employment

Roberta Siao, a Brazilian immigrant in London, found that her dual status as a foreigner and mother made it impossible to find work. Yet at Mazi Mas, a London-based pop-up restaurant and catering service focused on training and employing immigrant and refugee women, she has found more than just a paying job. She tells her story in her own words.

All over eastern Kentucky, you see cars and pickup trucks with black license plates proclaiming the owner is a "friend of coal."

Even though the license plates are all over, it's getting harder to find actual coal miners here: Fewer than 6,000 remain in the state, where the coal industry is shrinking fast. More than 10,000 coal workers have been laid off since 2008.

Many have had to leave the area to find work, but a few have found employment in other — and sometime unexpected — fields, as businesses are innovating to use former coal workers in new ways.

The pace of job creation slowed substantially last month, the Labor Department said Friday.

Employers added 160,000 employees in April, downshifting from the monthly average of 192,000 workers so far this year. That was a disappointment for many job seekers.

But the country does have one group enjoying lots of opportunities: newly minted college graduates. In fact, economists say this might be the best time to be graduating in a decade.

Sharon Long found her calling later in life. Back in the 1980s, she was a single mom trying to support her two kids, holding down several jobs at once — none of which she liked much.

"I worked at the Dairy Queen, and I cleaned a dentist's office, and I was a secretary," Long recalls, on a recent visit with StoryCorps. "I hated every morning I got up."

But, as she tells her colleague Steve Sutter, everything changed for her at age 40. When she she took her daughter to register for college, a financial aid officer persuaded Long to enroll herself.

About 150 workers in Seattle received settlement money in the past year because their employer broke the minimum wage law.

The obvious candidates for word of the year are the labels of the year's big stories — new words like "microaggression" or resurgent ones like "refugees." But sometimes a big theme is captured in more subtle ways. So for my word of the year, I offer you the revival of "gig" as the name for a new economic order. It's the last chapter in the life of a little word that has tracked the rise and fall of the great American job.

The "steady upward climb" in job creation around the Northwest continues this summer.

Washington, Idaho and Oregon have all placed in the top ten nationally for job growth over the past year.

Refugees Get Friends In Powerful Places With Seattle Job Program

Jul 1, 2015
Masar Altaie, right, with KUOW's Kim Malcolm.
KUOW Photo/Hannah Burn

Kim Malcolm talks with refugee Masar Altaie about her experience in Tatweer, a Seattle-based employment program run out of Jewish Family Service of Seattle. Tatweer helps connect refugees with local mentors in their fields. For information on how to volunteer, go here.

Flickr Photo/Victoria Pickering

The latest figures show the unemployment rate in Washington state is holding steady at 6.3 percent. The Employment Security Department said the state added an estimated 6,700 jobs in March. The biggest job gains last month were seen in professional and business services.

In recent years, companies ranging from JPMorgan Chase to Walmart to Boeing have announced special hiring programs for veterans. Seattle coffee giant Starbucks is the latest.

All of these companies are trying to bring down a stubbornly high unemployment rate for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But to succeed, companies have to take the time to understand the skills of service members.

Flickr Photo/moominmolly

Marcie Sillman talks with David Yamada, law professor at Suffolk University, about the legal gray area of intern rights, including unpaid internships, in light of Condé Nast ending their internship program.

From the Stand With Our Checkers Facebook page.

With just two hours left on the strike countdown clock, a tentative agreement was reached on Monday night between grocery workers and four major chains: Safeway, Fred Meyer, QFC and Albertson’s.

Grocery Unions Prep For Strike As Talks Heat Up

Oct 16, 2013
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

As they debate their contracts, grocery workers insist they’re serious about striking: Picket captains have been tapped at hundreds of stores throughout the region, and strike headquarters have popped up in five counties.

A final inspector general's report released Tuesday condemns the Bonneville Power Administration for discriminating against veterans and other applicants during jobs hires.

Bonneville is this region's biggest wholesale electricity and transmission provider. 

BPA issued a contrite response to the scathing report from the U.S. Energy Department's inspector general.

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