Economy

N.C.’s Burr proposes changes that small-business advocates don’t like

Sen. Richard Burr, a former businessman in North Carolina, says he wants the federal government to put the Small Business Administration inside a new agency that combines the departments of Commerce and Labor. | 01/04/14 21:00:00 By - By Renee Schoof

Hagan’s Senate measure on N.C. jobless benefits wins cheers, jeers

The Senate will immediately take up extension of federal jobless benefits when it gets back to work on Monday after its holiday break, and the vote will put Sen. Kay Hagan at the center of a new political fracas. | 01/03/14 19:05:46 By - By Renee Schoof

Genetically altered ‘Arctic’ apples may be headed to market

An apple genetically engineered not to turn brown is putting the Agriculture Department and the apple industry on the spot. | 01/03/14 18:16:38 By - By Michael Doyle

U.S. poised for economic growth but will rest of world follow?

As the U.S. economy struggled to gain steam in recent years it faced head winds from Europe’s deep debt crisis, a stagnant Japan, investor aversion to emerging economies and a slowdown in China that would pass for a blistering pace anywhere else. | 01/03/14 16:40:03 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Despite reports, response slow to danger of oil fires on rail tankers

Fiery train crashes as far back as 2006 have highlighted a safety issue that’s growing with the U.S. energy boom. But little has been done to improve the safety of tens of thousands of railroad tank cars that have been pressed into service in recent years to haul large quantities of crude oil and ethanol. | 01/02/14 19:05:35 By - By Curtis Tate

Rocky Mountain high: First retail pot shops in U.S. ready to open

After years of politicking and planning, Colorado will make history Wednesday when it opens the first retail marijuana stores in the United States, allowing state residents to buy up to an ounce of the drug. | 12/31/13 16:32:40 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Finally, the U.S. economy may be starting to hum

For the first time since 2007, the U.S. economy is poised to start the new year on a strong footing amid a flurry of signs that point to a firming recovery. | 12/31/13 17:56:28 By - By Kevin G. Hall

2014 brings a milestone for last of the baby boomers

Here they come, bringing up the end of the parade, just as they always have: The youngest members of the baby boom generation begin turning 50 on New Year’s Day. Happy birthday, youngest boomers, and welcome to your AARP cards and discounted Denny’s meals. | 12/31/13 12:28:20 By - Anita Creamer

Changing exports reshaping states

Five ways exports are changing across America. From Midwestern beef and Georgian peanuts finding a market in China to the rivalry between fishing in mining in Alaska to landlocked states' using higheways for shipping and manufacturing taking off in the South. | 12/30/13 14:05:38 By - Medill News Service

For Georgia peanut farmers, sales to China a bonanza that may not last

After a record-setting harvest in 2012, peanut growers in Georgia found a new trading partner: China, which was scrambling to fill gaps in its peanut-supply chain. Whether China will remain a big customer is on the minds of Georgia’s farmers. | 12/30/13 13:16:22 By - By Catherine Brzycki

Effort to boost exports often leads to a scramble for trucks

As many states look to increase their global exports, one of the biggest challenges may be among the most basic: finding ways to move products so they’re ready to be shipped overseas. In Idaho, that’s led to a search for more trucks and more truckers. | 12/30/13 13:13:36 By - By Jayna Omaye

Proposed Alaska mine might boost 1 vital export but hurt another

A proposed copper mine in remote Alaska could be a boon for the state’s mining export industry. But it could harm another prized export business: fishing. What happens when one export titan clashes with another? | 12/30/13 13:12:25 By - Diana Blass and Marina Cracchiolo

Sun Belt hopes for rebirth in manufacturing to boost economy, exports

Sun Belt states have watched as some of their bedrock industries withered away. Officials and educators in North Carolina, Mississippi and elsewhere are now looking to new forms of manufacturing, such as autos and aviation. | 12/30/13 13:10:43 By - By Elena Schneider and Andrea Mayeux

U.S. beef exports gradually expand after mad cow scare

After a mad-cow disease scare a decade ago, U.S. beef exports have slowly climbed back. Now U.S. farmers are hopeful that they’ll get clearance to export to China, where demand for beef is growing. | 12/30/13 13:09:12 By - By Megan Pauly

U.S. exports rise but are likely to fall short of Obama’s goal

The U.S. is in the midst of a push to increase exports, one that began in January of 2010 when President Barack Obama announced the National Export Initiative in his State of the Union address. | 12/30/13 13:07:16 By - By Bryan Lowry, Tanvi Misra and Katie Peralta

‘Lean’ manufacturing bringing industry back from depths

The economy is firming, hiring is on an upswing and consumers appear inclined to spend. | 12/24/13 13:42:50 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Oil, grain trains squeeze Amtrak’s Empire Builder route to Northwest

Freight congestion has caused massive delays and even cancellations of a popular Amtrak train in recent months, a situation that could worsen as one of the nation’s largest rail companies plans to increase shipments of fossil fuels on much of the route. | 12/24/13 07:08:35 By - By Curtis Tate

Mining giant Rio Tinto may pull out of Pebble Mine in Alaska

Global mining giant Rio Tinto said Monday it is considering dumping its stake in Alaska’s Pebble Mine, a huge open pit mine planned for the best remaining wild salmon stronghold on Earth. | 12/24/13 07:08:35 By - By Sean Cockerham

Congress moving toward debate on unemployment benefits

A three-month extension of emergency unemployment benefits is gaining momentum. | 12/23/13 16:29:58 By - By David Lightman

‘Junk insurance’ comes back to haunt its policyholders

April Capil has mixed feelings about the national outcry over canceled health insurance policies. Like millions of Americans, Capil thought she had solid individual health insurance. Then she got sick and found that her coverage was woefully inadequate. | 12/20/13 06:09:36 By - By Tony Pugh

Youth pot smoking rises as attitudes shift

The Obama administration on Wednesday sounded the alarm over rising marijuana use among the nation’s youth, saying that softening attitudes about the perceived risk of the drug are responsible for the increase. | 12/18/13 22:20:35 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Markets soar as Fed signals confidence by easing stimulus

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday the beginning of the end for a controversial bond-buying program in support of the U.S. economy, a signal of an improving recovery that sent stocks soaring at the close of trading. | 12/18/13 17:51:49 By - By Kevin G. Hall

iPads in the classroom: Not a bust, but not yet a boon

Los Angeles Schools Superintendent John Deasy has called the intended $1 billion program to provide an iPad to every student in the district a civil rights imperative with potential to equalize access to technology. | 12/18/13 15:41:26 By - By Brenda Iasevoli

‘Swing-door’ elevators blamed for child injuries

It was the finishing touch on Michael and Brandi Helvey’s Georgia dream house: an elevator to accommodate Michael’s mother, who was in her 80s and living with them downstairs. | 12/18/13 07:07:58 By - By Shawn Hubler

Government consumer group asks banks to disclose deals with schools on debit cards and other products

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday asked financial institutions to disclose to the public the payments they make to colleges and universities to promote their debit cards and other products to students. | 12/17/13 16:12:31 By - Renee Schoof

Environmental advocates target possible flaws in EPA pesticide system

Environmental advocates are targeting a decades-old Environmental Protection Agency system that they say allows potentially harmful pesticides on the market. | 12/17/13 07:51:01 By - By Kendall Helblig

New forecast finds U.S. flush with energy

U.S. oil production will surge toward a record high in the next two years and the nation’s natural gas dominance is expected to rise for decades, according to a new government forecast. | 12/16/13 17:29:42 By - By Sean Cockerham

Lawmakers sow Yosemite seeds, but harvest so far unclear

Congress will revisit unfinished business with Yosemite National Park next year. | 12/13/13 16:36:47 By - By Michael Doyle

House exhales after passing compromise budget

The House of Representatives on Thursday approved by a vote of 332-94 a modest bipartisan plan to spend more on both defense and domestic programs for the next two years, an agreement aimed at avoiding government shutdowns and easing automatic spending cuts. | 12/12/13 18:38:04 By - By David Lightman and William Douglas

Mexico’s Congress, setting aside decades of nationalism, OKs oil industry overhaul

The most dramatic overhaul of Mexico’s oil industry in modern times came closer to fruition Thursday when Congress approved a proposal to end the state oil company’s 75-year-old monopoly on the nation’s oil and natural gas fields. | 12/12/13 19:45:36 By -

Can both sides be right on unemployment insurance?

Congress is once again debating whether to extend unemployment benefits. Democrats say it’s critical both for the people involved and the economy. Republicans say a falling jobless rate shows the economy is strong enough to let the extended benefits end. | 12/12/13 15:21:22 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Does the U.S. tax foreign real-estate investors too much?

