Business

Demonstrators in Seattle form a human chain around City Hall in support of a $15 minimum wage in April 2014.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Seattle starts phasing in a higher minimum wage on April 1 this year. The key term here is "phasing in." Everyone receiving the minimum wage won’t immediately get $15 an hour.

KUOW’s Deborah Wang sat down with Ross Reynolds to explain.

Matthew Rutledge via Flickr

David Starkey of Scotland traveled to Seattle this week for an astronomy convention, and he learned something that blew his mind. 

"If you’re a non-astronomer it won’t mean anything," he says, "but you can find mini-black holes inside the accretion disks of big black holes. And I didn’t know you could do that.

Seattle skyline
Flickr Photo/Steven Santiago (CC-BY-NC-ND)

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

Costco
Flickr Photo/Mike Mozart (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Erik Nicholson, vice president of the United Farm Workers Union, about the Equitable Food Initiative, a new labeling system to ensure food safety and create better working conditions for farmer workers.

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

Ross Reynolds talks with Tricia Duryee, technology reporter for Geekwire, about Amazon's  increased competition for free shipping with online orders, despite the increased costs for companies.

KUOW/John Ryan photo

Sixty-four people died on the job in Washington state in 2014, more than in any of the past three years, according to preliminary figures from the Washington Department of Labor and Industries. The fatal incidents varied widely, from an ironworker falling off a roof on Jan. 6 to a logging truck driver being run over by his own truck on Dec. 30.

A Portland-based knife company has agreed to a $2.6 million federal penalty for allegedly failing to report multiple injuries tied to one of its products.

Some cities and counties around the Northwest are tightening up local rules on businesses that sell e-cigarettes. And shop owners in Washington state are bracing for a tax fight at the legislature in 2015.

Twenty states are raising their minimum wages today.

Employees who work for tips are often paid a much lower, tipped minimum wage. The federal government requires that this lower wage plus the tips received equal at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

But some states require employers to pay their tipped workers the full state minimum wage or a wage above the federal tipped minimum wage of $2.13.

Inside Everett's Boeing factory.
Flickr Photo/Jetstar Airways (CC-BY-NC-ND)

It was a year of soaring profits for Boeing and Microsoft, rapid expansion for Amazon and anguish for Boeing machinists. KUOW's economy reporter Carolyn Adolph tells Bill Radke how the Puget Sound region's major employers fared in 2014.

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

Marcie Sillman talks with Bill Mongelluzzo, senior editor at the Journal of Commerce, about the labor dispute between the longshoremen's union and the Pacific Maritime Association at West Coast ports.   

A frequent sight in our newsroom: Business reporter Carolyn Adolph arguing with Siri, the iPhone personal assistant.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Dear KUOW listeners,

We apologize for the inconvenience several of you experienced recently when listening to a story about distracted driving and Siri, the personal assistant who lives inside the iPhone.

An oil tanker and a container ship about to cross paths near Seattle.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Oil tankers bring about 15 million gallons of oil every day into Washington state. Starting Jan. 1, those ships are required to have double hulls.

The oil-spill prevention measure has been in the works for decades, ever since Capt. Joseph Hazelwood ran the Exxon Valdez onto Alaska's Bligh Reef in 1989. Eleven million gallons of oil spilled into Prince William Sound, killing thousands of seabirds and sea otters, devastating the region's fisheries and unleashing action in Washington, D.C.

Bill Gates.
Flickr Photo/Thomas Hawk (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with GeekWire co-founder Todd Bishop about Bill Gates, his new role at Microsoft and his many other roles in start-ups, philanthropy and more.

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