the state employment department, the unemployment rate in Washington state edged up slightly in August to an even 7 percent as hiring slowed.

parkatmyhouse.com

First there was Craigslist. Then other more specialized websites arrived to make it easier to rent out your spare bedroom, vacation home, or even your car. A new category to catch on in the Northwest allows drivers to reserve a parking spot in someone else's driveway.

The concept is pretty simple says Alex Stephany, London-based CEO of the website parkatmyhouse.com.

"The idea is just if you have a parking space or driveway that is not being used some of the time, you can let someone else use it and you can make some money in the process."

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Take a drive down any highway in the Northwest, and you'll pass signs for dozens of small towns. There are more than 700 cities under 10,000 people in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Many of these towns came about because of railroads or timber or mines and now they’re trying to figure out what comes next.

It's nearly 2:15 in Avery, Idaho. The mail has arrived. And the post office is about to become the busiest place in town.

Tom Banse. Blue Array co-owners James Reilly and Victoria Jelderks at the Vader sewage treatment plant.

A startup company based in Vancouver, Washington is looking to upend the sewage treatment business.

Andreas Klinke Johannsen / Flickr

Washington's statewide unemployment rate is staying "pretty flat" this summer according to a state labor economist. A fresh jobs report released Wednesday shows the unemployment rate ticked up a tiny bit to 6.9 percent in July, from 6.8 percent in June.

But state economist Paul Turek says he puts more stock in a different number from the monthly jobs report. He says the number of new jobs created last month continues to expand at a "decent" pace.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

"Hackerspaces" are popping up all over the Northwest. But these aren't dens of computer infiltrators.

What we're talking about are community workshops for tinkering, machine tooling, 3-D printing and any other hands-on creativity you can think of. Some market themselves under the more benign-sounding label of "maker space." These workshops are now drawing attention as private incubators for entrepreneurship.

But let's straighten out this name business.

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.

For state labor economist Paul Turek, the biggest headline is found is deeper in the numbers. He sees signs of stronger hiring in the private sector. That has the side effect of motivating new job seekers to join -- or rejoin -- the labor force.

"We're seeing -- four years after the recession was declared over -- more decent signs of recovery taking place."

Union-Backed Lawsuit Seeks To Overturn Pension Cuts

Jul 3, 2013

Public employee unions have followed through with their threat to challenge legislatively-approved cuts to public pensions. A union-backed lawsuit, filed this week, seeks to overturn the new law.

Unions representing many of Oregon's public employees have said all along that they would challenge the new cost-cutting policy. With that in mind, lawmakers have already fast-tracked any legal challenges directly to the Oregon Supreme Court.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The Canadian dollar -- affectionately known as the "loonie" -- is dropping in value. 

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