Business

Jeannie Yandel talks with Pike Brewing Company vice president Drew Gillespie about the company's new, 100 percent local terroir beer.

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."

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

David Hyde talks with University of Washington philosophy professor Michael Blake about the ethics of proposals by companies in this region -- like Microsoft -- to hire more foreign workers.

A few short years after voice mail was developed in the late 1970s, it quickly became an essential business tool.

But in the past few years, its use has been in decline. And some offices have opted to get rid of it altogether.

After JPMorgan Chase said last week it was canceling voice mail for most of its employees, I sent the bank's public relations department an email.

A bit later, there was that familiar red light on my desk phone:

Selling seeds and pesticides used to be a sleepy, slow-moving business. That was, until about 20 years ago, when the chemical company Monsanto introduced genetically modified crops and started buying up seed companies. Ever since, companies in this industry have been maneuvering like hungry fish in a pond, occasionally dining on pieces of each other, hoping to survive through size and speed.

Nelida Martinez, one of the farmers growing their businesses at Viva Farms, a farm incubator project
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

  Strawberries, beware. Blueberries and raspberries are ripening early this year.

A warm winter has given way to a hot spring, which means berries are ripening early this year in the Pacific Northwest. That’s great for some growers in the short term – and the rest of us hankering for juicy fruit – but it’s also created competition among farmers.

business board room
Flickr Photo/Eric Dan (CC-BY-NC-ND)

More men named John, Robert, William or James run the boards of America’s largest companies than women do.

And in the Pacific Northwest, the numbers are worse than the national average.

Bartell Drugs is marketing a local label.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Kim Malcolm talks with University of Washington marketing professor Nidhi Agrawal about Bartell Drugs' effort to create a local, private label.

Anna King/Northwest News Network

Immigration officials have busted an Eastern Washington farm for major violations. Now, the farm is set to pay the largest fine ever in the state for illegally hiring workers.

When it seemed that physical changes to the stabilizers in a stretched 787 would be too expensive, Vedad Mahmulyin started looking at a software solution.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has come a long way since it was first heralded as a game-changing plane. Around 300 are flying now, but the planes are still sold at a loss. The Boeing Co. has been pushing its employees to find ways to save money on the program, and one engineer is being celebrated for doing it, big-time. 

A marijuana shop owner in Clarkston, Washington, opened his doors Friday in defiance of the city’s ban on pot sales.

Amazon shipping box
Flickr Photo/Luke Dorny (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman rounds up the latest in Seattle-area tech news with Geekwire's Todd Bishop, including Amazon's new same-day delivery for customers in certain areas.

technology computer keyboard
Flicker Photo/Leslee Lazar (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Robi Ganguly, co-founder of the Seattle-based mobile startup Apptentive, about his company's goal to build a diverse workforce.

The revamped entrance to The Parker Apartments on Queen Anne Hill.
Bellwether Housing

Money is a big problem for nonprofits trying to build affordable housing. It’s expensive to redevelop old buildings or build new ones.

There are tax credits and grants, and in Seattle there’s money from the city housing levy.

But one group is tapping a new source: private investors, who get a return on the money they put into affordable housing.

Entrepreneur Petar Vujosevic was just a regular guy who saw a big problem with the way the hiring system works.

Typically, a hiring manager posts an opening, describes the ideal candidate and resumes come flooding in. After doing some interviews, the manager has to make a gut decision: Who is the best person for the job?

Research shows that more often than not, managers pick someone whose background is similar to theirs.

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