Economy, Business, Finance, and Labor

Economy and business news

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington voters could decide in November on a combined minimum wage and sick leave measure . A union-backed campaign calling itself “Raise Up Washington” filed an initiative Monday to raise the state’s base wage to $13.50 an hour by 2020.

A7nubis / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/zjv3zzz

There's been a lot of interest in opening a licensed recreational marijuana business in Oregon. The state received nearly 200 paid submissions in the first two days since it began taking applications.

Kay Steele / USFWS http://on.fb.me/1ONMj3h

In east Oregon, Harney County has seen more tourists -- a lot of them Baby-Boomer birders. Now bird-watchers and business leaders alike are fretting over the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by an armed group.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The fast expansion and spectacular meltdown of the Haggen grocery chain has left thousands of people in the Northwest with fewer places to buy their groceries. Safeway even got a monopoly as the only large supermarket in a whole county of eastern Oregon.

OREGON BUREAU OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIES

The effort to raise Oregon's minimum wage is getting a financial boost from the largest state workers union. SEIU local 503 has formed a political action committee to push for a hike in the state's base pay.

M.O. Stevens / Wikimedia Commons - bit.ly/225LXJl

More Oregon employees will be able to take sick leave in the coming year. It's because of a new law taking effect in January.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

You may remember the good old days when a domestic airline seat came with free checked bags and a meal. Now just about all coach passengers have to pay for those things. Next year, Seattle-based Alaska Airlines will join competitors in offering a "premium economy" class with more legroom for a fee.

Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

Oregon's economy is still going "full throttle." That was the word Wednesday from state economists as they unveiled the latest forecast of state revenues.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Religious leaders gathered at the Oregon capitol Monday to urge lawmakers to increase the state's minimum wage. It came as activists are gathering signatures to try to force a statewide vote next year.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

Bellingham, Washington-based Haggen mushroomed in size at the beginning of 2015 by acquiring 146 grocery stores across the West from Boise-based Albertsons and Safeway. Those two chains had to unload stores to gain federal approval to merge.

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