Republican Rep. Kevin Brady says he has a surefire plan to create thousands of jobs in his home state of Texas and across the country: Scrap the tax on foreigners who buy U.S. real estate. | 12/11/13 06:00:00 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Banks face tougher rules on complex financial trading

Federal regulators on Tuesday signed off on tougher restrictions on banks engaged in complex financial trading, finally moving on one of the most complicated portions of the 2010 revamp of financial regulation. | 12/10/13 20:16:57 By - By Kevin G. Hall

In budget talks, federal employee benefits on the block

Federal workers had a target on their paychecks as Congress reached a new budget deal Tuesday. | 12/10/13 20:31:41 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Rep. Watt clears Senate hurdle, expected to win housing post

Rep. Mel Watt cleared a significant hurdle Tuesday afternoon toward becoming the new leader of the influential housing-finance regulator that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. | 12/10/13 13:30:21 By - By Franco Ordonez

As America ages, government seeks to improve safety for older drivers

Concerned about an oncoming wave of fragile older drivers, the federal government is working to beef up its safety programs aimed at seniors behind the wheel. | 12/09/13 04:53:11 By - By Lars Thorvaldsen

Bank might foreclose on home because late husband isn’t residing there

Billions of dollars in foreclosure settlements between big banks and government regulators haven’t helped Laura Biggs. The California woman is scheduled to lose her home nine days before Christmas because her mortgage company concluded that the house is no longer the primary residence of her husband, who’s been dead since 2003. | 12/09/13 06:00:00 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Billboard sparks debate, shows 9/11 feelings still raw

If there’s such a thing as an old-fashioned billboard going viral, it’s happened to a poster ad showing a U.S. soldier and a Muslim woman embracing. | 12/06/13 14:48:12 By - By James Rosen

Jobless rates drops to lowest level in five years

Employers added a solid 203,000 jobs in November, driving down the unemployment rate three-tenths of a percentage point to 7 percent, the lowest it’s been since November 2008, the Labor Department said Friday. | 12/06/13 14:42:31 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Who knew? The arts bring big bucks to the economy

The value of the arts to the economy has always been an elusive figure – until now. | 12/06/13 08:23:01 By - By Maria Recio

Obama high-speed passenger rail funds could boost slow freight

President Barack Obama’s high-speed rail program was supposed to deliver faster and more frequent passenger trains to communities across the country. But some of the $10.1 billion in funding for that program could also benefit one of the nation’s largest freight railroads. | 12/05/13 17:11:53 By - By Curtis Tate

Democrats in Congress remind Obama they’ll have final say on Pacific trade deal

As part of his visit to Asia this week, Vice President Joe Biden is driving home a message: After three years of talks, it’s time to wrap up the largest trade deal in U.S. history. | 12/05/13 15:55:18 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Food stamp dispute threatens final push for farm bill

North Carolina has lot riding on the outcome of the closed-door drama playing out in Washington as members of Congress work against a deadline this month to hammer out divisions in a new five-year farm bill. | 12/05/13 18:02:34 By - By Renee Schoof

Obama: U.S. should help close income gap

President Barack Obama worked Wednesday to focus attention – again – on the growing income disparity between rich and poor that he says is a top problem for the country but which persists five years into his presidency. | 12/04/13 18:05:32 By - By Anita Kumar

FTC asks whether rules needed for some Internet advertising

Changes in the media and the way people get their news drove the federal agency Wednesday to weigh the issue of disclosure about Internet stories that look like real news stories. | 12/04/13 17:44:28 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Obama spends $600 million on rail projects that benefit private companies

Supporters say the public investments, combined with private capital, are model infrastructure partnerships that will help take trucks off crowded highways, reduce pollution and improve the flow of goods to and from seaports. But others wonder whether an industry that boasts about how little it depends on taxpayers really needs the help. | 12/02/13 06:00:00 By - By Curtis Tate

Energy boom brings new life to old businesses across U.S.

This rust-bucket town near Buffalo is a perfect example of the transformation that fracking has brought to American business, where new life has been breathed into manufacturing and the nation’s railroads even as much the economy bumps along at a subpar pace. | 11/28/13 00:00:00 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Will natural gas eventually come from sea ice? Prospect thrills some, dismays others

Buried beneath the world’s oceans and the Arctic permafrost lies a global energy source that many think might dwarf today’s fracking revolution: huge reservoirs of natural gas trapped in ice crystals. | 11/28/13 00:00:00 By - By Sean Cockerham

Struggles of younger U.S. workers ripple through economy

Facing faint job prospects and mounting student loans, Courtney Schlottman did what many others her age have done, and moved back in with a parent. She became one more data point contributing to the nation’s stunted rate of household formation. | 11/28/13 06:00:00 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Rise of ‘Saudi America’ will alter globe, prolong U.S. superpower role

For the past 40 years, U.S. presidents have launched distant wars, allied with autocratic sheikhs and dispatched naval fleets to protect sea lanes, all for the imperative of keeping foreign oil spigots flowing. | 11/28/13 00:00:00 By - By Tim Johnson

More states raise taxes to pay for transportation

This year, several states have done something that’s become politically impossible in Congress: They raised taxes to pay for transportation improvements. | 11/27/13 16:38:47 By - By Curtis Tate

’Tis the season to be wary – of scam artists

The holiday season: Time with the family, large amounts of food, gifts galore – and scams. | 11/26/13 16:31:34 By - By Mary Faddoul

As feds ponder future of e-cigarettes, some colleges move against them

While the federal government decides how to regulate electronic cigarettes, many university officials across the country are moving ahead with their own rules about e-cigs on campus. Several universities have already prohibited e-cigs or are set to ban them in upcoming years. | 11/26/13 12:54:09 By - By Sarah Sexton

Food stamp cuts put extra stress on Tacoma, Wash. food banks during holidays

Some families are scouring supermarket shelves for the perfect turkey for Thanksgiving. Others are worrying about how they’ll afford food through the end of the month. | 11/26/13 16:38:05 By - Alison Haywood

Permanent Iran nuclear deal would revolutionize oil market

Iran’s nuclear deal with the West could allow more Iranian oil on the world market in the coming months, but it remains to be seen whether sanctions will be lifted enough to allow the pariah nation to return to its former position as an energy power. | 11/25/13 18:36:22 By - By Sean Cockerham

High use of antibiotics overlaps with obesity rates in the Midwest and South

Want to shed the love handles? Put down the doughnut and go for a walk. Or, perhaps, think twice about pressing your doctor for antibiotics. Research now hints that the stout among us tend to hail from the same places — including chubbier-than-most Missouri and Kansas — where antibiotic drug use is highest. | 11/25/13 15:44:18 By - Scott Canon

Energy industry is on alert against increasing cyberattacks

Last year the hacker group Anonymous broke into computer systems of oil companies including Shell, Exxon Mobil and BP as a protest against Arctic drilling. The next month, a different set of hackers infected the computers of Saudi Arabia’s national oil company with a damaging virus that knocked 30,000 workstations offline. | 11/21/13 18:32:40 By - By Sean Cockerham

$13 billion JPMorgan Chase settlement may aid homeowners

Thousands of homeowners could get some mortgage relief under a record $13 billion deal reached Tuesday between the Justice Department and banking giant JPMorgan Chase, the largest such government settlement with a single entity. | 11/19/13 18:25:24 By - By Kevin G. Hall and Michael Doyle

New online map shows global links to every county in U.S.

How much every county in the America is connected to the rest of the world is now just a few mouse clicks away. | 11/18/13 19:13:17 By - By Renee Schoof

Citing hemp’s legitimate uses, growers seek freedom to cultivate it

Authorities arrested David Bronner when he locked himself in a steel-bar cage in front of the White House last year and began using a hand-powered press to extract fresh oil from 12 large hemp plants, which he planned to put on French bread and serve to passers-by. | 11/18/13 17:38:42 By - By Rob Hotakainen

EPA orders cut in ethanol in gasoline next year, citing risk of engine damage

The Obama administration Friday proposed the first-ever reduction in the amount of ethanol in the gasoline supply, signaling retreat from the Renewable Fuel Standard passed by Congress in 2007. | 11/15/13 17:55:23 By - By Sean Cockerham

As Senate weighs Yellen for Fed, Fed weighs inflation

Somewhere between Venezuela and Japan is exactly the right spot when it comes to inflation. Getting the United States there could be a key challenge for Janet Yellen. | 11/15/13 06:00:00 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Social Security benefits may be on table in budget talks

With congressional budget negotiations moving behind closed doors, one item apparently on the table is changing the way cost-of-living adjustments are calculated for seniors, veterans and other recipients of government benefits. | 11/14/13 18:04:33 By - By Kevin G. Hall and William Douglas

Coal-friendly lawmakers move to shield industry from EPA rules

Coal state lawmakers are attempting to block the Obama administration from limiting the planet-warming emissions of power plants. | 11/14/13 17:05:59 By - By Sean Cockerham

Congress scrutinizes show-horse industry practice of ‘soring’

Soring dates to the beginnings of the famed Tennessee walking horse tradition, whose horses are renowned for their exaggerated gait. The tactics include weighting a horse’s hooves or inserting nails and sharp objects into the tender parts of the foot. The high-step gait is often the horse’s pained response. There’s disagreement over how widespread the practice is today. | 11/13/13 17:44:26 By - By Ali Watkins

Bill aims to protect workers wrongly labeled as independent contractors

The hunt for cheap labor has led to a rash of payroll fraud by companies scraping for any advantage in a sputtering economy, lawmakers say. | 11/12/13 18:10:43 By - By Franco Ordonez

Yellen’s path to Fed leadership strewn with hurdles

Janet Yellen faces a Senate confirmation hearing this week with few questions about her qualifications to be the new chair of the Federal Reserve but plenty of potential pitfalls on issues from Libya to inflation. | 11/12/13 17:58:32 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Justice Department reaches agreement on proposed US Airways-American merger

