Economy, Business, Finance, and Labor

Economy and business news

Dan Iggers / Flickr

OLYMPIA, Wash. – One of the Northwest’s most visible payday lenders is back in the middle of a fight over short-term loans. Moneytree wants the Washington legislature to approve a new type of consumer loan.

This new loan would give short-term borrowers more money up front, but also more time to pay it off. Someone in a financial pinch could borrow up to $1,500 cash over 12 months.

In testimony before a panel of lawmakers, opponent Bruce Neas noted that all the fees and interest could add up to more than the amount of the original loan.

Coeur d'Alene Mines Leaves Namesake Idaho Home

Mar 27, 2013

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho – Idaho is losing one of its oldest silver mining companies to Chicago. The Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation announced Wednesday it plans to move to the Windy City by the end of September.

The company employs 65 people at its headquarters in Coeur d'Alene in north Idaho. But the firm known as "Coeur" hasn't had any holdings in the state since 2006.

Company spokeswoman Stefany Bales says Coeur managers need easier access to properties in Mexico, Bolivia and Australia.

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.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Budget writers in Olympia are breathing a sigh of relief. Despite the federal sequester and other risks to the economy, the state’s new revenue forecast out Wednesday is mostly flat. Even so, Washington lawmakers still face a $1 billion-plus shortfall and a court-ordered down payment for public schools.

In advance of this March forecast, the scuttlebutt in the Washington state Capitol was revenues might take a significant hit. The source of the anxiety: lower personal income, lower U.S. GDP and concerns about the federal sequester.

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.”

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

BREWSTER, Wash. - There's one word that politicians almost always use when they talk about the U.S. immigration system. That word is “broken.” But what does that really mean? Residents of the small town of Brewster, Wash., know. For decades, immigrants have come from Mexico, often illegally, to work the surrounding apple and cherry orchards. Bewster, it turns out, is a microcosm of how the immigration debate is playing out.

Washington Senate Approves Limiting Sick Leave

Mar 12, 2013

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Senate moved Monday to limit the reach of Seattle’s pioneering paid sick leave law. In 2011, the city council voted to require all companies that do business in Seattle to offer paid sick leave. But in Olympia, the state Senate approved a measure to limit the benefit only to those companies and workers based almost all the time within the city limits.

State Sen. David Frockt from Seattle complained the bill is an attack on local control.

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.

Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network

A union lock out at a big grain export terminal brought all ship loading and unloading to a halt at the Port of Vancouver, Washington Wednesday. It's one of several developments in a long-running labor dispute involving longshore workers and grain handlers.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

A bill before an agriculture committee in the Idaho legislature aims to keep shepherds from abandoning their flocks. The state's wool industry still relies on old-fashioned sheep herders but some are leaving those positions for better jobs. Now, the bill has hit a nerve with immigrant rights groups.

Pages