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economy

What the transformed Northgate Mall could look like, at least according to architects. This is the view from the southeast.
Courtesy of GGLO

Would you live at the mall, if you could?

Light rail is coming to Northgate in three years, and it'll result in a whole new mall experience there.


A sailboat is shown as the sun sets on Lake Union, seen from Gas Works Park, on Monday, July 30, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks about what's happening with Seattle's housing market and if we're currently in a bubble. We talk to James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington, and Aaron Terrazas, economic research director at Zillow.

On a muggy morning this week, a group of bankers and investment managers met at The Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, D.C. They got an update from the Treasury Department about government cash flows and, according to minutes of the meeting, the picture wasn't pretty.

Corporate tax receipts are down for the year, while government spending is up. Even with a fast-growing economy, the Treasury Department expects to borrow more than $750 billion to pay its bills during the last six months of this year.

President Trump is eager to tout a fast-growing economy, boosted by the tax cuts he pushed through Congress. That makes Friday morning's report on gross domestic product a highly anticipated news event.

Did GDP growth top 4 percent in the second quarter — more than double the first-quarter pace — as many economists project?

Forecasts are all over the board, with estimates even among Federal Reserve economists diverging widely.

The events of 10 years ago show why these forecasts are so important.

To see what a trade fight can do to exports, all you need to do is look at pork.

American ham and other pork products now face massive tariffs — between 62 and 70 percent – after two rounds of retaliatory tariffs by China. It's led to almost a standstill in pork exports to China.

"In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reported zero weekly export sales of pork to China," says Mary Lovely, an economist at Syracuse University. "So our exports to the country have pretty much collapsed."

Flickr Photo/James Nord (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/79M3aL

Now it’s Washington state whiskey distillers who are feeling the sting of the tariff battle.


Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., speaks with the media after testifying before the Senate Law and Justice Committee about Green River serial killer Gary Ridgway on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Olympia, Wash.
AP Photo/Rachel La Corte

Kim Malcolm talks with U.S. Rep Dave Reichert about why he's opposed to President Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum. The tariffs affect imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

Courtesy of Hachette Book Group

Author Nomi Prins used to be a Wall Street banker. Now she writes with a critical eye about how banks and economies work.

One example: how in 2017, U.S. banks used 99 percent of their earnings to buy their own stocks and pay out dividends to their shareholders.

Economist and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

'If you can't explain the economy in a language young people can understand, you are clueless yourself.'

So says former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, whose book "Talking to My Daugher About the Economy" is a testament to his own mastery of the subject. 

FILE: T-Mobile storefront
Flickr Photo/Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/oAiRsx

Kim Malcolm talks with Geekwire's Todd Bishop about the potential impact of the proposed merger between Bellevue-based T-Mobile and Sprint.

A Seattle Saracens rugby match
Flickr Photo/Francisco Javier Perez (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/RrAo1f

Kim Malcolm talks with Kevin Flynn about the Seattle Seawolves and the prospects for professional rugby in Seattle. Flynn is a manager with the Seawolves and president of the Seattle Saracens Rugby Club.

The Seawolves kick off their inaugural season against the San Diego Legion on Sunday at Starfire Sports in Tukwila.

An Uber driver near the San Francisco International Airport.
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution Monday to consider regulating transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

The city could end up raising base fares to $2.40, which is the minimum fare charged by taxis. Currently, both Lyft and Uber charge $1.35 as a base fare in Seattle.

Kim Malcolm talks with journalist Kevin Schofield about the impact of potential regulations on drivers and consumers.

Boeing’s Shared Services Group (SSG) is set to move to the southwest state by 2020.
Flickr Photo/Chuck Taylor (CC BY-NC-ND)/https://flic.kr/p/7C1E9w

Bill Radke talks to Andrew McIntosh, aerospace reporter for The Puget Sound Business Journal, about the effect China's new tariffs will have on Boeing and the Puget Sound area's aerospace community. 

A group of people jog across Lenora Street, on Thursday, October 5, 2017, in front of Amazon's biodomes, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to Bloomberg's Emily Chang, author of the book "Brotopia: Breaking Up The Boy's Club Of Silicon Valley," and Kristi Coulter, former Amazon employee and writer of the upcoming book "Nothing Good Can Come From This," about how the sometimes misogynistic and aggressive work culture in places like Silicon Valley shuts women out of the booming tech industry. 