The Justice Department announced Tuesday that it has cleared the $11 billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways to form the world’s largest airline, but it did so only after both agreed to surrender enough slots for discount carriers to operate dozens more flights at seven major airports. | 11/12/13 17:53:08 By - By Greg Gordon

U.S. expected soon to be crowned world’s oil king

The United States will surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest oil producer in 2015, the International Energy Agency forecasts. | 11/12/13 16:29:43 By - By Sean Cockerham

This year, Thanksgiving + Hanukkah equals something very rare: Thanksgivukkah

This year, thanks to an extremely rare convergence, Thanksgiving (Nov. 28) falls during the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights. Some are calling it “Hanu-giving.” Others prefer “Thanksgivukkah.” | 11/12/13 15:51:28 By - James A. Fussell

Jobs report, other economic measures stronger than expected

A much-better-than-expected jobs report Friday, combined with other strong economic indicators, raises the chances that the Federal Reserve may pull back on its stimulus for the economy sooner rather than later. | 11/08/13 16:39:11 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Minimum wage fight gains momentum with Obama support, election wins

The fight to raise the minimum wage caught a big wave of momentum this week as President Barack Obama endorsed a pay increase after voters pledged support in two key elections. | 11/07/13 19:00:00 By - By Franco Ordonez

U.S. economy accelerated in 3rd quarter, but it won’t keep that pace

Slowing consumption and less expected restocking by businesses suggest the better-than-expected 2.8 percent annual growth rate from July through September that the government reported Thursday won’t last through the final months of the year. | 11/07/13 15:06:35 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Rising costs, ease of streaming are driving viewers away from pay TV

America’s four-decade long romance with cable television seems headed for the rocks, the victim of a sultry flirtation with an industrial homewrecker, the Internet. | 11/07/13 13:07:28 By - Glenn Garvin

Pro-pot forces are out to legalize in 13 more states by 2017

Buoyed by their success at the polls Tuesday, marijuana backers say they’ll now try to get the drug fully legalized in 13 more states by 2017. They’d join Colorado and Washington state, which voted last year to allow pot sales for recreational use. | 11/06/13 18:35:03 By - By Rob Hotakainen

5 years after deadly crash, new pilot training rule becomes official

Announcing steps to correct what it called “the greatest known risk in pilot training,” the Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday finalized a new rule to address the midair stalls thought to have contributed to multiple fatal crashes in recent years. | 11/06/13 06:46:46 By - By Curtis Tate

To save merger, US Air, American may seek changes at D.C.'s Reagan National

The fate of an $11 billion deal to create the world’s largest airline might hinge in large part on one airport, but not just any airport: It’s the one right across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital. | 11/05/13 06:00:00 By - By Curtis Tate

Hedge fund hit with record insider-trading settlement; others warned

A record $1.8 billion insider-trading settlement announced Monday between a Wall Street investment giant and a branch of the Justice Department included a warning that nobody in the global financial capital is “too big to jail.” | 11/04/13 19:09:16 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Senate moving toward bill to ban workplace bias against gays

A long-stalled bill banning workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is likely to pass the Senate as early as this week, a sign of the fast-changing political landscape for gay rights. | 11/04/13 18:58:33 By - By William Douglas

Brazil watching warily for fallout from Latin America’s biggest bankruptcy

Eike Batista was once the symbol of Brazil’s surging prosperity – declared in 2010 the world’s eighth richest person by Forbes, lionized in stories and interviews by “60 Minutes” and Charlie Rose, and a key backer of Brazil’s winning bids to host soccer’s 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. | 11/01/13 18:21:59 By - By Vinod Sreeharsha

A chorus of boos for Hallmark carol revision

Too bad Hallmark doesn’t make an apology card for this occasion. A new Keepsake Christmas ornament from the Kansas City-based company looks like your favorite tacky-but-festive holiday sweater, only this one is decorated with the words “Don we now our FUN apparel!” | 11/01/13 12:45:06 By - Tim Engle

GOP stalls Watt’s nomination to head mortgage-finance regulator

Republicans sent the Obama administration back to the drawing board Thursday, blocking an up-or-down vote on the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., to head the little-known but vital Federal Housing Finance Agency. | 10/31/13 16:59:57 By - By Kevin G. Hall

States will woo foreign investors at Obama summit

With no state tax on personal or corporate income, Washington state touts itself as a good fit for foreign investors looking to spend some money in the United States. | 10/30/13 18:51:53 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Coal industry workers, allies rally against EPA power plant rules

Hundreds of coal industry workers and supporters gathered Tuesday in front of the U.S. Capitol as a parade of coal-state lawmakers assailed the Obama administration as waging a “war on coal” with new environmental rules. | 10/30/13 12:03:56 By - By Curtis Tate

Marijuana ads stir the pot over drug safety, free speech

Critics fear that the increased advertising promoting marijuana use is a sign of things to come as support for legalization continues to grow, reflected by a Gallup poll that found backing from a record high 58 percent of Americans. And they see the stepped-up promotion as a dangerous trend that will lead to more drug abuse among children. | 10/30/13 06:00:00 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Business, conservatives push lawmakers on immigration

An unorthodox coalition of conservative leaders – pastors, tech moguls, tea party farmers and the sheriff from Fresno County, Calif. – converged Tuesday on Washington to make the conservative case for an immigration overhaul. | 10/29/13 18:37:35 By - By Franco Ordonez

Without federal aid, Amtrak could leave rural areas behind

They’re among the last holdovers from the golden age of American train travel, but the changing relationship between the federal government and the states could mean the end of the line for some of Amtrak’s long-distance routes. | 10/28/13 06:00:00 By - By Curtis Tate

Not so fast: The improving unemployment rate masks problems

The monthly unemployment rate holds almost mythical importance as a barometer for the health of the U.S. economy. But what if it’s not telling us what we thought? | 10/24/13 16:30:01 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Lackluster jobs report means Fed is likely to continue stimulus

A disappointing jobs report for September released by the government Tuesday points to an economy that was slowing even before the shock hit from a partial government shutdown and threat of a debt default. The Federal Reserve is now likely to keep its foot on the economy’s gas pedal. | 10/22/13 17:24:56 By - By Kevin G. Hall

China voices frustration that its best investment choice remains U.S. debt

Despite the end last week of the 16-day U.S. government shutdown and the extension of the debt ceiling until next year, there are few signs that the situation has reassured China, the largest holder of American debt. | 10/21/13 15:37:48 By - By Lara Farrar

After shutdown, a long-term budget deal is possible, just not a big one

Prospects for a longer-term budget deal in Congress that eases some of the pain from steep spending cuts are good. Prospects for a grand bargain that gets America’s fiscal house in order, well, that’s another story. | 10/17/13 18:35:41 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Will Washington state break U.S. logjam on labeling GMO food?

A ballot initiative in Washington to require GMO food labeling has become a battle with implications that could reach far beyond the state. | 10/17/13 11:21:33 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Government shutdown hurt the economy, but how much?

How much damage was inflicted on the economy? That’s the million-dollar question as a 16-day partial government shutdown draws to an end and a crippling debt default apparently was averted. | 10/16/13 17:44:01 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Default or not, U.S. already has endangered its credit rating

Credit ratings agencies may not wait for a default to downgrade U.S. government creditworthiness. It’s a warning that politicians are showing just why U.S. bonds no longer are considered to be worthy of the gold-plated AAA status. | 10/15/13 18:44:26 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Airports seek improvement dollars elsewhere as federal fiscal woes deepen

The nation’s airports once counted on billions of dollars in federal grants to upgrade their facilities, but in an increasingly uncertain fiscal environment, some would prefer to leave the money on the table and leverage their own resources instead. | 10/14/13 16:21:51 By - By Curtis Tate

As cities improve rapid transit, buses get a new look

It’s the fastest, cheapest, most effective way to move large numbers of people in an urban area, some transit advocates have come to conclude. But it’s not a streetcar or light-rail system: It’s a fleet of buses that acts like one. | 10/11/13 06:21:06 By - By Curtis Tate

Lew frowns on prioritizing payments in debt default scenario

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew shoots down idea that government could prioritize who get paid during default scenario | 10/10/13 09:57:26 By - Kevin G. Hall

Stocks are up, interest too, as markets hinge on debt deal

Repercussions from the chance that the federal government may not be able to pay all its bills starting next week already are being felt across the U.S. economy. | 10/10/13 18:11:08 By - By Kevin G. Hall

USDA threatens to close 3 Foster Farms plants in salmonella outbreak

The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave a California poultry producer until Thursday to correct problems that led to a salmonella outbreak in 18 states, or be forced to shut down three processing plants. | 10/09/13 19:40:29 By - By Curtis Tate

Fed nominee Yellen will face questions about inflation vs. growth

Republican lawmakers raised concern Wednesday that President Barack Obama’s pick to lead the Federal Reserve might be too willing to tolerate inflation and too inclined to support economic stimulus efforts, but only a few signaled that they intend to oppose her confirmation. | 10/09/13 17:45:42 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Obama to name Janet Yellen as first woman to lead Fed

President Barack Obama will nominate Janet Yellen on Wednesday as the first woman to head the powerful Federal Reserve. If confirmed she’d become the world’s most influential banker. | 10/08/13 21:32:26 By - By Kevin G. Hall

