Economy, Business, Finance, and Labor

Economy and business news

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A report out last month says visitors spent nearly $740 million in communities near U.S. Forest Service lands in Washington and Oregon. The number of visitors and dollars coming into the region hasn’t changed much in nearly two decades.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Despite numerous requests for a veto, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday signed a controversial bill to privatize the state’s homecare provider system. The Democrat’s signing of the measure followed a contentious fight in the Legislature and accusations that it amounted to a power grab by the Service Employees International Union.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Last year, Horizon Air was forced to cut back the number of flights to many Pacific Northwest cities because it didn’t have enough pilots. The Alaska Air Group subsidiary has stabilized its ranks and is slowly rebuilding service.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

A fiery partisan battle has erupted in Olympia over a union-backed measure involving homecare workers. Underlying the fight is whether these workers should be able to opt out of their union.

The debate led to tense moments on the floor of the Washington Senate late Wednesday night.

Elvert Barnes Photography / Flickr - tinyurl.com/yb563yzb

Uber and Lyft drivers may soon have to undergo tougher background checks in Washington state. Lawmakers are considering a proposal that would require drivers to pass a fingerprint background check before being allowed to operate.

Enrique Perez de la Rosa / Northwest News Network

In 1998, Washington residents voted to ban affirmative action in the state’s colleges and universities. But through that initiative, government agencies have also been barred from giving preferential treatment to minority-owned businesses in contracting.

Now, lawmakers are considering repealing the ban.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

A quartet of young companies from the Seattle area have raised tens of millions of dollars by tapping into a hot tech trend. They've invented new virtual currencies and sold digital coins to the public.

These token sales are largely unregulated and are sparking increasingly frequent government warnings.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is following the lead of American Airlines, Southwest and dozens of other large companies in awarding $1,000 bonuses to its workers tied to the recently passed corporate tax cut.

Census Data Highlights Pacific Northwest Population Growth

Dec 27, 2017
U.S. Census Bureau

States in the Pacific Northwest are among the fastest growing in the country. And according to the latest census figures,  it’s gaining people more than twice as fast as the national average.

Migration to the region—rather than births—made up the bulk of population growth.

Visitor7 / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/j6o4lkn

Workers in the state of Washington are about to get a new benefit. Starting January 1, the state will require all employers to provide paid sick leave.

It’s part of a law passed by voters in 2016 that also raises the state’s minimum wage.

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