09-27-2021  11:38 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon Lawmakers Fail to Agree 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.

Black Man Fatally Shot Outside Bend Nightclub, Man Arrested

A Black man was shot and killed outside a bar by a white man in central Oregon

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...

House Republicans return to Oregon Capitol for redistricting

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Despite a threat to block new political maps Republican state lawmakers returned to the Oregon Capitol on Monday — the final day for the Legislature to complete redistricting. Enough GOP lawmakers returned to the House floor to achieve a quorum...

Police: 3 killed in shooting outside bar near Seattle

DES MOINES, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say three people were killed and three others injured in a shooting early Sunday outside a bar in Des Moines, Washington. Police said shots were fired after a dispute between two people inside the La Familia Sports Pub and Lounge, just...

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

Lower death rates for Black moms is goal of California bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California has among the lowest death rates nationally among pregnant women and new mothers, but the numbers for Black mothers tell a different story. They were six times more likely to die within a year of pregnancy than white women from 2014 to 2016...

US Rep. Karen Bass enters race for Los Angeles mayor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Democratic U.S. Rep. Karen Bass entered the 2022 race for Los Angeles mayor Monday, shaking up an already crowded field hoping to replace outgoing Mayor Eric Garcetti. Bass made the announcement online, saying on her website that she planned to focus on...

NATO-led mission increases patrols on Kosovo-Serbia border

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — The NATO-led KFOR mission in Kosovo on Monday increased its patrols on the border with Serbia in a bid to deescalate tensions between the two Balkan foes over a dispute about license plates. “KFOR has increased the number and time length of the...

ENTERTAINMENT

Select list of winners at the Tony Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — Select winners at the Tony Awards, presented Sunday night in New York City: Best Musical: “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” Best Play: “The Inheritance” Best Play Revival: “A Soldier's Play” Best...

Autopsy: Actor Michael K. Williams died of drug intoxication

NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams died of acute drug intoxication in what New York City's medical examiner said Friday was an accidental death. Williams, known for playing Omar Little on “The Wire” and an Emmy Award nominee this year, had fentanyl,...

Tonys Latest: ‘Moulin Rouge!’ wins best new musical crown

The Latest on the Tony Awards (all times local): ___ 10:45 p.m. “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” a jukebox adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s hyperactive 2001 movie, has danced away with the best new musical Tony Award. ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Haitians returning to a homeland that's far from welcoming

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Deported from the United States, Pierre Charles landed a week ago in...

UK mulls calling in army to help ease gas shortages at pumps

LONDON (AP) — Lines of cars formed at British gas stations for a fourth day on Monday, as the government mulled...

Biden, Congress face big week for agenda, government funding

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's a consequential week for President Joe Biden's agenda, as Democratic leaders trim back...

Police swoop on Balkan cartel's European ‘cocaine pipeline’

MADRID (AP) — Law enforcement agencies from eight European countries pounced on a Balkan crime organization...

Jailed Belarus opposition leader wins European rights prize

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Council of Europe on Monday awarded its major human rights prize to jailed Belarus...

Egg thrown at French President Macron during food trade fair

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron was hit on the shoulder Monday by an egg thrown at him by a man...

Christopher S. Rugaber and Paul Wiseman AP Economics Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. job growth slumped in April for a second straight month. It pointed to a steadily growing but still sluggish economy that could tighten the presidential race.

A drop in the unemployment rate wasn't a necessarily a healthy sign for the job market. The rate fell from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April. But that was mainly because more people gave up looking for work.

People who aren't looking for jobs aren't counted as unemployed.

The 115,000 jobs added in April were fewer than the 154,000 jobs created in March, a number the government revised up from its first report a month ago of 120,000. It also marked a sharp decline from December through February, when the economy averaged 252,000 jobs per month.

The percentage of adults working or looking for work has fallen to its lowest level in more than 30 years. Many have become discouraged about their prospects.

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Here's what The Associated Press' reporters are finding:

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TEPID ECONOMY, TEPID HIRING

Over time, strong economic growth is vital for strong job growth.