What are options on debt default? Bad and worse

The federal government won’t automatically or immediately default next week if it hits the legal limit on debt without an agreement to raise it from Congress and the White House. | 10/08/13 17:06:54 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Economists want to know faster what’s happening in small business

Politicians extol the virtues of small businesses as an engine of the U.S. economy, but often leave out a very important flip side. They also have a shorter life span than larger firms, and thus toss more people into joblessness, making them disproportionately the generators of unemployment. . | 10/08/13 12:59:11 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Salmonella cases in 17 states may have started with California chickens

A federal agency said Monday that 278 people might have been infected with salmonella from Foster Farms chicken that was undercooked or improperly handled. | 10/08/13 06:45:47 By - By John Holland

Behind the scenes, business leaders press for immigration overhaul

While the immigration debate has been put on the back burner in Washington, national and local business heavyweights have been working behind the scenes – and using their financial might – to press House Republicans to bring legislation overhauling the immigration system to a vote. | 10/07/13 17:33:19 By - By Franco Ordonez

On Sunday shows, Treasury secretary warns of default

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew appeared on five major talk shows Sunday morning to try to press House Republicans on the dangers of default. | 10/06/13 10:16:16 By - By Anita Kumar

U.S. tobacco growers fear loss of cigarette sales in Europe

Jonathan Shell acknowledges that smoking isn’t good for you, but he says growing 190 acres of burley tobacco on his family’s farm in Lancaster, Ky., has provided a long list of benefits. | 10/04/13 13:31:13 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Manufacturing execs say they need trained workers

The National Association of Manufacturers on Thursday announced that GE Appliances President and CEO Chip Blankenship will chair a group of executives who will try to find solutions to what businesses nationwide say is a shortage of trained workers. | 10/03/13 16:55:52 By - By Renee Schoof

Plain English or wonk-speak is only 1st decision for next Fed chairman

Whoever chairs the Federal Reserve next year will have to decide a lot more than how to handle the economy. She or he will have to decide whether to talk in English or Fed-speak. | 10/03/13 06:00:00 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Shutdown leaves Wall Street ‘flying blind’

The partial shutdown of the federal government has brought to a near halt the flow of real-time statistical information about the economy needed by financial markets. | 10/02/13 15:16:12 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Shutdown harms economy; how much depends on how long

The partial shutdown of the government threatens self-inflicted harm to an anemic U.S. economy. | 10/02/13 06:34:37 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Holiday forecast is for modest retailer cheer

The holiday hiring season has started, and it looks as if it will be a challenge to match or surpass last year’s strong showing. The sluggish economy is growing, but well below its potential, and competition is fierce from online companies, which hire fewer workers. | 10/01/13 11:59:34 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Treasury sets Oct. 17 as drop dead date for default

The federal government will run out of money to pay its bills on Oct. 17 at the latest, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned Wednesday in a letter sent to lawmakers asking for a speedy renewal of borrowing authority. | 09/25/13 12:35:51 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Can states protect kids from recreational marijuana?

When the U.S. Justice Department promised not to prosecute illegal marijuana sales planned to begin in Washington state and Colorado next year, its top lawyers demanded that the states reciprocate with a pledge to keep the drug away from minors. | 09/23/13 00:00:00 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Chase Bank, JPMorgan Chase to refund customers $309 million for unfair billing

Federal regulators on Thursday ordered Chase Bank and JPMorgan Chase to refund $309 million to more than 2 million customers for illegally billing them for credit-monitoring services they never received. | 09/19/13 18:47:21 By - By Lindsay Wise

Fed’s surprise move to continue boosting economy could extend low lending rates

The Federal Reserve’s surprise decision Wednesday to maintain a controversial bond-buying program keeping interest rates low to prop up the U.S. economy sparked a Wall Street rally. It also served notice that partisan politics and rising mortgage rates threaten an anemic recovery. | 09/18/13 14:32:50 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Feds still see wiggle room in Lummi Nation position on Washington state coal terminal

The Lummi Nation's position on the Gateway Pacific coal terminal seemed crystal clear in a July 30, 2013, letter to Col. Bruce Estok, district engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Seattle. | 09/18/13 12:12:13 By - John Stark

Household income, poverty hold steady, number of uninsured declines

The nation’s elevated poverty rate and stagnant median household income showed no meaningful changes in 2012, while the number and percentage of Americans without health insurance declined slightly from 2011, due mainly to higher Medicare rolls, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report Tuesday. | 09/17/13 18:26:23 By - By Tony Pugh

Report: After a decline, budget deficit will start growing again

The federal budget deficit should shrink to 2 percent of the total economy by 2015, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday in a new forecast. The debt held by the public would fall as a share of the economy to a healthier – but still high – 68 percent not long afterward. The improving numbers are due to cuts in government spending and an improving economy, and they reflect short-term trends, the CBO said. Over a longer window, through 2038, the nation’s finances remain on perilous ground, the CBO said. | 09/17/13 17:24:36 By - By Kevin G. Hall and William Douglas

More media consumers are cutting the cable cord

The vast majority of Americans – 95 percent – still watch television using traditional cable or satellite options, according to Nielsen. But the number of households that choose to opt out of cable or satellite TV is on the rise, from 2 million in 2007 to 5 million in 2013, Nielsen’s data show. Rapid advances in streaming technology and faster broadband speeds make the transition easier than ever for those looking to “cut the cord.” | 09/16/13 17:51:28 By - By Lindsay Wise

Summers drops bid to head the Fed

Obama administration economic confidante Lawrence H. Summers said "any possible confirmation process for me would be acrimonious." | 09/15/13 19:10:40 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Claims of olive oil quality ripe for fraud, trade agency says

Olive oil debates might start reheating, with a long-awaited International Trade Commission study noting that a lack of standards enforcement has led to "a long history of fraudulent practices." | 09/13/13 16:17:16 By - By Michael Doyle

Study proposes tolling interstate system to pay for reconstruction

With large portions of the 46,000-mile Interstate Highway System wearing out and needing replacement, but with few federal and state dollars do it, one possible solution goes back to how most roads were originally built: tolls. | 09/13/13 06:03:41 By - By Curtis Tate

Housing could sputter when Fed takes foot off economy’s gas

The Federal Reserve could begin withdrawing unconventional life support for the U.S. economy as early as next week. It raises questions anew, especially for the housing sector, about what happens when an era of cheap borrowing costs comes to a close. | 09/12/13 16:01:17 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Little room to move on debt default debate

Absent a late-hour compromise on Capitol Hill, the U.S. government will run out of money to pay its debts and could begin defaulting on its obligations, piecemeal or all at once, around Oct. 18, according to a report Tuesday. | 09/10/13 17:01:39 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Bank of America to be dropped from the Dow

Bank of America Corp. will be removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average beginning next week as part of a major shake-up of the stock market index. | 09/10/13 12:14:54 By - Andrew Dunn

Disappointing jobs growth points to weak autumn

A softer-than-expected August jobs report from the government Friday suggests that weak hiring may be the norm for the remainder of the year amid a still-impaired jobs market. | 09/06/13 15:46:28 By - By Kevin G. Hall

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Teen employment hits record lows, suggesting lost generation

For the fourth consecutive summer, teen employment has stayed anchored around record lows, prompting experts to fear that a generation of youth is likely to be economically stunted with lower earnings and opportunities in years ahead. | 08/29/13 14:45:39 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Imports threaten our way of life, Gulf shrimpers tell trade panel

The future of the U.S. shrimp industry and a way of life along the Gulf of Mexico are threatened if the government doesn’t set duties on the large volumes of foreign shrimp that are flooding the domestic market, shrimp producers told federal trade officials Tuesday. | 08/13/13 19:32:48 By - By Isabella Zhong and Rhyan Kronzer

Government’s suit against airline merger unlikely to change industry

In suing to block the proposed merger of US Airways and American Airlines, the Justice Department and six state attorneys general said they were acting to protect consumers from higher prices and fewer choices. But antitrust regulators voiced few objections to a series of mergers during the past decade that helped create the conditions they now find problematic. And industry observers say stopping the deal won’t lower fares, eliminate bag fees or restore service to smaller and medium-size airports where major carriers have cut back. | 08/13/13 18:53:43 By - By Curtis Tate

To some truckers, DOT rules to combat fatigue are tiresome

For commercial truck drivers such as Charles Ryser, when the wheels aren’t turning, you aren’t earning. Until July, Ryser and his father – who drive in a team from a base in Forsyth, Ga. – worked on their own terms. Charles took the day shift, while his father, David Ryser, got behind the wheel at dusk. But because of a Department of Transportation attempt to cut down on fatigued drivers, Ryser now has to comply with rules that lead to more downtime and force him to switch shifts regularly with his father, breaking him from his rhythm. | 08/13/13 14:44:04 By - By Ben Kamisar

Justice Dept. challenges US Airways, American merge

The U.S. Justice Department and six state attorneys general on Tuesday challenged US Airways’ proposed $11 billion merger with American Airlines, saying the combined company would reduce competition for consumers. | 08/13/13 12:35:36 By - Rick Rothacker

U.S. shrimp industry seeks relief from cheaper foreign imports

Domestic shrimp producers will find out Tuesday whether they’ll be one step closer to getting relief from the subsidized imports that have taken over about 75 percent of the U.S. market for the shellfish and that, the shrimpers say, cost them billions of dollars in lost revenue. | 08/09/13 16:27:17 By - By Isabella Zhong and Rhyan Kronzer

