Northwest economy

Port of Tacoma

A team of economists at the University of Puget Sound say strength in military spending and port traffic will help lift Pierce County’s economy this year.

Ashley Gross / KPLU

The national economy will continue to climb out of the recession this year, and the Puget Sound region is forecast to do even better. That’s the word from an economic forecast conference in Seattle. 

Northwest gas prices still on the rise

Aug 28, 2012

With the Labor Day holiday weekend approaching, the average price of a gallon of unleaded gas has once again topped $4 in Oregon and Washington. AAA says that puts the cost of gas in the Northwest at more than 25 cents a gallon above the national average.

The price is still not as high as it was earlier this summer, but AAA's Marie Dodds says it's unprecedented for gas to top $4 a gallon this late in the summer.

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.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Thousands of long-term unemployed workers in Washington and Oregon will soon no longer receive unemployment checks. The federal government won't pay for extended benefits anymore because the jobless rates have improved in both states.

Washington and Oregon's employment departments announced that one emergency unemployment program is being curtailed and another is being shut down completely this month. That shortens the maximum time a worker can collect unemployment from nearly two years down to about a year and five months.

Associated Press

Washington State inspires envy all over the globe for the large and growing number of high-wage jobs located in the Puget Sound region.

At the heart of our economy is Boeing and the aerospace sector that has grown up around it. Government leaders, unions and policy experts have been patting themselves on the back lately for keeping and growing these jobs.

They also know the competition never rests.

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. 

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Employment Security Department says extended benefits will be phasing out over the next month for 85,000 people in the state.

WOODLAND, Wash. — Woodland rancher Bob Smith says he's selling off the 25 cattle remaining in his herd because of recent attacks that may be the work of novice rustlers.

Chris Devers / Flickr

It isn't just the poor and unemployed who are suffering in Seattle and Washington, but people who ten years ago were living comfortably on their wages are now living with a paycheck that doesn't seem to go far enough.

A new study from the University of Washington has found that the cost of living in Seattle and Washington State has risen significantly while worker wages have remained the same.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. – Members of Congress are getting an earful from their constituents during their summer recess. This week, a coalition of left-leaning groups is holding a series of rallies across Oregon.

The demonstrations are targeting members of Congress from both parties.

In Salem, a group marched toward the office of Democrat Kurt Schrader. The march was sponsored by an alliance of public employee unions and liberal activist groups.

Aftab Uzzaman / Flickr

The latest polling of Washington voters shows that optimism has taken “nose dive” to an all-time low.

Voters surveyed in The Elway Poll – an independent, nonpartisan analysis of public opinion – were less likely to think things were “getting better” than at any time since the survey began in 1991.

The architect of the survey, Stuart Elway, said people may be openly entertaining the idea that America has entered a “malaise” or “a new normal” of long-term high unemployment, weak spending and, simply, a plain old bummer of an economy like the one Japan suffered for more than a decade.

Ted S. Warren / AP

When disaster response in Japan turns to rebuilding, Northwest timber companies and sawmills should see an increase in exports. But an industry consultant says the slow pace of disaster recovery means those new orders may not come for months. 

Stock prices for some North American timber companies spiked in the immediate aftermath of the Japan disaster. Wall Street anticipates a surge in Japanese demand for logs, lumber and plywood to rebuild homes.