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The statewide unemployment rate in Washington again touched a record low of 4.5 percent in October. That's according to the Washington Employment Security Department, which has been tracking the number since the mid-1970s.

One of the paradoxes of racial discrimination is the way it can remain obscured even to the people to whom it's happening. Here's an example: In an ambitious, novel study conducted by the Urban Institute a few years ago, researchers sent actors with similar financial credentials to the same real estate or rental offices to ask about buying or renting a home or apartment.

Amazon confirmed a second and 'full equal' headquarters somewhere other than in the Puget Sound region.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks with KUOW reporters Joshua McNichols and Carolyn Adolph about the implications for cities hoping to land Amazon's second headquarters. McNichols and Adolph are co-hosts of KUOW's new podcast Prime(d).

Radke also talks with listeners about their advice to other cities hoping to reel in Amazon.

Tamarind Tree employees from left, Tin Dang, Loan Luong, and Mui Tang work in the kitchen on Thursday, October 12, 2017, at the restaurant in Seattle's Little Saigon neighborhood.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Tam Nguyen owns the Tamarind Tree restaurant in Seattle’s Little Saigon neighborhood. The menu features dishes like crispy coconut rice cakes with shrimp, and of course pho, which has been part of the fabric of Seattle culture since the 1980s.

Author Raj Patel said that, among other things, we don't pay enough for our food.
Flick Photo/Jo Ann Deasy (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7E5ZEP


Seattle (or Amazon-town, if you prefer) is ground zero for cheap things. Amazon has built a world-altering business out of discounting products online.

 

And author Raj Patel says that’s not a good thing.

Amazon.com logo
Flickr Photo/Guillermo Esteves (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks to Casey Coombs, reporter at the Puget Sound Business Journal, about Amazon's rapid growth over the last decade and what the company's playbook is for getting cities to offer incentives and deals to open fulfillment and data centers in their region. Coombs' reporting is a part of a series The Business Journals' have published called "The Amazon Effect: How taxpayers are funding the disruption of the U.S. economy."

Housing costs contribute dramatically to the high basic cost of living in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Megan Farmer

A family of four now needs annual income of nearly $76,000 just for basics to live in Seattle – up $30,000 from 2006.

That’s according to researchers at the University of Washington School of Social Work.

Washington’s economic climate is the fourth best in the nation. That’s according to a new report by produced by Washington’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council.

Amazon confirmed a second and 'full equal' headquarters somewhere other than in the Puget Sound region.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Regional politicians have been assembling a multi-county strategy to keep Amazon’s growth here.

The company’s announcement last month that it will pick a second headquarters has sent cities scurrying to meet an October 19 deadline.

Americans owe more than ever before, with household debt hitting a record of nearly $13 trillion. And auto loans, home loans and credit card debt are all still on the rise, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

That has some economists saying the lessons of the bubble of borrowing in the run-up to the Great Recession have already been forgotten.

Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

President Trump says he has a fix to the deep racial divide in America, blatantly exposed in the clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va.

"I think if we continue to create jobs at levels that I'm creating jobs, I think that's going to have a tremendously positive impact on race relations. I do. I do," he said in Phoenix on Aug. 22, adding that he thinks bigger paychecks will also help improve race relations.

Gentrification of neighborhoods can wreak havoc for those most vulnerable to change.

Sure, access to services and amenities rise in a gentrifying neighborhood. That is a good thing. But those amenities won't do you much good if you're forced to move because of skyrocketing housing costs.

That is why neighborhood and housing advocacy groups have spent decades searching for ways to protect longtime residents from the negative effects of gentrification.

At a campaign rally in Phoenix on Tuesday, President Trump made news by slamming Republican senators, praising controversial former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and blasting the news media.

He also defended his initial, controversial remarks on recent violent protests in Charlottesville, Va. But in doing so, he left out the parts of the remarks that inflamed people's tempers the most, like his comment that there was violence "on many sides."

If you pull a fire alarm in any large U.S. city, it's likely that paid firefighters waiting at a nearby station will quickly respond. But seven out of 10 American firefighters are actually volunteers. They cover vast sections of the country, making up an aging network that is increasingly understaffed and overworked.

On a blazing hot day recently in western Kansas, two men have rushed from their jobs to douse a grass fire, for free.

"If somebody wasn't here to do it, this could get out of hand real quick," says Jason Lonnberg, with the Jetmore Volunteer Fire Department.