In effort to double exports, U.S. initiative targets big cities

Nestled in the westernmost part of North Carolina, which is best known for its wood furniture, Plasticard-Locktech International is at first blush an unlikely exporter. Its calling card is plastic cards, the kind that’s used to get into a hotel room or stuck inside a birthday card as a gift. But the company, now in its 25th year, with about 305 employees, is the kind of exporter the Obama administration is after in its ambitious plan to double exports to more than $3 trillion by the end of next year. | 08/08/13 13:36:08 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Industry wrote provision that undercuts credit-rating overhaul

Moments before the Senate passed a bill to overhaul the credit ratings industry seven years ago, sponsors took turns touting its promise for ending an entrenched oligopoly. The bill, they said, should break the vicelike dominance of three agencies in an industry that serves as a watchdog over the financial system. What’s escaped scrutiny until now, however, is that the law’s tough criteria defining when a newcomer could join the industry weren’t written by Congress. They were crafted by an official of one of the big three ratings agencies, McClatchy has learned. | 08/07/13 15:29:36 By - By Greg Gordon

Fines may not deter companies from manipulating markets

Officials in the nation’s capital and California’s hailed this week’s announcement of a $410 million settlement with JPMorgan Chase as a win for consumers and a warning to big companies that try to manipulate electricity markets not to do it again. | 08/02/13 18:03:15 By - By Curtis Tate

Most 2013 job growth is in part-time work, survey suggests

The July government employment report released Friday showed the job market treading water. And a closer look at one of the two measures the Labor Department uses to gauge employment suggests that part-time work accounted for almost all the job growth that’s been reported over the past six months. | 08/02/13 16:03:14 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Miami-Dade ports to return staffing to pre-sequestration levels

Miami International Airport and PortMiami were chosen Friday as one of five sets of ports around the nation to participate in a reimbursement program that will allow staffing at customs and immigration to return to pre-sequestration levels. | 08/02/13 15:59:50 By - Charles Rabin

Economy treading water as unemployment rate falls to 7.4%

162,000 jobs added in July. | 08/02/13 08:43:05 By - Kevin G. Hall

Google’s call for open Internet hedged in its own rules

When Google was just a mighty search engine, the company championed an open, unfettered Internet. Now that it’s selling ultra-fast broadband Internet and TV service in Kansas City, Mo., with plans to repeat the service elsewhere, the tech giant bars customers from hosting servers on the Google Fiber network without written permission. In some tech circles, that’s seen as at least a partial reversal by Google, one that might undercut the company’s position in coming regulatory battles over the concept known as net neutrality. | 08/01/13 16:32:49 By - By Lindsay Wise

U.S. economic recovery may be gaining steam

The U.S. economy is gaining momentum and is poised for a stronger recovery later this year, according to new data Wednesday from the Commerce Department. The numbers also showed that 2012 was stronger than had been estimated. | 07/31/13 16:15:58 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Economic data expected to show slow second quarter

When the Commerce Department releases its first-blush economic growth estimates for the second quarter of 2013 on Wednesday, it’ll likely show a U.S. economic recovery lumbering along at an anemic pace. | 07/30/13 16:40:33 By - By Kevin G. Hall

JP Morgan Chase’s alleged manipulation of electricity markets detailed

The federal regulator of electricity markets on Monday accused Wall Street powerhouse JP Morgan Chase & Co. of using multiple trading strategies to manipulate electricity markets in California and the Midwest for profit. | 07/29/13 19:13:26 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Illinois couple invents iSucker -- what does it do?

Mark Harris and Dana Askew-Harris, of St. Jacob, had a good time at the Cardinals baseball game July 6. Not only did the home team win, so did they. "Saturday was a great day," said Mark, 49. "We were selling iSuckers to everyone around us." | 07/29/13 15:24:25 By - Maureen Houston

In Missouri, President Obama focuses on the economy, especially the middle class

Diana Klosterman listened closely Wednesday, applauding as President Barack Obama spoke in a stuffy auditorium on the campus of the University of Central Missouri. Jobs? Check. The middle class? Check. More help for higher education? Check. Did she hear anything to suggest compromise with Congress is possible on those issues? | 07/25/13 17:40:41 By - Dave Helling

Financial regulators tame cheating ‘cheetah,’ fine, ban high-speed trader

Financial regulators on Monday took their first-ever action against a cheating “cheetah,” accusing a high-speed trader in oil and other commodities of deceiving the market and disrupting normal trading activity. | 07/22/13 16:39:18 By - By Kevin G. Hall

USDA tries new strategy to stem glut of sugar imports

U.S. sugarcane and sugar beet farmers are bracing for a flood – but not one caused by the weather. Rather, it’s a flood of imported sugar from Mexico. Record production and imports are poised to sweeten the U.S. market a bit too much. | 07/22/13 16:32:31 By - By Trevor Graff

Obama to lay out economic vision in speeches this week

President Barack Obama will travel to Illinois Wednesday to deliver what the White House is billing as a major speech on the economy in which he lays out a long term vision to lift up the middle class. | 07/22/13 06:33:19 By - Anita Kumar

Low-wage food workers stage one-day strike at Smithsonian museums

Jonathan Ross, a restaurant worker at one of the famous Smithsonian Institution museums, went on a one-day strike Thursday because he’s tired of trying to support himself and his 15-year-old daughter on $10,000 per year without benefits. | 07/11/13 17:08:52 By - By Kate Irby

U.S. reports strong job growth in June, 2 prior months

Hiring has broken out to a new, higher level as employers added a better-than-expected 195,000 jobs in June and the prior two months were revised upward, a government said Friday in a firecracker of a report. | 07/05/13 16:05:17 By - By Kevin G. Hall and Trevor Graff

Prosecutions of offshore banks may help turn tide against secrecy

From clandestine meetings to phony foundations described in federal indictments, the secret world of offshore banking and the lengths to which Americans have gone to avoid taxes point to the complexities Congress will confront as it embarks on comprehensive tax restructuring. Fully 45 percent of Americans who’ve taken advantage of the IRS’s tax amnesty program held accounts in Switzerland. | 07/03/13 16:39:23 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Troops allegedly misled by car loan program to get refunds

U.S. Bank and a Kentucky-based financial services provider agreed to refund $6.5 million to 50,000 military service members after federal regulators accused both companies of misleading borrowers about fees and costs associated with an auto loans program that targeted active-duty troops. | 06/27/13 18:42:15 By - By Lindsay Wise

U.S. consumers feel more confident, but are still cautious

Four years after the end of the Great Recession, the consumer is back – just not with a vengeance. Consumption continues to show improvement, and yet Americans still clutch their wallets. On the plus side, rising home prices, improving jobs numbers and a falling unemployment rate are bolstering how consumers feel about the economy. | 06/27/13 14:30:29 By - By Kevin G. Hall

As Chairman Ben Bernanke clarifies Fed’s moves, markets freak

The Federal Reserve is likely to begin tapering off its economic life support late this year and finish a controversial program of bond purchases by the middle of the next year, Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday in remarks that triggered fear and loathing in financial markets. | 06/19/13 19:02:47 By -

Federal Reserve faces pressure to provide clarity in uncertain environment

Federal Reserve officials begin a pivotal two-day meeting Tuesday facing a dilemma. The economy is showing enough improvement to justify dialing back some of the Fed’s life support, yet financial markets are terrified of what might happen and are taking it out on the housing sector. | 06/17/13 17:44:48 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Americans throw away 90 billion pounds of food a year

The average American family of four wastes between $1,350 and $2,275 a year in food. Much of that ends up in the kitchen trash can: uneaten leftovers, milk past the expiration date and vegetables that go bad. In the U.S., all that waste adds up to 90 billion pounds of food a year, and the planet is paying a staggeringly high price for it. | 06/17/13 13:42:08 By - Bethany Clough

Tax writers Max Baucus, Dave Camp plan summer taxapalooza

The chairmen of the two tax-writing committees of Congress will hit the road together over the summer to promote a proposed revamp of the tax code, the two announced Friday. | 06/14/13 15:41:25 By - By Kevin G. Hall

High hopes for more exports, from chickens to cheese, as Obama heads to Europe

As President Barack Obama prepares to go to Northern Ireland on Sunday to promote a new trade pact with the European Union, hopes are running high for many U.S. businesses eager to squeeze more cash from one of the world’s most lucrative markets. | 06/14/13 15:36:41 By - By Rob Hotakainen and Lindsay Wise

New Hostess owner prepares to resume snack cake production in Columbus

The sweet aroma of snack cakes should once again be permeating the air around the Dolly Madison plant in Columbus, Georgia as Hostess Brands LLC prepares to relaunch production next month. | 06/12/13 17:47:35 By - Tony Adams

Banks profiting from overdraft coverage plans, federal agency says

Overdraft protection often is a better deal for banks than for consumers, a new study by a federal watchdog agency reveals. | 06/11/13 03:54:14 By - By Lindsay Wise

Many knowledge-based jobs go blue collar

When you think of jobs that require mastery of science or math, chances are you don't think of auto mechanics or construction. But a new study suggests you should think again. | 06/10/13 13:07:26 By - Kristin Rodine

Jobs report, Wall Street increase pressure on Fed to show its cards

Pressure built Friday on the Federal Reserve to signal whether it’s ready to begin scaling back its controversial economic stimulus efforts, after a status-quo May jobs report from the government sparked an unusual Wall Street rally. | 06/07/13 16:40:48 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Bankruptcy judge removes obstacle to American-US Airways merger

A federal bankruptcy judge sided Tuesday with American Airlines, overruling a U.S. trustee’s objection to the company’s plan to pay its chairman and CEO a nearly $20 million severance package. | 06/04/13 16:31:39 By - By Curtis Tate

IRS may have targeted conservatives more broadly

While the developing scandal over the IRS’s targeting of conservatives has largely focused on its scrutiny of groups with words such as “tea party” or “patriot” in their names, new examples could point to a secret political vendetta within the government against conservatives. | 05/30/13 17:27:00 By - By David Lightman and Kevin G. Hall

A year later, U.S. trade with Colombia grows while anxiety mounts

Colombian Ambassador Carlos Urrutia says there’s no doubt that his country’s trade deal with the U.S. has paid off. U.S. officials are equally excited, saying U.S. businesses have improved their sales to the South American country by 20 percent. But a year after the agreement took effect, the growth in trade is producing mounting anxiety in some quarters. | 05/23/13 12:02:00 By - By Rob Hotakainen

South Korea trade deal produces bleak first-year results for U.S.