Computer technology keyboard
Flickr Photo/Anonymous Account (CC BY-NC-ND)/http://bit.ly/1Zj35Hj

Let's travel to the future for a moment and step inside a fish and chips joint for some lunch. Inside - the manager is planning a new promotional campaign. She's thinking of who's coming in, and what they want to eat. And she's doing it using Big Data.

Apples at the Olympia Farmers Market.
Flickr Photo/WSDA (CC BY-NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ZsGd1C

Last week, President Trump slapped tariffs on imports of aluminum and steel. As the most trade-dependent state in the country, what's the potential impact of a trade war on Washington?

Kim Malcolm sat down with Debra Glassman, senior lecturer in business economics at the University of Washington to discuss.

From left, Damian Bogas, Evan Potter and Keegan Obrien work on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Walrus and the Carpenter in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

KUOW listener Derek Hanson wanted to know, in a city with a $15 per hour minimum wage, "do I still need to tip?"

The short answer is a full-throated yes. At least, that’s what nearly every server told KUOW.

But the long answer is more complicated. 


A new NPR/Marist poll finds that 1 in 5 jobs in America is held by a worker under contract. Within a decade, contractors and freelancers could make up half of the American workforce. In a weeklong series, NPR explores many aspects of this change.

For Tom Hansen and his family, the past few weeks have been a time of feast or famine.

A new NPR/Marist poll finds that 1 in 5 jobs in America is held by a worker under contract. Within a decade, contractors and freelancers could make up half of the American workforce. Workers across all industries and at all professional levels will be touched by the movement toward independent work — one without the constraints, or benefits, of full-time employment. Policymakers are just starting to talk about the implications.

Townhomes in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood
KUOW photo/Megan Farmer

Rents have been declining in the Seattle area. Compared with the previous quarter, rents in December dropped an average of $50.

Boxed items are shown on conveyer belts leading to docks where they will be loaded onto trucks at an Amazon fulfillment center on Friday, November 3, 2017, in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to Peter Goodman, the European economics correspondent for The New York Times, about why workers in Sweden are not worried about robots replacing their jobs. And we hear from Carolyn Adolph and Joshua McNichols about how robots are changing the way humans work at Amazon and what the economic future of our country might be as more jobs are replaced by artificial intelligence and automation.

Alaska Airlines is following the lead of American Airlines, Southwest and dozens of other large companies in awarding $1,000 bonuses to its workers tied to the recently passed corporate tax cut.

It's New Year's Day, so it's time for football, hangovers, resolutions — and forecasts.

With the first three, you're on your own. But for forecasts, we have economists to help. They get paid to peer into the future, and in general, they are seeing good times ahead, thanks to an upbeat business cycle.

"The stage is set for continued solid growth in 2018," Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Markit, said in his annual forecast. "While economic risks remain, most are low-level threats to the overall picture for 2018."

Census Data Highlights Pacific Northwest Population Growth

Dec 27, 2017

States in the Pacific Northwest are among the fastest growing in the country. And according to the latest census figures,  it’s gaining people more than twice as fast as the national average.

Migration to the region—rather than births—made up the bulk of population growth.

Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/cVEJJh

Jeannie Yandel talks to Gary Grimstad, local accountant and part time lecturer in the University of Washington Foster School of Business about how the new GOP tax plan will impact Washington residents. 

Updated on Dec. 20 at 3:50 p.m. ET

The Republican tax bill, which Congress sent to President Trump on Wednesday, would give most Americans a tax cut next year, according to a new analysis. However, it would by far benefit the richest Americans the most. Meanwhile, many lower- and middle-class Americans would have higher taxes a decade from now ... unless a future Congress extends the cuts.

If you usually ring in the holiday with a freshly cut evergreen, your reality this Christmas could very well be a scrawny Charlie Brown tree instead — or you may wind up paying more for a lush Fraser fir.

This year, there is a tree shortage. Most growers blame the tightened supply on the Great Recession, says Valerie Bauerlein, who covered the story for The Wall Street Journal.

Seattle is at the top of the list of major U.S. cities that are seeing the highest increases in home prices. That’s according to the real estate firm Zillow, which released a new report Wednesday.

The statewide unemployment rate in Washington again touched a record low of 4.5 percent in October. That's according to the Washington Employment Security Department, which has been tracking the number since the mid-1970s.

One of the paradoxes of racial discrimination is the way it can remain obscured even to the people to whom it's happening. Here's an example: In an ambitious, novel study conducted by the Urban Institute a few years ago, researchers sent actors with similar financial credentials to the same real estate or rental offices to ask about buying or renting a home or apartment.

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