09-27-2021  6:34 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Police Use New Ordinance to Crack Down on Street Racing

The offenses have been labeled as “Unlawful Street Takeover” and “Unlawful Staging of a Street Takeover Event.”

Oregon Lawmakers Fail to Agree on House Districts as Deadline Looms

Republicans failed to show up for a session to redraw the state's congressional districts Saturday, thwarting majority Democrats’ attempts to pass new political maps before a looming deadline

Oregon School Board Ban on Anti-Racist, LGBT Signs Draws Ire

An Oregon school board has banned educators from displaying Black Lives Matter and gay pride symbols, prompting a torrent of recriminations and threats to boycott the town and its businesses.

New, Long-Term Black Lives Matter Public Art Piece Installed at Seattle City Hall

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture today announced that a new, long-term Black Lives Matter public art piece has been installed at Seattle City Hall.

NEWS BRIEFS

5th Annual Yard Tree Giveaway Events to Begin

Free trees for all Portlanders continue Portland Parks & Recreation’s Urban Forestry division’s mission to grow, preserve, and...

House Passes Historic Abortion Rights Legislation With Support of Reps. Bonamici, Defazio, Blumenauer and Schrader

Today’s vote to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act comes three weeks after Texas’s radical 6-week abortion ban went into...

Oregon Announces Stabilization Grant Opportunity to Assist Child Care Providers

Oregon received approximately 4 million in grant funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to be paid directly to eligible...

TriMet Plans Weekend Construction Along MAX Red Line to Help Keep Trains Running Efficiently

Shuttle buses will replace MAX Sept. 25-26 between Gateway Transit Center and Portland International Airport ...

Larsen Chairs Hearing on Surge in Air Rage Incidents, Effects on Workers, Airlines, Airports

The hearing was an opportunity for the subcommittee to examine the alarming increase in disruptive and unruly airline passengers, the...

Man convicted in 1999 ranger killing dies in Oregon prison

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A 75-year-old man died Monday in hospice care at the Oregon State Penitentiary while serving a life sentence without parole for the kidnapping and shooting of two Oregon park rangers in 1999, officials said. Corrections officials did not specify Larry Gene...

Oregon Legislature OKs new political boundaries

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Despite a threat to block new political maps Republican state lawmakers returned to the Oregon Capitol on Monday as the Legislature passed legislative and congressional boundaries that included a new, sixth U.S. House seat. The congressional map, which...

AP Top 25 Takeaways: Clemson falls during frenetic afternoon

For about 45 minutes late Saturday afternoon, college football was on overload. North Carolina State went from agony to ecstasy against No. 9 Clemson. Baylor stopped a 2-point conversion to upset No. 14 Iowa State. No. 16 Arkansas finished off No. 7 Texas A&M to claim a Lone...

BC beats Mizzou 41-34 in OT on Flowers catch, Sebastian INT

BOSTON (AP) — Denis Grosel threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Zay Flowers in overtime, and Brandon Sebastian’s interception sealed the victory on Saturday as Boston College recovered after blowing two fourth-quarter leads to beat Missouri 41-34. BC coach Jeff Hafley said he...

OPINION

Homelessness, Houselessness in the Richest Country in the World: An Uncommon Logic

When and why did the United States of America chose the wealth of a few over the health, wealth, and well-being of so many ...

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Racial alliances, rivalries on display in LA mayor's race

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The diversity of Los Angeles is on display in the emerging race to replace Mayor Eric Garcetti and the winning candidate who emerges from the growing field of hopefuls will need to navigate rivalries and forge alliances across the city’s racial and ethnic communities. ...

Greyhound settles lawsuit over immigration sweeps on buses

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Greyhound Lines Inc. will pay [scripts/homepage/home.php].2 million to settle a lawsuit over the bus line’s practice of allowing U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to board its buses in Washington state to conduct warrantless immigration sweeps, the state attorney general said Monday. ...

NATO-led mission increases patrols on Kosovo-Serbia border

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — The NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo increased its patrols Monday on the border with Serbia in a bid to deescalate tensions between the two Balkan foes over a dispute about license plates. KFOR, with around 4,000 troops from 28 countries, is led by NATO...

ENTERTAINMENT

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ opens 2nd to ‘Shang-Chi’ at box office

“Dear Evan Hansen” may have been a hit on Broadway, but the filmed adaptation of the Tony-winning show is off to a slow start at the box office in its first weekend in theaters. The Universal musical that’s playing exclusively in theaters grossed an estimated .5 million from 3,364...

'Moulin Rouge! The Musical' sashays home with 10 Tony Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” a jukebox adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s hyperactive 2001 movie, won the best new musical crown at the Tony Awards on a Sunday night when Broadway looked back to honor shows shuttered by COVID-19, mourn its fallen and also look forward to welcoming...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Oct. 3-9

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Oct. 3-9: Oct. 3: Composer Steve Reich is 85. Singer Chubby Checker is 80. Actor Alan Rachins (“Dharma and Greg”) is 79. Singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac is 72. Jazz saxophonist Ronnie Laws is 71. Blues singer Keb’...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Taliban issue no-shave order to barbers in Afghan province

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban on Monday banned barbershops in a southern Afghanistan province from...

Facebook puts Instagram for kids on hold after pushback

Facebook is putting a hold on the development of a kids' version of Instagram, geared toward children under 13, to...

Gas blowout near Los Angeles leads to up to jumi.8B settlement

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Thousands of families sickened and forced from their Los Angeles homes after the nation’s...

Greece, France, expected to announce major warship deal

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The leaders of Greece and France are expected to announce a major, multibillion-euro deal...

US officials: Biden aide to meet Saudi crown prince on Yemen

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's national security adviser Jake Sullivan is traveling to Saudi Arabia on...

Azerbaijan, Armenia mark anniversary of their war

MOSCOW (AP) — Azerbaijan and Armenia are marking the anniversary of the start of their six-week war in which...

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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