More than a year after it took effect, a highly touted trade deal with South Korea has failed to produce as expected for the U.S.: Exports are down, imports are up and the trade deficit with the Asian economic powerhouse has ballooned. | 05/22/13 16:19:10 By - By Rob Hotakainen

Kansas Food Bank distributed record number of weekend backpacks to hungry kids

The Kansas Food Bank gave out record numbers of Friday food packages to schoolchildren in Wichita and throughout the state this year as part of its Food 4 Kids program. | 05/15/13 13:10:36 By - Roy Wenzl

While Wall Street soars, jobs market still scarred

Don’t let the soaring stock market and applause from politicians over a slight dip in the unemployment rate fool you. A deeper dive into government data underscores just how bleak the picture still is in today’s labor market. | 05/09/13 15:22:31 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Senator Durbin wants proof that BRAC actually saved money

A U.S. senator wants the Air Force to prove it saved money by closing bases due to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process. "Base closure commissions are supposed to take the politicians out of the process. I think they've replaced politicians with other politicians," said Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois. | 05/09/13 13:34:36 By - Jennifer Bowen

Taker nation: Why federal spending is tough to trim

Some 24,000 people, give or take, live in Sumner County, a farming county south of Wichita on the Oklahoma border. Voters here elect reliably anti-tax and anti-spending lawmakers to the Kansas Statehouse. So it's likely most Sumner voters nodded in agreement last year when Romney called 47 percent of Americans "takers" - so reliant on federal aid that they couldn't be persuaded that runaway federal debt threatens economic freedom. Yet, as Vince Wetta suggests, Sumner County is a taker. | 05/09/13 13:11:50 By - Dave Helling and Steve Kraske

Washington looks for ways to ease student loan debt

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday suggested possible ways to make private student loans more affordable and easier to refinance. | 05/08/13 18:19:00 By - By Renee Schoof

Olympia may see LED streetlights

Thousands of Olympia streetlights could be converted from the traditional yellowish, high-pressure sodium lights to whiter, energy-saving LED lamps, in a project estimated to cost nearly $4 million. | 05/06/13 15:28:13 By - Matt Batcheldor

Surprisingly good jobs report sends Wall Street surging

A surprisingly positive jobs report Friday showed that employers added 165,000 positions in April and the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low of 7.5 percent, sparking a day of milestones on Wall Street as investors looked past doubts about robust hiring in the months ahead. | 05/03/13 17:52:26 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Fed’s language shift signals Washington, sequester harming growth

The Federal Reserve, in a carefully worded shift in language, signaled new concern Wednesday that constraints on federal spending are slowing the economy. | 05/01/13 17:02:55 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Interior increases estimate of oil potential in Dakotas, Montana

The federal government is doubling its estimate of how much oil might be discovered and harvested in the booming area of the Dakotas and Montana, a region that’s already helping to drive the United States’ dramatic shift into a role as the world’s leading oil producer. | 04/30/13 17:32:18 By - By Sean Cockerham

Could Congress close Scott Air Force Base?

If you worry about Scott Air Force Base's future, then the Pentagon's most recent budget bill contains good news: The next round of Base Realignment and Closure, the process that Congress uses to decide which military bases to close, won't begin until 2015 at the earliest. | 04/29/13 13:25:20 By - Mike Fitzgerald

Economy grew at rate of 2.5% in first quarter, government report says

Results are an improvement over the prior three months but fell short of analyst expectations. | 04/26/13 08:53:51 By - Kevin G. Hall

Economists: Long-term joblessness is national emergency

Seemingly intractable long-term unemployment has become a national emergency that requires new and creative steps if it’s to be reversed before it does permanent damage, several high-profile economists warned Congress on Wednesday. | 04/24/13 19:17:18 By - By Kevin G. Hall

New measure of economy will include focus on government pensions

As part of a new push to broaden the way economic growth is measured, government statisticians will soon begin using a new accounting method that’s likely to spotlight the problem of underfunded pension funds, particularly those managed by state and local governments across the nation. | 04/24/13 16:20:47 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Sacramento airline passengers may face delays this summer due to sequester

The old adage "pack your patience" may be more true than ever this summer at Sacramento International Airport and other airports nationally - the result of federal budget cutbacks that went into effect this week. | 04/24/13 12:55:43 By - Tony Bizjak

Tri-City fertilizer plants vow safety after Texas explosion

As rescuers searched Thursday for survivors of a deadly Texas explosion, a supervisor at a Mid-Columbia fertilizer manufacturer emphasized that his company’s top priority is safety. | 04/19/13 14:34:28 By - Sara Schilling and Kai-Huei Yau

California farmworkers may win fast track to legal residency

As many as 400,000 California undocumented farmworkers may get a fast track to legal status under a potential landmark accord between the agricultural industry and the United Farm Workers union. | 04/18/13 14:57:01 By - Peter Hecht

Worker visas are big part of bill to revamp immigration

The proposed revamp of immigration laws that’s scheduled for release in the Senate on Tuesday would increase the numbers of, and ease the process of obtaining, visas for highly skilled workers. The legislation also is expected to propose expanding the caps for farm workers, and it would force all employers within five years to verify the immigration status of their employees. | 04/15/13 17:55:48 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Big-box stores offering loans, other financial services

Need to refinance your mortgage? Just put it on your shopping list next time you visit Costco, alongside the jumbo paper towels. Big-box retail stores offer a growing number of financial services, from check cashing and reloadable pre-paid cards to small business loans and life insurance. But they aren’t subject to the same federal oversight as banks, and they might not always provide the same consumer protections. | 04/15/13 15:50:07 By - By Lindsay Wise

Devil’s in the details – debt risks in Obama budget

Buried deep in the Obama administration’s four-volume budget released this week are long-term economic projections that underscore what could be steep costs for failing to get the nation’s finances in order. | 04/11/13 16:35:07 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Weak March jobs report sparks new debate over economy’s recovery

A disappointing March jobs report Friday, marked by a sharp slowdown in hiring and shrinking labor force participation, triggered new debate over the strength of the U.S. economic recovery. | 04/05/13 17:10:23 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Florida credit union wants to hire young, hip ‘spokester’

Wanted: “Spokester” to connect to young adults via social media and teach them about personal finance. Tropical Financial Credit Union in Miramar, Flor., launched a search Tuesday for a new “spokester” position. It’s the credit union’s attempt to market to the under-banked Millennial generation. | 04/03/13 13:34:25 By - Ina Paiva Cordle

DOE counterintelligence office in Richland, Wash. to close

Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., is asking the Department of Energy for information on why it closed the DOE field office in Richland doing counterintelligence work for the Hanford nuclear reservation. | 04/02/13 13:24:16 By - Annette Cary

Massive warehouses built in KC’s growing role as national distribution center

A new generation of huge distribution centers is sprouting from the fields of far southwest Johnson County along the Interstate 35 corridor, confirming Kansas City’s arrival as a major national logistical hub. | 04/02/13 12:53:13 By - Kevin Collison

Sequestration may mean hard times for Meals on Wheels

Freddie Neese does not want to live in a nursing home. The 66-year-old who has congestive heart failure and an enlarged heart said he's able to stay in his own home - for now - with help from programs such as Meals on Wheels. But this program both locally and nationwide will face tough financial times if, as expected, it becomes a victim of sequestration, the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts triggered because leaders couldn't agree on a better way to cut federal spending. | 04/02/13 12:46:40 By - Anna M. Tinsley

Does crisis in Cyprus signal wider economic risks?

