In Lisbon, the waiting area of Portugal's biggest maternity hospital is empty. You can hear the hum of soda machines across the hall. There's just one expectant father, pacing the room.
Mario Carvalho, 40, has a toddler son and now awaits the birth of his baby girl.
"Today, I hope!" he says with a nervous smile.
The birth of a new baby is a joyous occasion. But in Portugal, it's an increasingly rare one. Since the economic crisis hit, the country's birthrate has dropped 14 percent, to less than 1.3 babies per woman — one of the lowest in the world.
Ireland was one of the countries hardest hit by Europe's debt crisis. On Sunday, it passed a big milestone when the nation became the first country to formally exit the bailout program funded by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.
After three years of the bailout program, it isn't hard to find signs of improvement in Ireland and of an economy coming back from the dead.
"Don't get me wrong, it's been bad in a lot of ways, but there's a silver lining in every cloud," says Conor Mulhall, a 41-year-old father of three.
Some of the sanctions against Iran will be eased under an agreement reached between Iran and six world powers over the weekend. In return, Iran promises to temporarily curb part of its nuclear program.
There's widespread agreement that sanctions have worked, squeezing Iran financially and bringing its leaders to the negotiating table. Iran's economy is, by any measure, in terrible shape.
Ross Reynolds talks to Bruce Katz, vice president of the Brookings Institution and co-director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, about how cities are becoming a fix to the economy and to politics.
Boeing said Thursday it has no further plans to negotiate with its Machinists after the union voted against a contract extension Boeing said was key to its decision to build the 777X in the Puget Sound region. Now the company said it is looking at other locations. It said it would continue to consider the Puget Sound region, but as part of a competition with other places.
The shutdown cost the economy $24 billion according to research from Standard and Poor’s . Other analysts peg it at a few billion higher or lower. But what is certain is that the shutdown had a major economic impact, curtailing annual growth in the fourth quarter to 2.4 percent , down from 3 percent , according to S&P.
The shutdown is over, for now. The agreement passed by the Congress and signed by the President keeps the government open until January 15. The debt ceiling has been raised through February 7. Jon Talton writes a column on business and the economy for the Seattle Times, he explains what we have gained and lost from the partial government shutdown.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn presented his 2014 budget proposal yesterday. In a speech before the Seattle City Council, he outlined a plan to boost spending for a host of government programs — from police staffing to universal preschool.
McGinn said the city is in a position to spend more because tax revenues are coming in stronger than expected. “Construction remains strong, our sales tax and real estate excise tax are exceeding forecasts," he said. "That means we can make new investments in our people and our infrastructure.”
This week, KUOW has been taking a deeper look at the jobs recovery in Washington state in our series, The Big Reset. In this segment, we're talking numbers: unemployment, wages, industry trends. And the good news is, Washington is doing all right.
The unemployment rate here has mirrored the national average at around 7 percent. Ross Reynolds talks with regional labor economist, Anneliese Vance-Sherman about Washington's recovery and industry trends.
The US Census Bureau released numbers this week looking at poverty rates and wages across the US in 2012. Our local numbers reflect what’s happening around the country: the number of people living in poverty has stagnated and wages have stayed about the same.
At first glance, this may seem like good news, or even non-news. But the census numbers reveal a larger picture of what’s happening in the wake of the recession: that people in low and middle income brackets aren’t really experiencing a recovery.
Jennifer Romich is the director of the West Coast Poverty Center and an associate professor at the UW School of Social Work. She told KUOW's Marcie Sillman the "statistically insignificant" numbers from the Census Bureau paint a concerning picture of many people that are unable to get ahead financially.