08-08-2022  7:24 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

Oregon's Wildfire Risk Map Emerges as New Climate Flashpoint

A new map in Oregon that rated the wildfire risk of every tax lot in the state — labeling nearly 80,000 structures as high-risk — generated so much pushback from angry homeowners that officials abruptly retracted it

Seattle Ends COVID Hazard Pay for Grocery Store Workers

A policy passed in 2021 requiring grocery stores pay employees an additional per hour in hazard pay has just come to an end

Washington Voters Weigh in on Dozens of State Primary Races

Voters were deciding the top two candidates in races for the U.S. Senate, Congress and the secretary of state's office.

NEWS BRIEFS

Bicycle and Pedestrian Lane Reduction on Morrison Bridge Starts Next Week

The bicycle and pedestrian lanes will be reduced to seven feet to allow for painting crew and equipment. ...

King County Elections to Open Six Vote Centers for the Primary Election

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Eugene Restaurant Owner Keeps All Tips Workers Earn, Uses Them to Pay Wages

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Prosper Portland Awards More Than $1.8 Million in Community Livability Grants

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Black Swimming Initiative and Metro Host Free Eco-Swim Camp at Broughton Beach on July 30

All ages are welcome to learn water safety, ecology and have fun in the water ...

Trump House pick overtakes Rep. who voted for impeachment

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Republican Joe Kent, who challenged incumbent Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler over her vote to impeach former President Donald Trump, has taken a narrow lead in the race for the second spot in Washington state’s top two primary. Under the state's...

Coastal Washington tribe builds tsunami refuge tower

TOKELAND, Wash. (AP) — There’s a new option to escape a tsunami for people on the southwest coast of Washington. The Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe dedicated a 50-foot tall (15.2-meter) evacuation tower in Tokeland, Washington, on Friday, the Northwest News Network reported. ...

OPINION

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

Improving Healthcare for Low-Income Americans Through Better Managed Care

Many should recognize that health equity – or ensuring that disadvantaged populations get customized approaches to care and better medical outcomes – is a top priority. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Father, son get life for hate crime in Ahmaud Arbery’s death

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — The white father and son who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery in a Georgia neighborhood each received a second life prison sentence Monday — for committing federal hate crimes, months after getting their first for murder — at a hearing that brought a close to more than...

Greg McMichael, who chased Ahmaud Arbery with his son, sentenced to life in prison for hate crime in Black man’s death

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — Greg McMichael, who chased Ahmaud Arbery with his son, sentenced to life in prison for hate crime in Black man’s death....

MN school district policy bans teaching "divisive concepts"

BECKER, Minn. (AP) — A central Minnesota school district is clashing with the teachers union and LGBTQ allies over a proposed policy that opponents say would undermine equity and inclusion. The proposal by three Becker school board members prohibits “political indoctrination or...

ENTERTAINMENT

Jennette McCurdy rises above childhood trauma with new book

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Review: Fake pregnancy transforms lonely salarywoman’s life

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Review: Slick crime novel 'Heat 2' revisits a classic movie

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U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Russia, Ukraine trade accusations over nuclear plant attacks

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia and Ukraine traded accusations Monday that each side is shelling Europe's biggest...

In dry California, salty water creeps into key waterways

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Major test of first possible Lyme vaccine in 20 years begins

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Blinken says US is "equal partner" with African countries

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Russia halts U.S. inspections of its nuclear arsenals

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One year after Afghanistan, spy agencies pivot toward China

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Christopher S. Rugaber AP Economics Writer

President Barack Obama works as his motorcade arrives at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., May 18. (photo by Pete Souza)





WASHINGTON (AP) -- A bleak jobs report suggests the recovery from the Great Recession will be longer and bumpier than many economists had envisioned.

Most economists say job growth should strengthen later this year as gasoline prices drop further and the economy recovers from the effects of natural disasters in the U.S. and abroad. But the recovery is starting to weaken 17 months before the 2012 election, which could hurt President Barack Obama's re-election prospects.

The unemployment rate in May inched up to 9.1 percent from 9 percent, the Labor Department said Friday; when Obama took office, it was 7.8 percent.