But early this year, hiring accelerated much faster than economic growth did. Job gains averaged a strong 229,000 in the first three months. But the economy grew at a sluggish annual rate of 2.2 percent.

Economists began to wonder: Would growth catch up with hiring? Or would hiring slow to match economic growth (as measured by gross domestic product, or GDP)?

Some economists say April's disappointing job growth suggests an answer, and it's not a cheerful one:

"It now appears that jobs have decelerated into line with GDP, rather than GDP accelerating to catch up with jobs," said Nigel Gault, an economist at IHS Global Insight.

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REVISING HISTORY

The job market seems to look better with hindsight.

The Labor Department has revised job growth upward for 10 straight months - and for 18 of the past 21. Over the past 10 months, it's added 413,000 jobs to the original estimates.

The job figures are revised twice. They're updated in the two months after they first come out. And they're revised again in an annual update meant to capture updated employment data from the states.

History shows that the updated totals typically follow the trend in job creation: When the economy is creating jobs consistently, the revisions tend to be positive. Months of job losses typically lead to negative revisions.

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THE POLITICAL DEBATE

A falling unemployment rate would seem to be good news for President Barack Obama's re-election hopes. Dating to 1956, no incumbent president has lost when unemployment fell in the two years leading to an election.

On Election Day, unemployment will almost surely be less than it was two years earlier: 9.8 percent in November 2010.

But for the past two months, the rate has fallen for the wrong reason: More than 500,000 Americans have stopped looking for jobs and are no longer counted as unemployed. Job growth averaged a healthy 252,000 from December through February. It slowed to 135,000 in March and April.

The question is whether voters will focus more on the falling unemployment rate (good for Obama) or the modest job growth (not so good).

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A JAB FROM ROMNEY

Mitt Romney seized on the latter. He noted that the declining number of people seeking work explains the drop in the unemployment rate.

"This is way off from what should be happening in a normal recovery," Romney said on Fox & Friends. "You have more people dropping out of the work force than you have getting jobs."

"This is not progress," Romney said.

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DISAPPEARING WORKERS

The percentage of Americans 16 and older working or looking for work is now 63.6 percent, the lowest since 1981. For men, the so-called "labor force participation rate" is 70 percent. That's the lowest since the government started keeping records in 1948.

The rate peaked at 67.3 percent in early 2000 as women poured into the workplace. Since then, it's turned south. Demographic and social trends help explain the drop: Baby boomers are aging and retiring.

And more women, especially in upper-income families, are staying at home. The drop in participation accelerated after the economy slid into recession in late 2007. The tough job market led many to give up looking for work.

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   SOUR INVESTORS

The stock market didn't take Friday's news well.

The Dow Jones industrial average sank 132 points, or 1 percent, in late-morning trading. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.4 percent.

   Investors were a lot happier earlier this week. They sent the Dow to its highest close since December 2007.

   Technology stocks and banks led the market lower Friday. Utility companies were the only broad category of stock in the S&P 500 index trading higher. They tend to fare well when investors grow nervous about the economy.

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NO SURPRISE TO BERNANKE

One person not likely surprised by the sluggish hiring in April: Ben Bernanke.

The Federal Reserve chairman has cautioned for months that the spike in hiring at the start of the year didn't match the economy's more modest growth.

His Fed colleagues probably agree. Their latest forecasts show that even under a best-case scenario, unemployment will be at least 7.3 percent in late 2013. Historically, a normal rate would range between 5 percent and 6 percent.

Most analysts expect the Fed to keep its key interest rate at a record low near zero well into 2013, if not later. But few think hiring has weakened enough to trigger a third round of bond buying to help lower long-term rates and encourage more lending.

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A LONG WAY TO GO

The United States has regained only 43 percent of the 8.78 million jobs lost from February 2008 to January 2010.

So far this year, the economy has generated 201,000 jobs a month. At that rate, it would take until May 2014 to restore employment to its 2008 peak of 138 million.

Of course, the population has grown since then. So it could take even longer to lower the unemployment rate to its 2008 level.

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Associated Press writers Martin Crutsinger and Kasie Hunt contributed to this report.

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