Economy

Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.

The budget negotiations that led to a frantic New Year's deal on taxes confirmed many lessons about the way Washington works today.

For one thing, many of the most important relationships in the capitol appear to be broken. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner led negotiations on a budget deal for most of the post-election period, but once again they came up empty.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington’s idled construction industry continued to show signs of life in August. Nonetheless, the state’s jobless rate still rose slightly. Overall Washington lost 1,100 jobs last month. The new unemployment rate announced Wednesday is 8.6 percent -– up a tenth of a percent from July.

Construction was one of the bright spots. That hard-hit sector added nearly 2,000 jobs in August. But chief labor economist Joe Elling says construction is still digging out of a deep hole.

Northwest wildfires not all bad for local economies

Sep 17, 2012

Crews continue to make progress on several wildfires in central Washington. State health officials say the air is smoky enough around Wenatchee to be unhealthy for people with sensitive respiratory systems.

Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Oregon have been looking into the economic impact of large wildfires. Their findings indicated that there can actually be an upside to local economies.

Islamic Pakistan has just one brewery, but it has a rich history.

Bottles of beer have been rolling off Murree Brewery's assembly line since 1860, when the company was founded outside the capital Islamabad — making it Pakistan's oldest private company.

"The brewery was here before Pakistan was here," says CEO Isphanyar Bhandara.

Sitting at his grandfather's desk, he tastes new samples and describes how he ended up running a brewery in a Muslim country, where alcohol is virtually banned.

There have been a few glimmers of hope lately for the U.S. economy, such as a better-than-expected jobs report. But local economist Dick Conway  says there’s even more reason for optimism for the Puget Sound region. 

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho - The housing market in the Northwest is finally showing signs of recovery. But there’s one sector of real estate that never let up during the economic downturn. Real estate agents who sell what’s known as “survival realty” are experiencing boom times. A remote corner of the Northwest has become a hotspot for home buyers wanting to ride out disaster – natural or otherwise.

Realtor Michael White guides me from room to room in a spacious three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home. Let’s just say it’s somewhere in north Idaho.

A new analysis released today finds that residential segregation by income is rising in United States.

NPR's Jennifer Ludden filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The Pew Research Center studied Census figures for the 30 largest metropolitan areas. Director Paul Taylor says economic segregation is up in all but three.

A fierce drought has been scorching crops this summer, but it's still too soon to know exactly how much of a hole it will burn in your wallet.

Sergio Bonachela / Flickr

You know you’re in a first-world economy when … many of your metro areas have larger economies than whole countries.

The Wall Street Journal wanted to put into perspective just how big the gap is between the U.S. economy and much of the rest of the world and so created a ranked list.

Back in 1912, Massachusetts became the first place in America to introduce a minimum wage, but it would take another quarter century before a national minimum wage was set.

President Franklin Roosevelt made it law in 1938, that any hourly worker had to be paid at least 25 cents an hour. It was revolutionary, and very few countries had anything like it.

Brian Talbot / flickr.com

The average annual wage in Washington grew by 3.6% in 2011. 

The state Employment Security Department says wages outpaced inflation by 0.9 percentage points.

The average annual salary in Washington was $49,894 last year, up from $48,162 in 2010.

LWY / Flickr Creative Commons

Non-profit arts groups generated $447.6  million for Seattle’s economy in 2010. That’s over $1 million more than before the economic downturn, according to a recent study by Americans for the Arts, a national advocacy group.

Gas prices nationwide have been dropping but not in the Northwest. In fact, this Memorial Day weekend, the region's gas prices are among the highest in the nation.

Gas in Washington and Oregon is selling above $4.20 per gallon. It's cheaper in Idaho. But all three states are well above the national average of $3.68 per gallon.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington’s jobless rate continues to inch downward. The April numbers out Wednesday put unemployment at 8.1 percent . That’s down from 8.3 percent in March. Most of April’s job growth was in manufacturing.

State economist Dave Wallace says so far 2012 is proving to be a recovery year in Washington.

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