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Ashley Gross / KPLU

Just a few years ago, the idea of a $15 minimum wage seemed outlandish, but now two of the biggest states in the country – New York and California – have approved plans to gradually raise their wage floors to that amount.

Turn on the TV and you can barely escape the acronym TPP.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a free trade deal between the U.S. and 11 other countries that's currently being negotiated. Presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle are deriding the TPP, saying it's a bum deal that will hurt the U.S. economy and especially low-wage workers.

100,000 Opportunities Initiative

If you’re between the ages of 16 and 24 and looking for a job, head to Seattle’s Centurylink Field on Thursday to meet with hiring managers from companies including Microsoft, T-Mobile and Starbucks.

Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

At a luncheon hosted by the Technology Alliance in Seattle, Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella weighed in on whether computers will one day put a lot of us out of work, and his take is that people are right to be concerned.

Intel was once known for its success in branding personal computers with microprocessors, a technology that fueled the digital revolution. But the Silicon Valley veteran announced last month it would lay off 11 percent of its workforce — up to 12,000 positions — and that it's shifting away from personal computing.

Amid pressure from both U.S. and European antitrust regulators, two of the world's biggest oilfield services companies, Halliburton and Baker Hughes, have called off their $28 billion merger.

In April, the Justice Department sued to stop the merger, saying it would have eliminated competition, NPR's Jim Zarroli reports for our Newscast unit.

Paula Wissel / KPLU

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy said the county needs to pass a special sales tax increase to pay for mental health services and that a lack of treatment options for people with mental health problems is contributing to rising homelessness. 

supafly / Flickr

Employees in the Puget Sound area working for grocery chains such as QFC, Safeway and Fred Meyer have approved new contracts that protect their health coverage and improve wages, according to a statement from their unions, Locals 21 and 367 of the United Food and Commercial Workers and Teamsters 38. The contracts cover about 30,000 workers in the region.

“Legislative Building and Temple of Justice” by Dan Ox is licensed under CC BY 2.0 bit.ly/1rnzFOw

Tens of thousands of state workers in Washington are the target of unusual public records requests  from an anti-union group asking for their birth dates. 

The requests came from the Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Olympia that’s targeting public sector unions. On its web site, the group says it wants to “reverse the stranglehold public-sector unions have on our government.” 

It's been a good week for employees of Chobani. They learned that they could eventually own about 10 percent of the rapidly expanding Greek yogurt company. That could potentially make millionaires of some workers, if the privately held company is sold or goes public.

It's a grand gesture, and reflects a rising trend in employee ownership.

fredlet / Flickr

Grocery store workers in the Puget Sound region came very close to going on strike in late 2013, but recent contract negotiations have gone more smoothly and workers are voting this week on a tentative agreement, with results expected tomorrow.

Ralph Radford / AP Photo

Boeing says it’s doing all it can to meet a big deadline in August of next year, when the company is supposed to deliver the first 18 KC-46 aerial refueling tankers to the Air Force, but cost overruns on the program have been mounting.

Working Washington

Seattle has paid sick leave and one of the country’s highest minimum wages. Now, the city is exploring whether to adopt another kind of worker-friendly ordinance, this time one focused on how to make workers’ schedules more predictable.

Apple's 13-year streak of making highly profitable products has hit a snag.

In the most recent quarterly report, Apple says iPhone sales fell. And with nothing else to make up for it for now, Apple's revenue declined along with it, for the first time since 2003. The quarterly profit, too, dropped 22.5 percent.

This post was updated at 7:45 p.m. ET.

A central neighborhood in Boston had been left out of Amazon's plans for free same-day delivery in the city. The company said on Tuesday that will change.

A Bloomberg analysis last week showed that the predominantly black Roxbury community did not have access to the Amazon Prime service, which is offered to all adjacent neighborhoods. After looking at nationwide data, Bloomberg called the disparity in Boston "the most striking."

Remitly

Startups trying to raise venture capital dollars have faced a pretty chilly market lately, but a Seattle-based company called Remitly has just announced it pulled in its biggest round of funding ever. 

Ashley Gross / KPLU

When you think of business rivalries, some epic ones might spring to mind: Coke vs. Pepsi, McDonald's vs. Burger King, Marvel vs. DC.

Here in Washington state, we have front-row seats to one of those legendary business rivalries: Boeing vs. Airbus. And what's interesting here is that an entire aerospace supply chain that grew up servicing one major customer, Boeing, has now diversified into selling to its European arch-nemesis.

Elmira College / Flickr

There’s so much construction underway in the Puget Sound region right now, but it’s easy to forget that the workers face significant safety risks.

One of those risks comes from small sand particles known as silica that can lodge in workers’ lungs. In June, a tougher federal rule on silica exposure is set to take effect.

Mike Mozart / Flickr

Microsoft shares sank about 5 percent after the company reported that quarterly earnings dropped 25 percent. The Redmond-based software giant is trying to move beyond its traditional dependence on the personal computer market, which is struggling.

Alaska Airlines executives sounded upbeat after their first meeting with antitrust regulators about Alaska's proposed acquisition of rival Virgin America.

"So far, so good" was Alaska Air General Counsel Kyle Levine's summary of how the initial meeting with the U.S. Department of Justice went.

The European Union has filed new antitrust charges against Google, alleging that it uses its Android operating system to impose unfair conditions on makers of mobile devices.

"

We found that Google pursues an overall strategy on mobile devices to protect and expand its dominant position in internet search," Margrethe Vestager, the EU's commissioner for competition, said in a statement today.

Port of Tacoma

Northwest Innovation Works, a company backed by an arm of the Chinese government, said in a statement that it's terminated its lease at the Port of Tacoma where the company had planned to build one of the world's largest methanol plants. 

The company said it's still pursuing a plan to build a smaller plant in Kalama on the Columbia River. 

Mike Mozart / Flickr

Nordstrom said it's planning to cut 350 to 400 jobs, mostly in the Seattle area, as it makes changes to its business model. That represents about 5 percent of the company's Seattle workforce. 

A Nordstrom spokeswoman, Tara Darrow, said in an email that the job cuts are in addition to previously announced plans to eliminate about 130 technology positions. The fashion retailer employs a total of 70,000 people. 

Yahoo goes on sale Monday. At least some of you reading this are thinking, "Yahoo? Are they still around?"

Yes, this company founded in 1994, is ancient by Internet standards, but, according to the measurement company comScore, Yahoo sites are the third-most trafficked on the Internet. Among its properties are Yahoo Finance, News, Search, Mail, Tumblr and Flickr.

When it comes to clothes these days, maybe you should ask: What's your waste size?

Pfizer and Allergan won't be merging after all, the companies announced Wednesday.

U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and Irish competitor Allergan were planning to combine into the largest pharmaceutical giant in the world.

Ever watch The Beverly Hillbillies and wonder why Jed Clampett moved to Beverly Hills and not Texas or some town that we more closely associate with oil?

Even Angelenos forget sometimes that the Clampetts came first, then the swimming pools and movie stars. Think J. Paul Getty or Edward Doheny, men who made their fortunes on oil and then made LA.

U.S. companies will find it much harder to reduce their taxes by merging with foreign firms under new rules introduced by the Obama administration, and that's already throwing the fate of one big deal in doubt.

Shares of Allergan were down sharply Tuesday, as investors questioned whether its $150 billion merger with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will still take place.

The NFL has struck a deal with Twitter to live-stream, for free, the 2016 season of Thursday Night Football online through the social media site.

For the NFL, this is a push to reach the growing cohort of people who might not have a cable subscription. For Twitter, it might prove to be a major win in its ongoing challenge to attract and keep new users.

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.

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