The Conference Board, a business research group, predicts the rate will be 8.5 percent at the end of next year. That would mean Obama would face a higher unemployment rate than any president running for re-election since World War II.

"The recovery has not been derailed, but it's slow," said Michelle Meyer, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "We're still in a muddle-through period."

Only 54,000 jobs were created in May, the fewest in eight months. By contrast, an average of 220,000 jobs were created in each of the previous three months. Private companies hired only 83,000 workers in May - the fewest in nearly a year - while state and local governments cut 30,000 jobs.

The Dow Jones industrial average finished down 97 points, its third straight loss. The Dow, Standard & Poor's 500 and Nasdaq composite have all declined in each of the last five weeks, the longest losing streak since mid-2008.

Several chronic problems are weighing on the economy. Home prices are still falling. The average worker's pay isn't keeping up with inflation. Cutbacks in spending by state and local governments are contributing to slower growth, even in the private sector. And members of Congress are preparing to cut spending.

Gas prices climbed to nearly $4 a gallon this spring. They've since declined to about $3.79 and are expected to fall more, possibly freeing consumers to spend more on goods such as cars, appliances and furniture. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the economy.

But even if gas prices dip, they'll likely remain high and continue to squeeze consumers and the industries that depend on them. For example, companies that rely heavily on motorists - like hotels and restaurants - cut employment in May.

Even economists who think hiring will pick up don't expect it to grow very fast.

Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the liberal Economic Policy Institute, expects employers to add about 150,000 jobs a month for the next few months. Up to 300,000 new jobs a month would be needed to significantly drive down the unemployment rate.

Among the deepest job cuts were those in local governments, which slashed 28,000 last month, the most since November. Nearly 18,000 were in education. Cities and counties have cut jobs for 22 straight months. Since September 2008, 446,000 jobs have vanished.

State and local government job losses are likely to persist. Though state tax revenue is recovering, states face rising costs for Medicaid and other services. And localities rely on property tax revenue, which will likely continue to shrink because home prices in most areas are still sinking.

"What we need is more government spending to create jobs," Shierholz said. The 2009 stimulus package is largely spent, she said.

Republicans in Congress argue that Washington should instead cut spending and taxes to help generate hiring.

There's little appetite on Capitol Hill for more stimulus spending. And by the end of this month, the Federal Reserve will end its most recent drive to pump money into the economy.

Obama said Friday that the economy faces challenges ahead and "bumps on the road to recovery." But at an event to celebrate the resurgence of the auto industry, he made no mention of the dour economic news that threatened to obscure his optimistic message.

White House economist Austan Goolsbee said the burden is now on the private sector.

"You've seen corporate profits high," he said. "It's now time to get that translated ... into the adding of jobs, building of factories and buying of equipment here at home."

Some employers, however, are cutting payrolls. Retailers cut 8,500 jobs in May, after adding 64,000 in April. And leisure and hospitality, which includes restaurants and hotels, cut 6,000. That sector had added an average of 43,000 in the previous three months.

The small overall job growth wasn't enough to prevent the unemployment rate from rising, largely because more people started looking for work in May and people aren't counted as unemployed unless they're looking for a job. So the actual number of unemployed grew to 13.9 million, from 13.7 million.

Meanwhile, the government revised the previous months' totals to show 39,000 fewer jobs were created in March and April than first estimated. In March, the economy created 194,000 jobs; in April 232,000.

Manufacturers cut 5,000 jobs in May, the first loss in that sector in seven months. That included a drop of 3,400 at automakers, which have been reducing production because they're having a hard time buying parts since the March 11 Japan earthquake that disrupted supply chains.

Some bright spots did emerge in the May report. Professional and business services added 44,000 jobs, most in accounting, information technology services and management.

David Kelley, chief market strategist with J.P. Morgan funds, is among the optimists. He notes that large businesses remain flush with cash. Developing economies such as China and Brazil are still growing briskly and buying more U.S. goods.

And he suggested that pent-up demand for cars and other big-ticket items should continue to grow as the economy improves.

"Consumers will be in better shape, and banks are gradually lending a little easier," Kelley said. "There are plenty of reasons to believe that growth will pick up."



Associated Press Writers Daniel Wagner and Julie Pace in Washington and Tom Krisher in Detroit contributed to this report.

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