10-23-2019  12:14 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State Ecology Director Objects to EPA’s Proposed Clean Water Act Rule

Ecology Director Maia Bellon submitted formal objections in which she calls the proposal ill-advised and illegal

Washington State to Vote on Affirmative Action Referendum

More than two decades after voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered in state employment, contracting, colleges admissions is back on the ballot

Merkley Introduces Legislation that Protects Access to Health Care for Those Who Cannot Afford Bail

Under current law, individuals in custody who have not been convicted of a crime are denied Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits

New County Hire Aims to Build Trust, Transparency Between Community and Public Safety Officials

Leneice Rice will serve as a liaison focused on documenting and reporting feedback from a community whose faith in law enforcement has been tested

NEWS BRIEFS

U.S. Census Bureau Hosts Job Recruitment Events in Portland

There are several opportunities to ‘Meet the Employer’ today through Saturday for more information or to apply for 2020 census...

GFO Offers African Americans Help in Solving Family Mysteries

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is holding an African American Special Interest Group Saturday, Oct. 19 ...

Third Annual NAMC-WA Gala Features Leader on Minority Business Development

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Building Bridges Event Aims to Strengthen Trust Between Communities

The 4th Annual Building Bridges of Understanding in Our Communities: Confronting Hate will be held in Tigard on...

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Woman sues Oregon clinic over claims of past abuse by doctor

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A woman who says she was repeatedly sexually abused by her pediatrician has filed a jumi million lawsuit against the doctor's former medical clinic in Oregon.The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Tuesday that the woman says the abuse occurred in the 1980s and early 1990s at...

Police: Body found is missing university student

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland police say a body found near the St. Johns Bridge in Northwest Portland is a missing University of Portland freshman.Police on Tuesday evening said that the medical examiner's office had conducted an autopsy and positively identified the body as Owen...

AP Top 25: Ohio State jumps Clemson to 3rd; Wisconsin falls

Ohio State edged past Clemson to No. 3 in The Associated Press college football poll and Wisconsin dropped to 13th after being upset ahead of its showdown with the Buckeyes.Alabama remained No. 1 on Sunday in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank, receiving 24 first-place votes. No. 2 LSU held...

Vaughn scores twice, Vandy upsets No. 22 Missouri 21-14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derek Mason wants it known he's the best coach for the Vanderbilt Commodores.Riley Neal came off the bench and threw a 21-yard touchdown to Cam Johnson with 8:57 left, and Vanderbilt upset No. 22 Missouri 21-14 on Saturday with a stifling defensive...

OPINION

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Farewells to US Rep. Elijah Cummings to begin in Baltimore

BALTIMORE (AP) — Constituents, friends and other mourners are set to gather at a historically black college in Baltimore to honor the life of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings in the first of a series of planned services.The Maryland congressman and civil rights champion died Thursday of...

Trump claim brings new pain to relatives of lynching victims

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Willie Edwards Jr., a black truck driver, was killed by Ku Klux Klansmen who forced him to jump off a bridge in Alabama in 1957. Two years earlier, white men had bludgeoned black teenager Emmett Till to death in Mississippi. No one went to prison for either...

Trump 2020 targeting Hispanic vote in nontraditional places

YORK, Pa. (AP) — President Donald Trump's reelection campaign is making contrarian appeals in the most unusual places, trying to win over Hispanic voters in states not known for them, like Pennsylvania.His second campaign, far better financed and organized than his first, is pressing every...

ENTERTAINMENT

Liam Gallagher talks solo rise, family feud and rock music

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Spend a few minutes with Liam Gallagher and it's clear the rocker hasn't lost any of his bravado, right down to counting himself among the greats in rock history.But Gallagher does acknowledge that one band breakup — not, Oasis, but rather the demise of Beady Eye in...

Lori Loughlin, other parents charged again in college scheme

BOSTON (AP) — "Full House" actress Lori Loughlin, her fashion designer husband and nine other parents faced new federal charges Tuesday in a scandal involving dozens of wealthy parents accused of bribing their children's way into elite universities or cheating on college entrance exams.A...

Celebrities to get drag makeovers in RuPaul's new VH1 series

LOS ANGELES (AP) — RuPaul is giving a dozen celebrities the chance to get drag makeovers for charity and bragging rights.VH1 said Tuesday that "RuPaul's Celebrity Drag Race" will air as a limited series next year.Each of the four episodes will feature a trio of stars competing for best drag...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Is the stethoscope dying? High-tech rivals pose a threat

CHICAGO (AP) — Two centuries after its invention, the stethoscope — the very symbol of the medical...

Boris Johnson inches toward securing Brexit but delay likely

LONDON (AP) — For a brief moment Tuesday, Brexit was within a British prime minister's grasp.Boris Johnson...

Russia, Turkey seal power in northeast Syria with new accord

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Russia and Turkey reached an agreement Tuesday that would cement their power in...

Botswana votes as ruling party faces surprising challenge

GABORONE, Botswana (AP) — Polls opened in Botswana on Wednesday as the long-peaceful southern African...

Boris Johnson inches toward securing Brexit but delay likely

LONDON (AP) — For a brief moment Tuesday, Brexit was within a British prime minister's grasp.Boris Johnson...

Canada's Trudeau wins reelection but faces a divided nation

TORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau begins his second term facing an increasingly divided...

McMenamins
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.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

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