Archive of: Work Force

Title Issue

Puget Sound bucks national employment trend

Unemployment rates were higher in September than a year earlier in 349 of the 369 metropolitan areas, lower in 14 areas and unchanged in 6 areas, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Ten areas recorded jobless rates of at least 10 percent, while nine areas registered rates below 3 percent. The national unemployment rate in September was 6 percent, not seasonally adjusted, up from 4.5 percent a year earlier.
The greater Puget Sound region topped the list among the nation's urban areas for the largest over-the-year percentage increase in employment with a 2 percent increase in jobs. The Tacoma market specifically fell a bit lower than that at 1.5 percent growth, but it was still enough job creation to put it among the top urban areas of the nation.

October 2008

Reservist loan program extended

Recent Legislative changes will make a U.S. Small Business Administration loan program more accessible to small businesses facing financial loss when the owner or essential employee is called to active military duty by extending the application period, increasing the unsecured loan threshold and raising the maximum loan limit.
Changes to the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan program became effective yesterday.
"The SBA is proud to be able to support the men and women who serve in America's military services," said SBA Acting Administrator Sandy K. Baruah. "Their service is not only honorable and selfless, but it makes them more talented and resourceful employees when they return home. That makes it doubly important that the small businesses they left when they were called to active duty are still operating when they come home."

October 2008

Retailers want slice of stimulus pie

With consumer confidence at a record low and retailers expecting the weakest holiday season in six years, National Retail Federation officials asked a congressional committee considering possible economic stimulus initiatives to include a second round of tax rebate checks or other direct relief for consumers.

"With most economists predicting a weak economy into 2009 and consumer spending at record lows, NRF believes additional congressional action would help the economy and soften the negative impact on the American people," said NRF Vice President and Tax Counsel Rachelle Bernstein. "We believe an immediate stimulus that will put money into the pockets of consumers where it can have a ripple effect throughout the economy is needed. That stimulus could be accomplished in a number of different ways including more rebate checks, a nationwide sales tax holiday, a payroll tax holiday or other alternatives."

October 2008

Police seek South Sound hotel robber

Police agencies around the South Sound have linked a robber to as many as 10 hotel heists.

The robber hit hotels in SeaTac, Federal Way, Tacoma and Fife. 

October 2008

People on the move

Mary Bridge Children's Hospital and Health Center's Vice President and Administrator Mady Murrey is the 2008 recipient of the VHA West Coast Passion Award. Nominated by a colleague, Murrey was awarded for setting high goals, motivating members of a multi-disciplinary team and being visionary, innovative, caring and optimistic with staff and patients. Murrey first came to Mary Bridge in 1991 as a trauma nurse and in 2004, she became administrator. Since then, she has added important new services to Mary Bridge, including a new technology called Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, which provides cardiac and respiratory oxygen to patients with decreased cardiovascular function. She worked collaboratively with multiple departments and community leaders to assure this lifesaving technology was available to children. Also under her leadership, the outpatient clinics in Puyallup, Olympia, Silverdale, Covington and Gig Harbor have made specialized pediatric care more available to children across the region.

Local community partners and members of Washington Women's Employment & Education's Director's Circle celebrated the accomplishments of successful participant, LeAnn Brinkman, last week at the organization's annual Benefactor Appreciation Event at The Tacoma Club. Upon sharing her story of domestic violence and near homelessness, LeAnn received a standing ovation from WWEE's guests. Key Bank, Purcell Advisory Services and Brown & Brown Insurance were sponsors of the event.

October 2008

Boeing, machinists reach tentative deal

Boeing and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers reached a tentative agreement last night on a new four-year contract covering 27,000 employees in Washington, Oregon and Kansas. Union leadership is recommending that employees vote to ratify the contract.

The company retained the flexibility necessary to manage its business, while making changes to the contract language to address the union's issues on job security, pay and benefits. The offer provides general wage increases every year and increases pension benefits. In addition, Boeing is proposing no changes to the cost share employees currently pay for a selection of outstanding health care plans.

October 2008

Equipment leasing index shows growth

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association's Monthly Leasing and Finance Index, which reports economic activity for the nation's $650 billion equipment finance sector, showed overall new business volume for September decreased 2.4 percent when compared to the same period in 2007. When comparing third quarter numbers for 2007 to 2008, new business volume was down 0.1 percent. However, cumulative year-to-date new business volumes show an increase of 1.9 percent compared to 2007.

"It should be no surprise that the turmoil in the financial markets has spilled over into the commercial finance sector and general economy," said ELFA President Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. "Even so, amidst all the bad news, the commercial equipment finance market seemed to hold up in September."

October 2008

Marketing guide now available online

The Business Examiner has posted a free marketing guide on its Web site

October 2008

Boeing, engineers to start talks

The main negotiations for new, three-year contracts that cover some 20,300 engineers and technical workers at The Boeing Co. are set to start tomorrow in SeaTac.

Negotiations between the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, IFPTE Local 2001, and Boeing start after eight months of disappointing preliminary talks. The first meaningful discussion only recently took place, said SPEEA Executive Director Ray Goforth. Union leaders started advising members in May to save money for a possible strike.

October 2008

Regence employees donate despite economy

The weakening economy did not keep Regence BlueShield employees from donating more of their own money this year to nonprofits. Regence employees pledged more than $1.6 million, which will grow to $2.47 million with the company match system. Last year, employees donated about $1 million.

October 2008
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