Business

Washington's Economy
6:11 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

Unemployment Taxes Going Up Again

Washington's Employment Security Department is sending out 2011's tax-rate notices this week to more than 170,000 businesses.

The agency says next year's average rate will increase by nearly a full percentage point.  Most employers' rates are going up for the second year in a row.  It's the highest average rate in more than two decades. 

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Business
4:43 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

China's aerospace sector booming, Washington companies testing waters

Model jetliners from the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) were centerstage at teh Singapore Airshow 2010.
Photo by Huasheng Wang

China's aerospace sector is taking off.  Washington state has hundreds of suppliers - and many want in to that growing market.  The state's Department of Commerce is more than a year in to a new push to promote them.  

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Forest-To-Table
8:26 am
Wed December 8, 2010

Forest-to-Table is latest twist on “Eat Local” movement

Carol Wick contemplates the possibilities for her woodlot near Enumclaw
Tom Banse N3

One of the catch phrases of the local food movement is “farm-to-table” -- eating food grown nearby. Now small forest owners want to join the local food party. And no, they’re not talking about feeding you sawdust. Instead, local forest products include edible mushrooms, berries, and a salad green called miner’s lettuce. 

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Boeing
5:23 pm
Mon December 6, 2010

Trusted analyst fuels rumor: tanker bid will go to EADS, not Boeing

One of the US Airforce's aging KC-135 tankers refuels an F-18 Hornet midflight. The contract to replace the US fleet of refuelling tankers is estimated to be worth $40 B.
U.S. Navy photo by Lt.j.g. Perry Solomon

A leading defense analyst who had previously predicted a Boeing win in the competition to build the US Air Force's next generation of refueling tankers now says Airbus parent EADS will likely get the $40-billion contract. 

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Labor Relations
10:07 pm
Sun December 5, 2010

Grocery workers approve new 3-year contract

Sue Wilmot, a shop steward and member of the UFCW negotiating campaign that recommended approval of the contract offer. She is checker with Safeway on Bainbridge Island. Behind her, grocery workers check in for the vote in Seattle.
Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

Unionized grocery workers in the region say they're glad they didn't have to go on strike.  But they say the threat of a massive walk out was what helped them get a new contract they could accept.  Votes tallied over the weekend show a resounding 95% approval.   

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Business
4:03 pm
Fri December 3, 2010

Nalley’s saying ‘Goodbye’ to Tacoma after 92 years

A spread of Nalley's top products for a 1949 advertising campaign. Nalley Foods was famous around the northwest for its potato chips and pickles. The brand name lives on as the local company fades away.
Richards Studio, Tacoma via Tacoma Public Library Archives

Tacoma is losing one of its landmark businesses.  Nalley Foods will close its local plant some time next year. 

Nalley’s has been well known for its brand of potato chips, pickles, and mayonnaise.  The chips were ubiquitous across the Northwest for decades, but that line was sold-off 15 years ago. 

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State Budget Crisis
7:28 am
Thu December 2, 2010

Candy, soda and bottled water tax goes away today

Chris Shook, a driver with Harbor Pacific Bottling Inc., makes a delivery of soda and water in Elma, Wash.
Ted Warren AP Photo

Washington’s sales tax on candy, soda and bottled water goes away today. Some candy and chocolate stores are bracing for a surge in business from corporate gift purchases that have been delayed until now to avoid the tax.

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Panel Discussion
12:30 am
Thu December 2, 2010

Re-Imagining the GDP

The tiny kingdom of Bhutan measures Gross National Happiness rather than GDP.
Flickr/Chris Guillebeau

How should we measure societal progress and success?  What is the economy really for?  Is the measure of Gross National Happiness, championed by the tiny south Asian nation of Bhutan, superior to our Gross Domestic Product?  How has Seattle become one of the centers in the U. S. pursuing such alternative measures?

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Outsourcing Debate
4:10 pm
Wed December 1, 2010

The conference that didn’t happen: Mexico Now canceled Seattle event

Flickr, by aflcio/ Bernard Pollack

Organized labor flexed its muscles recently in our region, showing their influence behind the scenes. There won’t be any protests on the evening news.  But the threat of large-scale demonstrations this week by the Machinists Union and its supporters culminated in the cancellation of a conference meant to lure aerospace manufacturing to Mexico. It was scheduled to take place tomorrow in Seattle.  

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Public Health
12:42 pm
Wed December 1, 2010

Cigarette campaign draws fire from Washington leaders

A big tobacco company is using images of Seattle to convince people to light up.  It’s one of 10 cities featured in an ad campaign that follows the Camel cigarettes mascot to “hip” locations.  This month, the company plans to start selling limited edition packs with Seattle icons on it.

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Washington's Economy
7:09 pm
Tue November 30, 2010

End of emergency unemployment benefits means final checks for thousands in Washington

Nearly 100,000 unemployed people in Washington were on emergency benefits before the federal program expired. There are five job seekers for every open position. The national unemployment rate is 9.6%.
Flickr, by khalilshah

Nearly 100,000 people in Washington will get letters this week, letting them know how soon their unemployment benefits will run out.  Emergency assistance for the long-term jobless has expired.  

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Boeing's Troubled Dreamliner
4:37 pm
Tue November 30, 2010

787 flying again, but another delay is certain

Another delay of the troubled Boeing 787 Dreamliner's first delivery to All Nippon Airways is certain.
AP

Boeing's damaged Dreamliner No. 2 is back in the air – but not for test flights.  It's not clear when the new jet's test flight program will resume or how long the latest 787 delay will end up being. 

But Boeing says the Dreamliner that was badly damaged by an in-flight fire in Texas three weeks ago took off from Laredo at 12:06 p.m. Pacific Time and was expected to land at Boeing Field at 4:18 this afternoon.  

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Busines & Labor
5:37 am
Mon November 22, 2010

Tentative deal reached in grocery chain talks

There'll be no Thanksgiving grocery strike at central Puget Sound's large supermarkets.
Gary Davis/KPLU

 Grocery workers and their employers have reached a tentative agreement after lengthy contract talks over the weekend.  This means shoppers no longer have to worry about a pre-Thanksgiving strike at the four big chains: QFC, Fred Meyer, Safeway and Albertsons.

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Labor Relations
11:22 am
Thu November 18, 2010

Grocery Workers' Contract Talks Resume

Puget Sound grocery workers crowded in for a strike authorization vote last week. 94 % rejected the latest contract offer.
Courtesy UFCW 21

With just a week to go before Thanksgiving, there's new hope in the grocery workers contract dispute.  Negotiators are back at the table today  after a resounding majority of union members threatened to go on strike.

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Washington's Economy
12:22 pm
Wed November 17, 2010

State jobless rate steady

Job seekers at an employment fair. Washington State's jobless rate held steay from September to October at 9.1%

The latest figures are out, and the state's unemployment rate is unchanged from last month: 9.1%.


About 1,900  private sector jobs were added last month. That makes five consecutive months of job growth in private industry, according to the Employment Security Department. 


The public sector added 4,000 positions, largely due to education-related hiring in September.

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