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economy

EarthFix Photo/Cassandra Profita

Mark Elston followed his father into the timber industry back when business was booming.

"When I started, you could really mess things up and still make good money," he said. "You can't do that anymore."

It took four years, but Washington has now recovered more jobs than it lost during the Great Recession.

Tim Harford's book "The Undercover Economist Strikes Back"

Ross Reynolds talks with Tim Harford, Financial Times columnist and author, about his new book "The Undercover Economist Strikes Back: How to Run – or Ruin – an Economy." 

The book focuses on the work of macroeconomists and how they believe that tweaking the right dials can steer our economy away from danger. Harford also offers a macroeconomic perspective for Seattle's on-going minimum wage debate.

Larry Jametsky, Christina Stewart and their son Lawrence outside the home they say they lost in a fraudulent loan deal in Feb. 2014.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Larry Jametsky visits his family home frequently, even though he was evicted from it almost four years ago.

He and his family have been homeless since then, but they’ve stayed near the blue house in the city of SeaTac. “This was my grandparents’ house, my dad’s house,” Jametsky said.

Flickr Photo/Antana (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Imagine using online banking – without the bank.

Bitcoin is a digital currency that was created five years ago. It runs entirely on the sways of the free market: no government or banking institution is backing it.

2013: A Good Year For West Coast Lumber and Log Exports

Feb 25, 2014

West Coast log and lumber exports rose sharply in 2013 as Asian demand for American logs increased, according to new research from the U.S. Forest Service.

The region's lumber and log exports rose about 20 percent last year, with demand peaking in the fourth quarter.

Most of the West Coast logs shipped overseas are going to China -- although Japan has upped its demand, as well. With limited forestlands of their own, these countries rely on the United States’ timber supply.

Flickr Photo/401(K) 2012 (CC BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Ron Unz, a Silicon Valley millionaire and conservative activist, about why he thinks Republicans and the nation as a whole would benefit from a $12 minimum wage.

Workers and labor activists demonstrate outside the U.S. District Courthouse in support of the city's $15 an hour minimum wage
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Ross Reynolds talks with Howard Wright, co-chair of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's Income Inequality Advisory Committee, about the status of its proposal to the mayor.

Flickr Photo/Nicholas Bonanno

David Hyde talks with Ben White, chief economic correspondent for POLITICO, about the wealthiest Americans' fears over their future stability.

New numbers for December from the Washington state employment department peg the current jobless rate at 6.6 percent. The last time it was lower was in November 2008.

Flickr/401 (K) 2012 (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks with economist Dean Baker about why tax rates for wealthy Americans are going up and how that could impact economic disparity.

How Much Is Your Mother Worth?

Jan 10, 2014
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Ross Reynolds talks with professional hacker and author Joshua Klein about why who you know is more valuable than what you have.

What Exactly Does The Head Of The Fed Do?

Jan 7, 2014
Flickr Photo/Tim Evanson

Ross Reynolds talks to Washington Post Economics columnist Neil Irwin about what the The Federal Reserve System is and what exactly the chair of the Fed does.

Flickr Photo/Henry Alva (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde discusses with economics columnist Jon Talton Boeing and Microsoft's big decisions and how they will effect the Puget Sound economy in 2014.

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.

The unemployment rate in Washington dropped a notch in November.

This week, we're exploring the San Francisco Bay Area and the way income inequality is affecting the region. Check out the other pieces of the week, aggregated on this page.

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.

Marcie Sillman talks with Seattle Times economics columnist Jon Talton about the impact of NAFTA on Washington state's economy.

The improving employment picture in the Northwest isn't good news if you teach at a community college.

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.

Flickr Photo/Henry Alva (CC BY-NC-ND)

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.

Washington state hit a 'soft patch' in hiring and is looking at slow overall growth. That news comes from two new data points on the Washington economy out Wednesday.

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 Cost Of The Partial Government Shutdown

Oct 17, 2013

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.

Fighting Foreclosure: Home Is Where The Bank Says It Is

Oct 11, 2013
KUOW Photo/Kendra Hanna

Natalie Johnson and her family lived in their rental home in Edmonds, Wash., for seven years. It was the longest they had lived anywhere.

Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC-BY-NC-ND)
Flickr Photo/clappstar (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Construction is now the fastest-growing industry in Washington state. Construction cranes fill the skyline. Public works projects like light rail lines and the tunnel project snarl our streets. But despite appearances, construction has not yet fully recovered from the 2008 recession.

Flickr Photo/World Bank Photo Collection

The biotech industry took a big hit during the recession, and it can still be difficult in this area to find and keep work in that field. But for those looking to enter the industry there are a few things you should keep in mind. Luke Timmerman, the national biotech editor at Xconomy, an online business and technology blog, explains what you should consider before taking a job in biotech and the challenges of the industry.

Flickr Photo/Mayor McGinn

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.”

Washington's Job Recovery In Numbers

Sep 20, 2013
KUOW Photo/Jake Warga

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.

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