The conventional wisdom is that financial troubles in Cyprus have little bearing on the health of American banks and the U.S. financial system. That view may prove optimistic if problems in Cyprus spread to its neighbors. | 03/28/13 19:09:46 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Bank of America CEO Moynihan would run bank for 'the rest of my life'

Bank of America’s CEO, in an interview that aired Tuesday with public television’s Charlie Rose, praised the federal regulations that have been rolled out in the wake of the financial crisis and said banks must be run better in the future. | 03/28/13 07:14:43 By - Deon Roberts

Justice Department is investigating Shell’s Arctic drilling

The Coast Guard has asked the Justice Department to investigate possible pollution violations by both the drilling rigs Shell used in its botched efforts to explore for oil last year in the Arctic Ocean waters off the northern coast of Alaska. | 03/27/13 19:53:32 By - By Sean Cockerham

Bidding wars erupt in California housing market

As the spring home-buying season gets under way, bidding wars are breaking out on Sacramento's tree-lined streets. | 03/26/13 06:55:21 By - Hudson Sangree

Oil and electricity: A compare-and-contrast tale of 2 regulators

An obscure federal regulator of electricity markets has emerged as a tough cop on the beat, taking on Wall Street banks and big energy firms alike for market manipulation. That aggressive approach stands out when it’s compared with that of the regulator in charge of looking for manipulation in the oil and gasoline markets. | 03/25/13 16:40:31 By - By Kevin G. Hall

New transmission lines funnel wind-generated electricity out of Kansas

Kansas can’t become the “Saudi Arabia of wind” – the words of Gov. Sam Brownback – without more giant transmission lines to carry all that wind-generated electricity out of western Kansas. | 03/25/13 14:04:22 By - Dan Voorhis

For borrowers, frustrations still linger one year after mortgage settlement

A year ago, a $25 billion settlement ordered banks to do a better job helping troubled homeowners, and to end the stories of borrowers trapped in a confusing web of mortgage negotiations leading to foreclosure. | 03/25/13 07:20:20 By - Andrew Dunn

Meals on Wheels in Bradenton, Fla., anticipates funding cut impact by October

Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston and Palmetto Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant drove off Wednesday morning to deliver hot food from Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee on Ninth Street East in Bradenton to bolster awareness of homebound senior hunger. | 03/21/13 12:16:06 By - Vin Mannix

Federal workers union protests in Beaufort over sequestration cuts

Civilian union workers from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island rallied Wednesday near Beaufort City Hall against the federal budget cuts known as sequestration. The cuts could mean furloughs for hundreds of non-military workers in Beaufort County. | 03/21/13 12:06:48 By - CASEY CONLEY

California agencies for seniors expect sequester budget cuts

Agencies that serve seniors in the Sacramento County region are bracing for the hit: Federally funded programs for older adults - including the popular senior nutrition program - face automatic, across-the-board budget cuts as a result of the sequester. | 03/21/13 07:03:53 By - Anita Creamer

Fed sees improvement, risk in U.S. economy

The Federal Reserve upped its forecast for the U.S. labor market Wednesday, but Chairman Ben Bernanke cautioned that ongoing political battles over federal spending are creating headwinds and led the central bank to revise its forecast and project slower growth. | 03/20/13 18:45:01 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Is government spending ‘crowding out’ private sector? No

Republicans like to say that federal spending is “crowding out” investment by the private sector. That’s scary sounding, but it isn’t actually happening. | 03/20/13 16:21:52 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Federal cuts place UC Merced research funds in jeopardy

One long-term effect of deep federal budget cuts could be that some research projects won't get done, at California's UC Merced administrator warned Tuesday. | 03/20/13 12:55:41 By - Yesenia Amaro

Sequester hits home: civilian workers at Scott AFB set to receive 30-day furlough notices

More than 4,500 Scott Air Force Base civilian workers will receive 30-day notices in the mail by the end of the week informing them they will be taking one-day-per-week of unpaid vacation between now and September because of the federal budget sequester. | 03/20/13 12:02:28 By - Mike Fitzgerald

DOE employers at Hanford face pink slips from sequestration

Hanford workers to be laid off because of budget cuts caused by sequestration should begin being notified Monday. Department of Energy contractors were continuing to work on adjusted budgets late last week, including the number of layoffs that would be required. | 03/19/13 15:34:15 By - Annette Cary

Mobile wallet technology raises privacy, security concerns

Your smart phone already serves as a portable office, media player, newspaper, GPS, camera and social network hub. Now it can replace your wallet, too. | 03/18/13 19:39:45 By - By Lindsay Wise

Sequester cancels Air Force air crew 'rodeo' in Washington State

The Pentagon is cancelling a well-loved Air Force competition at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state this summer, grounding the air mobility “rodeo” to save money | 03/14/13 18:09:33 By - Adam Ashton

Sequestration results in suspension of military tuition assistance program

Automatic defense spending cuts has resulted this week in the suspension of the military tuition assistance program for service members for the rest of fiscal year 2013 for most branches, including the Air Force. | 03/13/13 12:49:39 By - Rick Plumlee

Two tons of California's Hearst Castle oranges to go to the needy

Hearst Castle landscaping staffers are plucking citrus from 120 trees, most planted about eight years ago to replace a decorative entry-to-the-estate orchard reduced by age to a scant, scruffy bunch of misshapen, dying trees. State Parks donates the bounty to the 3-year-old GleanSLO program, now part of the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County. | 03/13/13 12:33:44 By - Kathe Tanner

Pricey gas, more jobs equal boom for mass transit – mostly

Mass transit ridership increased nationwide last year, according to new numbers Monday, an indication that more people are going back to work and high gasoline prices are changing how they get there. However, a closer look at the ridership report reveals that while many transit systems posted large gains, others saw a decline, reflecting the unevenness of the economic recovery. And declines in the state, local and federal tax revenues that support transit systems have forced many of them to cut back service. | 03/11/13 16:45:52 By - By Curtis Tate

Farm labor shortage looms as California workers age

Vicente Contreras is 70 years old – and "no más," he insists with a smile – and he says he is still fit and hearty enough to perform the hard labor of California's farm fields. | 03/11/13 06:44:11 By - Peter Hecht

Agriculture's Vilsack defends cuts to meat and poultry inspections as part of sequester

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reached out to local media around the country on Thursday to defend plans to furlough meat and poultry inspectors for 11 days spread through July and August as part of the federal sequester. | 03/08/13 17:10:49 By - Dan Voorhis

Federal cuts mean fewer low-income families will get housing assistance

Local housing agencies are preparing for federal budget reductions by freezing waiting lists already clogged by thousands of applicants and, in Fort Worth, even canceling vouchers already issued to clients who are still searching for apartments. | 03/08/13 16:19:18 By - Alex Branch

TRANSCOM commander: Sequester already starting to hurt military readiness

Gen. William M. Fraser III, the chief of U.S. Transportation Command, based at Scott Air Force Base, warned Thursday night that the federal budget sequester -- the $85 billion in automatic across-the-board budget cuts -- is already starting to hurt military readiness one week after it began. | 03/08/13 15:52:48 By - Mike Fitzgerald

Jobs are up; now, will Washington help or hurt economy?

The stronger-than-expected gain of 236,000 jobs and a four-year-low unemployment rate of 7.7 percent suggested an accelerating economy Friday. The question is whether politicians will ram a stick into the spokes of growth. | 03/08/13 16:49:17 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Sequestration may cost Washington state tens of millions

Budget gurus for the state of Washington are still calculating the actual effects of the federal spending cuts known as sequestration, but what is known is that vulnerable populations – the disabled, seniors, poor preschoolers – will feel the brunt. | 03/08/13 07:35:03 By - Brad Shannon

Sequester's budget cuts spell uncertainty for Sacramento, Calif.

In Washington, the across-the-board budget reduction triggered by the failure of Congress and the White House to reach a deal on federal spending is called the sequester. | 03/08/13 07:06:03 By - Peter Hecht

Report finds insurers unready for climate change-related disasters

The insurance industry is ill-prepared to handle climate change-related disasters, regulators and industry watchers warned Thursday, saying the business hasn’t evolved enough in the face of rising sea levels and extreme weather fueled by climate change. | 03/07/13 17:51:45 By - By Erika Bolstad

With natural gas so abundant and cheap, should U.S. export it?

The natural gas boom in North Texas is sputtering, with the number of rigs working the Barnett Shale recently hitting a 10-year low. It’s an issue elsewhere, as well, as the glut of domestic energy that’s transforming America drives down the price of natural gas and makes drilling less profitable. | 03/07/13 15:43:21 By - By Sean Cockerham

Idaho National Laboratory could feel sting of sequester

Cuts of more than $19 million are expected at the Idaho National Laboratory as a result of the budget reductions that went into effect last Friday | 03/06/13 11:39:00 By - Rocky Barker

Americans’ reaction to sequestration might change course of politics

Already, a decade of budget deficits run up in war and economic crisis has saddled the government with a $16 trillion debt, a bill that will force the country to come to grips with how much government it wants and how much it wants to pay for it at the very time the aging baby boomers put new strains on the budget through such vast programs as Medicare and Social Security. Now the government is about to start cutting spending in some programs, offering a first look at how the American people will react. | 03/01/13 18:46:37 By - By David Lightman

U.S. oil is booming, led by Texas and North Dakota

U.S. oil production has soared to heights not seen in 20 years, largely driven by an explosion in crude harvested from Texas shale rock. | 03/01/13 06:29:21 By - By Sean Cockerham

Army bracing for budget cuts: Training, child care and more to be impacted by April

Forced Army budget cuts will show themselves in military communities like the South Sound in slashed paychecks to furloughed employees and reduced opportunities for private companies to work on bases, senior Army officers said in a Wednesday news conference. | 02/28/13 13:45:23 By - Adam Ashton

