Economy, Business, Finance, and Labor

Economy and business news

Washington Employment Security Department

The unemployment rate in Washington state held steady at 5.8 percent for the fourth consecutive month in March. But in its latest jobs report out Wednesday, the state employment department reported steady hiring across most of the economy.

Alaska Airlines/Virgin America

Alaska Airlines management is expressing confidence about integrating its rival Virgin America, whose pending acquisition was announced Monday. Any airline merger poses challenges and this one is no exception.

Alaska Air outbid rival JetBlue Airways to acquire Virgin America in what Alaska Air CEO Brad Tilden described as "a hard fought competition." Alaska Air won the bidding war with a $2.6 billion all-cash offer that was announced Monday.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A U.S. bankruptcy judge Tuesday approved the sale of the profitable core of the Haggen grocery chain to rival Albertsons. That brings to a close the dismantling of the Washington-based company.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Hanford construction workers and managers testified in day two of a U.S. Department of Labor hearing Wednesday in Kennewick, where a different image emerged of  the site's under-construction waste treatment plant than is usually presented to the public.

Anna King, Northwest News Network

Several former Hanford construction workers testified in a U.S. Department of Labor hearing in Kennewick Tuesday, saying managers at the nuclear site played dangerous pranks that ended in workers with bloodied fingers, an injured knee, a hurt arm and glue smeared across the face. 

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

It’s official: Oregon’s minimum wage will increase over the next six years after Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed the bill Wednesday at a state Capitol ceremony. Brown called the measure her top priority for this year's legislative session.

Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries

One of the initiative campaigns to raise Oregon's minimum wage announced Monday that it's ending its signature-gathering efforts. But a separate campaign says it will keep trying to get an initiative on the November ballot.

Joe Wolf / Flickr - tinyurl.com/z8o86qr

Oregon lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to a measure that will increase the state's minimum wage over the next six years. The vote in the Oregon House now sends the measure to the governor's desk.

Three states, three ways of addressing whether and how to raise the statewide minimum wage. In Oregon this coming Monday, the state House takes up a three-tiered wage increase that passed the state Senate last Thursday. In Washington state, activists are preparing to hit the streets for a statewide initiative. Meanwhile, Idaho lawmakers are mulling whether to block both a statewide and any possible local increases in the minimum wage.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

Delta Air Lines workers in the greater Seattle area received $53.1 million in bonuses Friday. About 3,000 local employees at Delta's newest hub city qualified for the corporate profit sharing program.

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