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economy

Michael McCabe knows what it's like to be surrounded by zombies.

Zombie houses, that is.

McCabe still lives in the neighborhood where he grew up, Woodbury Heights, N.J., a middle-class suburb of Philadelphia. He knows which houses are in foreclosure and which have been abandoned. The latest seems to be right behind his own.

For the second-straight day, China has allowed its currency to take a sharp drop, sparking another round of falling stock prices internationally. The decision to devalue the yuan has shaken investors who fear a currency war and question the health of China's economy, the second-largest in the world.

A wave of wage increases in cities across the country, as well as at several major businesses, continued on Wednesday.

Ann Dornfeld / KUOW

Nearly 2,000 Seattle young people have jobs this summer as part of the city's Youth Employment Initiative, Mayor Ed Murray said Wednesday.

Murray said the program has more than doubled in size from last year -- but still there were nearly twice as many applications as there were internships. The goal is to expand the program into the school year to meet the demand.

Theo Polizos, right, prepares bougatsa at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Seattle.
Seattle Globalist Photo/Venice Buhain

As Theo Polizos and about a half dozen other women at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church on Capitol Hill prepared dozens of trays of bougatsa last week for the parish’s upcoming Greek Festival, their families in Greece were not far from their minds.

USA flag, China flag
Flickr Photo/USDA (CC BY 2.0)

David Hyde speaks with Jon Talton, economics columnist for the Seattle Times, about the recent volatility in the Chinese stock markets and what that means for Washington state. 

The Greek word for no is oxi, and across Athens and the Greek Islands on Sunday, it was everywhere: on posters, spray-painted on walls and old cars.

And it was also on ballots: Greek voters voted oxi Sunday in a historic referendum over the country's economic future.

There's a serious problem in the American economy: Big corporations are doing well, but real household income for average Americans has been falling over the past decade — down 9 percent, according to census data.

"That's not good for America," says Harvard economist Michael Porter. "That's not good for America's standard of living. That's not good for our ultimate vitality as a nation."

File photo of the Port of Seattle.
Courtesy of the Port of Seattle

Marcie Sillman talks to Mark Szakonyi, executive editor at the Journal of Commerce, about the Northwest Seaport Alliance, a management agreement between the Port of Seattle and Tacoma that is expected to be approved by August.  

A container ship at the Port of Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Bari Bookout (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with economics reporter Jon Talton about climate change's affect the economy of the Pacific Northwest.

According to the monthly update released Wednesday by Washington's Employment Security Department, the state’s unemployment rate stayed flat in February.

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Researchers from the University of Washington and the state are hoping cold, hard data can help settle the heated debate over the costs and benefits of raising the minimum wage in Seattle.

What happens when the price of oil tanks and suddenly you're faced with a whole lot less money to deal with your town's explosive growth?

If you're 52-year-old Rick Norby, you lose a lot of sleep.

"I haven't slept since I became mayor," he says. "I really ain't kidding you."

When Norby became mayor of Sidney, Mont., oil prices were about $100 a barrel. A year later, they've fallen to roughly half that. Yet oil production has continued to churn right along.

The U.S. economy added 295,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department's monthly survey, and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent. The latest strong data beat expectations and follow a robust jump the previous month — a sign that the nation's economy is finally picking up steam.

At the time of their accidents, Jeremy Lewis was 27, Josh Potter 25.

The men lived within 75 miles of each other. Both were married with two children about the same age. Both even had tattoos of their children's names.

Their injuries, suffered on the job at Southern industrial plants, were remarkably similar, too. Each man lost a portion of his left arm in a machinery accident.

The Great Recession exacted a huge toll on people in every income group, and recovering from it has been a long and grueling process.

To some economists, the recovery has exacerbated the very real trend toward income inequality in the United States. French economist Thomas Piketty has noted that between 2009 and 2012 incomes have grown, but almost all of those gains have gone to the wealthiest 1 percent.

It's a claim that has been repeated often, but Steven Rose of George Washington University says it needs to be put in perspective.

Ross Reynolds interviews Marketplace senior economics contributor Chris Farrell about his new book, “Unretirement,” which delves into how the last third of life is being re-imagined. 

By 2030 one in five Americans will be 65 and older. Farrell calls it a revolution in the making that will change the workplace in the 21st century the way women entering the workplace impacted the last half of the 20th century. He argues that "unretirement" will benefit not just seniors, but us all. 

Union members marched yesterday in support of taking a vote on the latest Boeing contract offer. Weakened unions have chipped away at the middle class in King County.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

  Earlier this month at an economic conference, King County Executive Dow Constantine made a startling point: Less than 5 percent of the households added to King County since the year 2000 were middle income.

At least there's a beautiful sunset to look at when you're stuck in Seattle traffic.
Flickr Photo/HeatherHeatherHeather (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Jim Bak, traffic analyst at INRIX, about Seattle's congestion and how that is impacting our economy.

If Elkhart County, Ind. was the symbol of the recession, then Ed Neufeldt became the face of the unemployed worker.

Ross Reynolds talks with author Joel Kotkin about his new book, "The New Class Conflict."

Washington voters would prefer no new taxes and no deep cuts to state services. But if that’s not possible, they’re open to some new taxes.

Rising Rents In 2014 Led By Small Cities

Jan 6, 2015

Average rents increased across the country by 3.6 percent in 2014, according to new data from the real estate research firm Reis, Inc. The average monthly lease rate is now $1,124.38, the highest number since Reis started collecting data in 1980.

It’s the fifth year in a row that rents have been on the rise, but this year rent increases affected residents in smaller and midsize cities, and not just the largest cities in the U.S.

Flickr Photo/Steven Santiago (CC-BY-NC-ND)/https://flic.kr/p/q4dpg6

Ross Reynolds talks with Seattle Times economics columnist Jon Talton about what to expect from Seattle's economy in 2015.

Illegal Sex And Drugs Pay Off For Britain

Dec 29, 2014

Normally we wouldn't give much thought to the fact that Britain has surpassed France as the world's fifth-largest economy. But this story caught our attention: It was the way in which Britain snagged the higher spot.

A trip across the border to Canada could have an added appeal right now with an exchange rate that has turned quite favorable for Americans. But this cuts two ways.

According to AAA, the last three months have been the longest stretch of declining gas prices they’ve ever recorded in the U.S.

Washington and Oregon's latest unemployment numbers offer a paradox.

Is Amazon Really Too Big?

Nov 10, 2014
Amazon.com logo
Flickr Photo/Guillermo Esteves (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Felix Salmon, financial commentator and senior editor for news network Fusion, about Seattle's e-commerce giant, Amazon, and what happens when one company makes it big time. 

Ross Reynolds talks with Seattle Times economics columnist Jon Talton about what the recent election results could mean for Washington state's economy.

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