Business

Omar Abdulalim and Shuad Farole send money every month to Farole's aunt in Somalia. She uses the money to pay for food, housing and school fees for twelve children.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle's Somali-American community and elected officials came together Tuesday night to discuss a worsening problem: There is no longer a reliable way for people here to send money to families in Somalia.

Since February, all banks in the U.S. have stopped offering these remittance services to Somalia.

The Seattle area is home to the third largest Somali community in the country, so the abrupt change is acutely felt here.

Goats graze near Interstate 5 in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/cleverclevergirl (CC-BY-NC-ND)

When Amazon launched its Amazon Home Services this week, the stars of the new initiative were …

Goats.

Seattle goats, specifically, ready to trim back your pesky shrubbery.

Workers at Ivar's Salmon House on Lake Union will be getting a raise to $15 an hour before Seattle raises the minimum wage that high.
Flickr Photo/Peter Stevens (CC BY 2.0)

KUOW's Marcie Sillman talks with Bob Donegan, president and CEO of Ivar's, about why the popular Seattle fish and chips chain will give employees an immediate raise to $15 an hour, increase prices by about 20 percent and do away with tipping at its Lake Union restaurant.

Angie Garcia, 20, with her mom and 4-month-old daughter. Garcia works at McDonald's in Ballard, making $9.60 an hour. The new minimum wage "is going to change everything," she says.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Angie Garcia, a single mom who works at the McDonald's in Ballard, has planned how she’s going to spend the extra money she makes after the minimum wage increases to $11 an hour on Wednesday.

“It’s going to change everything. Because I can go back to school, I can start my college, so that is really big for me, like a really, really big help,” Garcia, 20, said. She currently earns $9.60 an hour.

Larenda Myres holds an iced coffee drink with a "Race Together" sticker on it at a Starbucks store in Seattle, Wednesday, March 18, 2015.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

KUOW's Marcie Sillman talks with Nancy Koehn, a historian at Harvard Business School, about why more big businesses will have to take stands on political and social issues to keep customers coming back.

Frances Stevens could have been a contender. She was training to be a Golden Gloves boxer and working as a magazine publisher in 1997 when 1,000 copies of the latest issue arrived at her San Francisco office.

"I'd just turned 30. I was an athlete. I had a job that I loved, a life that I loved," she recalls. "And in a second my life changed."

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Seattle is known for its endless public process, so how did it become a city where $15 went from a campaign slogan to law in a matter of months?

The law kicks in on Wednesday, when the minimum wage in Seattle rises to $11 an hour. It’s the first phase of several years of planned increases eventually leading to a $15-an-hour minimum wage.  

Christina Rodriguez, 25, was one of dozens of fast food workers who walked off the job during fast food in Seattle strikes in 2013.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

Bill Radke talks with political consultants Sandeep Kaushik and Chris Vance about whether voters should ultimately decide whether to raise Washington state's minimum wage.

Some of the seafood that winds up in American grocery stores, in restaurants, even in cat food may have been caught by Burmese slaves. That's the conclusion of a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press.

The AP discovered and interviewed dozens of men being held against their will on Benjina, a remote Indonesian island, which serves as the base for a trawler fleet that fishes in the area.

University of Washington's Suzzallo Library.
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with University of Washington spokesperson Norm Arkans about Seattle's $15 minimum wage and why the UW is not ready to commit to it. 

Editor’s note: KUOW is a self-sustaining service of the University of Washington. The university’s Board of Regents holds our license. Arkans is a member of the KUOW Board of Directors.   

Remember that old movie trope, in which the mousy girl who never gets noticed takes off her eyeglasses and — voila! — suddenly, everyone can see she was beautiful all along?

Well, a similar sort of scenario is starting to play out in the world of produce in the U.S. (minus the sexist subtext).

The U-District's Bulldog News on University Avenue.
Flickr Photo/Bulldognews.Seattle (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with Doug Campbell, owner of Bulldog News on University Avenue, and Kate Barr, business manager for Scarecrow Video in the University District. They fall on different sides of the debate around a plan to expand the U-District's business improvement area.

Eighteen-year-old Alicia Donaldson works at a busy McDonald's in East Oakland. Her job is more complicated than anyone might think.

"When you do the grill and the chicken by yourself, it's not easy," she admits. "You have to put down the meat on the grill, and then put chicken in the grease. People get burned a lot."

That's a lot of pain for only $9 an hour. Today it's still hard work, but now Alicia is making $12.25 instead.

"When I worked 56 hours my check was about $480," she remembers.

If you're trying out for a job in sales, the person who judges your pitch may not be a person — it could be a computer.

Job recruitment is the newest frontier in automated labor, where algorithms are choosing who's the right fit to sell fast food or handle angry cable customers, by sizing up the human candidates' voices.

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