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NORTHWEST NEWS

Eugene Woman Attacked With Acid for Third Time Since March

A Eugene, Oregon, woman who had acid thrown on her while walking her dog in March has been the target of two additional acid attacks at her home

Minimum Wage Increase Initiative Qualifies in WA City

An initiative to increase the minimum hourly wage in Tukwila, Washington, by more than has qualified for the November ballot.

Sydney McLaughlin Does It Again, Breaks Own World Record

When asked how she was going to celebrated afterward, McLaughlin joked: “Eating some real food besides vegetables. Like a cheeseburger or something, some pancakes.”

Inslee Seeks Abortion Rights Amendment to State Constitution

Gov. Jay Inslee will push for a state constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights within the state, and laws that make it difficult for other states to investigate whether their own residents have visited Washington for abortion care.

NEWS BRIEFS

On View This Weekend: Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Commemorative Quilt

A History Spotlight from Boyle Family Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk ...

State Continues Paying Out Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program Applications to Renters and Landlords Across Oregon

More than 60,000 Oregon households facing pandemic hardship receive over 6 million in rental assistance relief ...

KGW and TEGNA Foundation Award $40k in Community Grants to Aid Four Oregon Nonprofit Organizations

Among the grant recipients are Urban Nature Partners PDX, Self Enhancement, Inc (SEI), Portland YouthBuilders (PYB), and p:ear. ...

Hawthorne, Morrison Bridges Will Close to Motorized Vehicles for July 4 Fireworks Show

The bridges will remain open for bicyclists and pedestrians. ...

Increased Emergency Snap Benefits Continue in July

Approximately 422,000 households will receive an estimated million in extra food benefits ...

Climber rescued after 700-foot fall on Mount Hood

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Happy Valley man was rescued after a 700-foot fall from the Old Chute area near the summit of Mount Hood, authorities wrote in a news release Sunday. Around 6:30 a.m. Saturday, a 43-year-old man climbing up a popular route up the mountain’s western face...

US testing new fire retardant, critics push other methods

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — U.S. officials are testing a new wildfire retardant after two decades of buying millions of gallons annually from one supplier, but watchdogs say the expensive strategy is overly fixated on aerial attacks at the expense of hiring more fire-line digging ground crews. ...

OPINION

Choice Without Shackles

The constitutional originalists do what they must to keep ignorance viable, to keep us anchored to the certainties of the old days ...

Biden’s Menthol Ban Follows the ‘Racist Law’ Playbook

The ban on menthol threatens to do more harm than good for the Black people these activists purport to want to protect ...

Black Women Will Suffer the Harshest Consequences After the Overturn of Roe

Black women are nearly three times more likely to die during childbirth than white women and are more likely to face maternal health issues. ...

Justice Clarence Thomas and the Conservative Supreme Court Have Fanned the Flames of Racism in America

Former President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again cry proved an easy between-the-lines moniker, but even that stood as a dog whistle – until now. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

French soccer tournament celebrates diversity, fights racism

CRETEIL, France (AP) — An amateur soccer tournament in France aimed at celebrating ethnic diversity is attracting talent scouts, sponsors and increasing public attention, by uniting young players from low-income neighborhoods with high-profile names in the sport. The National...

Black Jewish leader works to boost community, inclusiveness

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nate Looney is a Black man who grew up in Los Angeles, a descendant of enslaved people from generations ago. He’s also an observant, kippah-wearing Jew. But he doesn’t always feel welcome in Jewish spaces — his skin color sometimes elicits questioning...

The long, ongoing debate over ‘All men are created equal’

NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Jennings is CEO of the Lambda Legal organization, a prominent advocate for LGBTQ rights. He sees his mission in part as fulfilling that hallowed American principle: “All men are created equal.” “Those words say to me, ‘Do better, America.’ And what I...

ENTERTAINMENT

Sonny Barger, figurehead of Hells Angels, dies at 83

LIVERMORE, Calif. (AP) — Sonny Barger, the leather-clad fixture of 1960s counterculture and figurehead of the Hells Angels motorcycle club who was at the notorious Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway, has died. He was 83. Barger's death was announced on his Facebook page...

Review: Austen-era schemes, dreams fill 'Mr. Malcolm's List'

“It is a truth universally acknowledged,” goes one of the more famous opening lines in English literature, “that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” That’s Jane Austen, beginning her 1813 “Pride and Prejudice.” Austen herself has...