If you ever have to travel a long distance — say, Washington, D.C., to Atlanta, Detroit to Chicago, San Francisco to Los Angeles — you might be stuck with only bad options: a flight from an airport with chronic delays that's hard to get to, or an Amtrak train ride that costs three times as much as a flight.

Well, now there's a new option on the horizon: a double-decker bus with pods for sleeping. It's called, simply, Cabin. It's an overnight service — like a red-eye — designed for people who love going places, but hate being in transit.

Reusing (@AndreaReusing) is the James Beard award-winning chef at Lantern in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Novel and thrilling in earlier days, today's farm-to-table restaurant menus have scaled new heights of supposed transparency. The specificity can be weirdly opaque, much like an actual menu item that recently made the rounds: Quail Egg Coated in the Ashes of Dried Sheep's S***. Farm-to-table fatigue is most evident in those of us who cook in farm-to-table restaurants — Even We Are Sick of Us.

World Faces Global Sand Shortage

Jul 21, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The statewide unemployment rate for Washington is holding at its record low in the latest jobs report out Wednesday. The state's Employment Security Department pegged the jobless rate in June at 4.5 percent, the same as in May.


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Courtesy of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.whattookyousolong.org/">What took you so long</a>

Nasra Hussain Ibrahim was 11 when she realized she’d have to do something drastic if her family was to survive.  

They lived in Hiiraan, a rough region in south-central Somalia where al-Shabaab, a hard-line, al-Qaeda-linked group, and local clans clash. The militants force children to fight, they take over and shutter schools and rape and force girls to marry fighters, while imposing a warped, violent version of Islam. Those who don’t obey face execution by stoning.  

If the world does nothing to limit carbon emissions, the US economy will suffer — but, according to a new study published Thursday in Science, the Pacific Northwest might actually benefit.

Climate scientists agree that this century is getting much warmer and that such warming will likely bring economic pain to the U.S., but economists aren't sure how much. Now, a team of scientists and economists, writing in the upcoming issue of the journal Science, says it can at least tell which parts of the country are likely to suffer the most.

The Ballard Locks link Puget Sound with Lake Washington and Lake Union.
KUOW Photo/Angela Nhi Nguyen

This year marks the 100th anniversary for the Ballard Locks and a new report says its age is showing. It faces a repair bill that could be from $30 million to $60 million.

El Balcon, Bremerton. The city ousted the tiny restaurant during the recession but invited it back after its owners and their five children became homeless.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When Mario Amaya first set foot in Bremerton in 2009, he fell in love.


Houses in Queen Anne
Flickr Photo/Harold Hollingsworth (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9C1rMq

Bill Radke talks to Denise Rodriguez, the deputy director of Washington Homeownership Resource Center, and Skylar Olsen, a senior economist at Zillow, about what makes the Puget Sound real estate market so competitive and how people are able to find and afford housing. 

Amazon is attempting to lure low-income shoppers from Walmart by offering a discount on its pay-by-month Prime membership for people who receive government assistance.

The giant online retailer said in a statement Tuesday that people who have a valid electronic benefits transfer card — used for programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, or food stamps — will pay $5.99 per month for a year. Amazon is offering a 30-day free trial for qualifying customers.

This year, 25 states and the District of Columbia are considering measures that would bar employers from asking job candidates about their prior salary. Last year, two states — California and Massachusetts — adopted similar policies, aimed at trying to narrow the pay gap for women and minorities.

When President Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney, unveiled the administration's budget blueprint earlier this week, which calls for significant cuts to food stamps, he noted that the aim of the budget was to get people working.

"If you're on food stamps and you're able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you're on disability insurance and you're not supposed to be — if you're not truly disabled, we need you to go back to work," Mulvaney said Tuesday.

An example of a 400 square foot backyard cottage.
KUOW Photo/paintchipdiaries (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/CXL53

Seattle officials are taking another shot at regulating Airbnb, VRBO and other vacation rentals. City Councilmember Tim Burgess is proposing new rules after a similar plan last year attracted opposition from the rental industry.

Here's the good news about young adults in the U.S. over the past four decades: More of them are working full time and year-round.

In 1975, close to 67 percent of adults from ages 25 to 34 were employed full time, and that share increased to 77 percent by 2016, according to a new report on young adults by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Kevin Butt's job is to find cleaner ways to power Toyota. One of the hardest places to do that is at the automaker's sprawling plant in central Kentucky, a state where nearly 90 percent of electricity still comes from coal.

Butt points out a new engine assembly line, where a conveyor belt moves in a slow circle. He says it was specially designed with a more efficient motor. There are also enormous fans overhead and LED lights, all changes that save millions.

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