Economy

Energy
6:53 am
Thu March 22, 2012

What's Making Americans Less Thirsty For Gasoline?

Growing demand for more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, like these 2009 Dodge Journey crossover vehicles, has helped drive down gasoline consumption in the U.S.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 4:03 am

The price of gasoline keeps rising for Americans, but it's not because of rising demand from consumers.

Since the first Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, the U.S. has struggled to quench a growing appetite for oil and gasoline. Now, that trend is changing.

"When you look at the U.S. oil market, you see that there's actually no growth," says Daniel Yergin, chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

He says gasoline demand peaked in 2007 and has fallen each year since, even though the economy has begun to recover.

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Planet Money
10:53 am
Mon March 5, 2012

NPR factoid table: How the 1 percent and the 99 percent are doing

via Emmanuel Saez

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 10:38 am

Quick update on income inequality in America.

Emmanuel Saez, an economist who's one of the leading scholars on the subject, just published some new numbers.

Saez tracks income growth since 1993. He compares the top 1 percent of earners to everybody else.

Three things to note in this table:

1. Over the long term, the top 1 percent have seen much larger gains than everyone else.

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Settlement Reached With Banks On Relief For Some Homeowners

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 9:46 am

"After negotiating through the night," NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, states attorneys general, federal officials and five major banks have agreed on a plan that will provide about $26 billion in mortgage relief and aid to homeowners who got crushed when the housing bubble burst.

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Economy
9:20 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Laid-off, then hired back by the state of Washington

Keri-Anne Jetzer lost her job as a state researcher, but then was hired back in a different position.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The number of people who are out of work in Washington is falling. It’s a sign the economy is recovering – albeit slowly. But it’s only been in the last two months that the government sector has started hiring again.

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Economic woes
11:15 am
Thu January 12, 2012

Tacoma’s finances are even worse than it had predicted, review finds

Tacoma is still struggling to keep all the lights on, as its economic woes continue.
Brian Wilson Flickr

Tacoma’s 31-million-dollar predicted budget shortfall might be even worse than expected.  An outside review done by Herbert Research has found that Tacoma actually faces a 32-million dollar deficit of the current budget. 

But officials from the research firm say that they did not take into account any of the recent actions taken by the city to generate revenue. 

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Economy
4:32 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Some NW Republicans Urge 'Supercommittee' To 'Go Big'

The deadline for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction -- or 'Supercommittee' -- to cut $1.2 trillion from the nation’s debt is next week.

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 11:06 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A special budget panel lead by Washington Senator Patty Murray remains gridlocked as it nears its deadline next week. Some Northwest lawmakers are urging the so-called “super committee” to exceed its goal of cutting $1.2 trillion from the nation’s debt.

If the “supercommittee” fails to reach a bipartisan solution by next Wednesday, deep spending cuts are slated to fall on nearly all of the federal budget. That puts a lot of pressure on Murrray, a co-chair of the panel.

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The Digital Future
4:30 am
Tue October 25, 2011

A Merry Christmas for technology?

Apple's iPhone 4s will be one of the big hits of the holiday season.
Michael Nienaltowski flickr.com

Strategic News Service publisher Mark Anderson is predicting the technology sector will end the year on a relatively high note. But, as he tells KPLU's Dave Meyer on The Digital Future, he's worried about the first quarter of 2012.

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Economic Downturn
11:10 am
Tue September 27, 2011

College grads driving upward spike in bankruptcy filings

Ryan Dickey Flickr

Our high school teachers always said that a college education was a sure fire way to ensure financial stability down the road but now there’s mounting evidence that no one is immune to financial disaster.

A new study found college graduates are the fastest growing group of consumers filing for bankruptcy in the nation.  And Washington State is no exception.

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Economy
2:26 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Protestors try to disrupt meeting of business leaders near Cle Elum

Anti-poverty protestors outside The Association Of Washington Business Summit at Suncadia Resort on Wednesday.
Northwest News Network

NEAR CLE ELUM, Wash. – Anti-poverty activists tried to crash a meeting of business leaders at a resort in Central Washington. The action – dubbed “Showdown at Suncadia” – happened today as the state’s chamber of commerce held its annual policy summit.

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Business
4:45 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

Mayor McGinn calls on Congress to support Obama's jobs plan

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.
City of Seattle

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn wants Congress to put aside partisanship and pass President Obama's $450 billion American Jobs Act.

If passed, it could mean big bucks for the state of Washington; The federal government could fund up to $1.8 billion worth of public works projects that it says, would create jobs and improve infrastructure.

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Economic woes
1:43 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

Felons reentering society have it even tougher in down economy

Getting out of jail in a tough economy can make reentry into society that much harder for people already hard to employ.
Thomas Hawk Flickr

VANCOUVER, Wash. — It can be hard to find a job these days – especially with a felony conviction on your record.

That's the position offenders in the Clark County work release program have found themselves in. The inmates, who are serving the last few months of their sentence, are tasked with finding work to help them build up savings and gain work experience to help them reenter society.

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Business
8:44 pm
Mon September 5, 2011

Coldwater Creek to shut stores as sales drop

A Northwest brand is finding women's apparel and jewelry a tough sell in the current economy. Idaho-based Coldwater Creek has announced it will close dozens of stores in the face of a 28 percent drop in sales.

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Money Matters
6:15 am
Tue August 16, 2011

Are we in for a longer recovery?

s_falkow Flickr

Is the economy recovering … or heading for another recession? Uncertainty has been growing in recent weeks with conflicting economic indicators and high volatility on Wall Street.

On this week’s "Money Matters" with financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU’s Dave Meyer, Greg changes his mind about how soon the economy will recover. Instead of a 5 to 10 year recovery, Greg thinks it'll be more like 10 to 15 years.

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Facebook discussion
3:08 pm
Tue August 9, 2011

How has the roiling bad economy hit your life?

Can't afford a room at the "Economy Inn"? Join our discussion on Facebook about how the ongoing economic trouble has affected your life.
Brent Moore Flickr

We are working on a story about the REAL impact of the ongoing economic woes. We want to know, what one thing has been affected most in your life by the turbulent economy?

Come to our Facebook page to join the conversation and tell us your story. Here’s a few of the responses so far:

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Recreation
11:58 am
Fri June 17, 2011

Hunting and fishing on the rise in bad economy

Sport fishermen cast into the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

Are more people hunting and fishing for food during these tough economic times? Possibly. However, the recent upturn in the number of people buying a hunting and fishing license is probably due to unemployed construction workers with more time on their hands, one department official said.

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