Review: Imagine Dragons offer light at the end of the tunnel

“Mercury — Act 2,” Imagine Dragons (Interscope) If you were hiding under your bed after listening to the last album by Imagine Dragons, it's time to come out. The second volume of “Mercury” is upbeat, often Caribbean-spiced and throbbing. It's the sound of a band getting its...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

US Navy offers cash for tips to seize Mideast drugs, weapons

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. Navy's Mideast-based 5th Fleet is starting to offer rewards for...

Searchers rescue 4th person from China ship, 12 bodies found

HONG KONG (AP) — Rescue teams searching for missing crew members from a Chinese engineering ship that sank over...

Film reveals Macron’s diplomatic bids amid war in Ukraine

PARIS (AP) — “Vladimir .... tell me what your intentions are.” Four days before President...

How a favela in Rio got its clean water back, for ,300

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Butterflies and waxbills flit through the Enchanted Valley just outside Rio de Janeiro’s...

Germany: 101-year-old appeals conviction in Nazi guard case

BERLIN (AP) — A 101-year-old man who was convicted last week as an accessory to murder for serving as a guard at...

Film reveals Macron’s diplomatic bids amid war in Ukraine

PARIS (AP) — “Vladimir .... tell me what your intentions are.” Four days before President...

Christopher S. Rugaber AP Economics Writer


Costco is one of several major stores that have
reported lower-than-expected revenue
results recently

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Companies are more productive, fewer people are seeking unemployment benefits and service companies are adding jobs.

Ideally, those trends could signal stronger growth, followed by more hiring. Yet until consumers consistently spend more, businesses are unlikely to hire enough to drive down unemployment.

But more consumers need jobs and raises to keep spending enough to help the economy grow. The paradox has kept the economy from thriving more than two years after the recession officially ended.

It's also why economists think the unemployment rate stayed at 9.1 percent for a fourth straight month in October. The government will issue the October jobs report Friday.

"We're creating jobs, but it's not enough to ... increase wages measurably," said Ellen Zentner, an economist at Nomura Securities.

Thursday data reinforced that message. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a seasonally adjusted 397,000, the Labor Department said. It's only the third time since April that applications have fallen below 400,000.

Still, applications would need to fall below 375,000 to signal sustained job gains. They haven't been at that level since February.

Services companies, which employ about 90 percent of the work force, hired more in October after cutting jobs in the previous month, according to a survey by the Institute for Supply Management.

Overall growth for the service sector - which covers businesses from restaurants and hotels to financial services firms and retail companies - was mostly unchanged from September's slow pace.

Companies ordered more factory goods in September for a third straight month, the Commerce Department said. The gain occurred largely because businesses spent more on industrial machinery, computers and software. It's a sign that in the sluggish economy, many companies are investing in equipment but not in new hires.

Businesses are getting more out their existing work forces while paying less to employ them. Worker productivity rose in the July-September quarter by the most in a year and a half, the Labor Department said. At the same time, labor costs fell.

The jump in productivity was due largely to the economy's best quarterly growth in a year without much change in hiring or hours worked.

Higher productivity is generally a good thing. It can raise standards of living by enabling companies to pay workers more without raising their prices and increasing inflation. But without strong and sustained customer demand, companies are unlikely to hire.

Consumers helped drive this summer's growth by increasing their spending at triple the rate from spring.

When demand rises and productivity is low, it's usually a sign that businesses have reached the limit on the work they can squeeze from their work forces. That often leads some to hire more workers, if they want to grow.

But economists worry that consumers won't be able to sustain this summer's spending binge. In the July-September quarter, they spent more while earning less. They used their savings to make up the difference. Without more jobs and higher wages, consumers are likely to pare spending in the months ahead.

That may already be happening. Shoppers slowed their spending in October, according to monthly revenue results reported by retailers Thursday. Costco, Macy's, Saks and Target are among the companies that reported results that fell slightly below Wall Street analysts' expectations.

Weaker sales figures at big chain stores open for more than a year is a bad sign ahead of the winter holiday shopping season.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that growth is likely to be "frustratingly slow," after the Fed sharply lowered its economic projections for the next two years.

The Fed now says the economy will likely expand no more than 1.7 percent for all of 2011. That's down from its June forecast of 2.7 percent to 2.9 percent. And it predicted growth of only 2.5 percent to 2.9 percent next year, nearly a percentage point lower than its June estimate.

The Fed said it doesn't expect the unemployment rate to be any lower this year. And it sees unemployment averaging 8.6 percent by the end of next year.

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AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.

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Jan. 6 Committe Hearings - Day 6

A suprise hearing with newly discovered evidence will be held Tuesday, June 28 at 9:45 a.m. PT (12:45 p.m. ET).

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