Sequestration may leave some Florida agencies with uncertain future

Uncertainty was the word Wednesday as the Friday deadline for $85 billion in automatic federal spending cuts crept closer. | 02/28/13 12:41:55 By - CARL MARIO NUDI and SARA KENNEDY

WWU pledges to offset potential financial aids cuts from sequester

Western Washington University students receiving federal financial aid will be able to continue getting the same amount of funding through the 2013-14 school year, even if their aid is affected by automatic federal spending cuts that could kick in Friday, March 1. | 02/28/13 12:38:13 By - Zoe Fraley

Plagued by problems, Shell pulls out of Arctic drilling – for now

Shell is dropping plans to drill in the Arctic waters off Alaska this year after a 2012 drilling season marred by equipment failures and ongoing investigations by the Coast Guard, Interior Department and the Department of Justice. | 02/27/13 18:38:45 By - By Sean Cockerham

Lawmakers worry hub airports might lose in American-US Airways merger

Members of Congress expressed misgivings Tuesday about a proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways, pressing company officials about whether the $11 billion deal would preserve competition and jobs and keep fares from rising. | 02/26/13 17:21:37 By - By Curtis Tate

Kansas could lose millions with sequestration cuts

Kansas will lose at least $79 million in funding for the state’s military bases and face about $10.8 million in cuts to education this year if Congress and the president can’t reach agreement to head off automatic budget cuts scheduled to begin Friday, according to a new White House report. | 02/26/13 14:02:09 By - Dion Lefler

Sequester could hurt Washington state's Olympia Airport

The air traffic control tower at Olympia Regional Airport is among hundreds of towers at regional airports throughout the country that could close as a result of the federal government’s “sequestration,” the term used to describe $85 billion in automatic spending cuts. | 02/26/13 13:41:30 By - Rolf Boone

Benning: ‘Tough choices’ ahead as civilians may face furloughs

With the U.S. government moving quickly toward automatic budget cuts that kick in this Friday, Fort Benning held a town hall meeting for its civilian workers on Monday, while other federal agencies pondered the impact on their operations. | 02/26/13 13:30:45 By - Tony Adams

Labor and business reach rare agreement on immigration

Two of the nation’s most powerful interest groups – labor and business, often at loggerheads – have come to a rare agreement on the guiding principles for handling future low-skilled immigrant workers. | 02/22/13 07:33:32 By - By Franco Ordonez

Is this the best time to cut spending and raise taxes?

Economists warn that the $85 billion in across-the-board cuts in federal spending set to start taking effect March 1 would stunt growth and slow hiring. Less clear is how long it would take to feel the benefits from the tough-love approach. | 02/21/13 17:24:03 By - By Kevin G. Hall

'Backpack' program sends school kids home with food for weekend

Blessings in a Backpack began with two schools in 2005 and now serves nearly 62,000 students in 437 schools in 42 states and three other countries - Canada, Colombia and Haiti. Britta and her husband, Jeff Foster, began the program at Woodrow Elementary in Modesto, Calif., when the school year started in August. | 02/21/13 12:53:05 By - Sue Nowicki

Banks report $350 million in N.C. mortgage relief

The five banks involved in a sweeping national mortgage settlement reported providing $350 million in mortgage relief to 7,500 borrowers in North Carolina through the end of last year, according to a report released Thursday by the settlement’s monitor. | 02/21/13 12:36:33 By - Andrew Dunn

$11 million stock bonus goes to Bank of America CEO Moynihan

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan’s stock bonus nearly doubled this year, to $11 million, reflecting a steep share price rise and the board’s apparent confidence in Moynihan’s progress on the bank’s legal issues and capital position. | 02/20/13 07:21:53 By - Andrew Dunn

They’re drilling, baby, drilling – and gas prices still going up

They’re baaaacccck. Like locusts ravaging fertile crops, gasoline prices are soaring again and eating away at the purchasing power of ordinary Americans. And again, financial speculators appear to be a big part of the story. | 02/20/13 13:09:52 By - By Kevin G. Hall

Maker’s Mark missed the mark with consumers, backpedals to protect brand

Talk about diluting the brand.

Thousands of bourbon drinkers told Maker’s Mark that it bottled a big mistake when it reduced the alcohol content — to 84 proof from 90 proof — in its signature whiskey. | 02/19/13 07:17:59 By - Diane Stafford

Kentucky suffers as coal use rises everywhere but in U.S.

Eastern Kentucky coal country is filled with people competing for nonexistent jobs, tied to the area by family and unable to sell their homes even if they want to leave. | 02/15/13 13:00:00 By - By Sean Cockerham

Southern governors implore Interior nominee Sally Jewell to drill off their coasts

The governors of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia are pushing President Barack Obama’s choice for interior secretary to abandon federal opposition to drilling off the Atlantic Coast, where production has been blocked for decades. | 02/14/13 18:33:10 By - By Sean Cockerham

Consumers coming back, but they may not run up credit cards

A number of economic indicators point to an increase in consumption suggesting that the consumer, who drives much of the U.S. economy, is willing to loosen the purse strings. Less clear, however, is to what degree Americans are willing to take on more debt and spend more freely. The psychological scars left by the financial crisis of 2008 and the Great Recession remain. | 02/14/13 17:29:28 By - By Kevin G. Hall

American, US Airways announce $11 billion merger

American Airlines and US Airways officially announced an $11 billion merger on Thursday morning. The new company, which will be based in Fort Worth, will have more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations in 56 countries, the carriers said. | 02/14/13 12:42:18 By - Andrea Ahles

Foreclosures hit six-year low across nation

Foreclosure activity in January dropped to its lowest level nationwide since June 2006. | 02/14/13 07:09:51 By - Steve Rosen

Russia signs deal for stake in Alaska’s natural gas wealth

Russia’s state-owned oil company is poised to play a major role in developing America’s Arctic natural gas under a new agreement to give the company a stake in a huge Alaskan project. | 02/13/13 17:55:16 By - By Sean Cockerham

Health care to cost some young Idahoans more

A 32-year-old owner of a small software company pays $275 a month for his and his wife's health insurance. A Boise State University business student sends about $130 of her student-loan money to her health insurer each month. These Idahoans could pay much more for health insurance next year, in part because of new federal rules that affect how much insurers can charge people based on age for coverage they buy on their own for themselves and their families. Known as "age band compression," this shift will transfer some of the costs of health insurance from older Americans to people in their 20s and 30s. | 02/12/13 12:20:56 By - Audrey Dutton

How Pinterest powers Charlotte's wedding industry

Gone are the days when a bride-to-be strolled into Amy Craparo’s The Wow Factor Cakes with a blank slate and a couple of magazine clippings. Now, brides in the throes of wedding planning come to her Park Road bakery armed with their smartphones and tablets open to their new primary source of inspiration: Pinterest, a social media site that allows users to maintain virtual pinboards with images from the web. | 02/12/13 12:10:26 By - Caroline McMillan

American-US Airways merger announcement expected on Thursday

A potential merger deal between American Airlines and US Airways remained in a holding pattern Monday, with an announcement possible Thursday, sources said Monday. | 02/12/13 07:21:01 By - Andrea Ahles

1 in 3 Illinois residents live in poverty

New statistics from a Chicago-based social research group reveal that one in three Illinois residents are living below or near the poverty line. According to the Social Impact Research Center, a program of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, almost 1.8 million, or 15 percent, of Illinoisans live in poverty. Another 2.2 million Illinois residents, 17.9 percent, have incomes between 100 percent and 199 percent of the poverty level. | 02/11/13 12:43:32 By - Will Buss

Public broadcasting stations are feeling funding pinch

Little by little, Kansas public broadcasters feel the pinch of state budget cuts. At High Plains Public Radio in Garden City, the air sometimes goes dead or programs play twice on consecutive days. In Kansas and across the country, public broadcasters find statehouses reluctant to help with the bills for two reasons: There’s simply less money to spare, and Republican-dominated legislatures see the radio and TV stations as too liberal. | 02/11/13 07:16:37 By - Brad Cooper

Miami hotel selling green cards, seeking EB5 investment visas

If David Hart gets his way, South Beach’s 42-room Astor Hotel will be on a hiring spree this year as it adds concierge service, a roof-top pool, an all-night diner, spa and private-car service available 24 hours a day. | 02/11/13 06:59:14 By - Douglas Hanks

JCPenney speeds up shopping with 'libby'

Standing in checkout lines at JCPenney stores in the Tri-Cities and across the nation could soon be outdated thanks to something many of us already have in a pocket or purse, an iPod Touch. | 02/08/13 12:56:03 By - Loretto J. Hulse

Texas' Rick Perry takes jobs fight to Jerry Brown's home turf

As the Rick Perry-Jerry Brown spitting match entered its fourth day, the Republican governor of Texas announced Thursday that he will travel to California to recruit businesses from the Golden State. | 02/08/13 12:49:56 By - David Siders and Phillip Reese

Idaho businesses look to China for opportunities

Idaho companies like J.R. Simplot and Micron Technology have benefited from the emergence of China as a global economic giant. | 02/08/13 12:17:15 By - Rocky Barker

McClatchy Company's fourth-quarter profits fall

Soft holiday advertising hurt The McClatchy Co.'s fourth-quarter results, and the cost of refinancing its debt left the newspaper chain with a loss. | 02/08/13 07:03:56 By - Dale Kasler

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