Advertise Here

Office Hours

Posts tagged: Washington state

Spokane County’s jobless rate falls to 7.2 percent in August

Spokane County's jobless rate in August dropped to 7.2 percent, the lowest in 2013, the state Employment Security Department said.

The number is not seasonally adjusted.

In August a year ago, the jobless rate was 8.6 percent. The net job gain from 12 months ago, the ESD reported, was 6,700. The leading sectors were health, construction, leisure-hospitality, warehousing and transport, and food and drink services.

A full update on the latest numbers will be on later Tuesday.

States with the largest number of unemployed? Here are the top six

Washington State will release Spokane County jobless numbers for April tomorrow, May 21.

To help us get in the mood, let's look at some national statistics and compare who's got the most and the least.

Washington, in the March numbers was the state with the 13th-most number of people listed as unemployed.

The number back in March was 254,024, according to the State Unemployment database at a site called Department of

The six states with the largest numbers unemployed in order were:  California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

The states with three lowest totals of workers out a job were North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming.

In terms of jobless percentage, the worst five are: Nevada, Illinois. Mississippi, California, North Carolina.

For lowest rate, the five are: North Dakota, Nebraska, Vermont, South Dakota, Iowa.

Walmart Foundation provides $140,000 to state YMCA chapters including Spokane

Spokane's YMCA is one of seven Washington state chapters that are sharing a combined $140,000 provided through The Walmart Foundation and its Washington State Giving Council for hunger relief.

The contributions were recently announced by Walmart, the nation's largest retailer. The money for the Y chapters are part of an ongoing campaign by the Arkansas-based company to support summer feeding programs in 300 urban and rural communities.

In case you only think negative things about Walmart, consider this: According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Walmart easily exceeds all other U.S. corporations in charitable giving.

According to its most recent list, Walmart tops the list with more than $342 million in giving in 2011. Second was Goldman Sachs with $337 million.

The Washington grants stem from research and studies suggesting that lower-income families often find themselves not providing their children nutritionally complete meals during warmer weather.

Across the entire state, Walmart this year is providing $172,000 to the Y chapters and other groups through its Summer Feeding initiative and another $125,000 through the Walmart State Giving Council, a separate state-specific foundation

Other YMCA  chapters receiving grants are in Auburn, Bothell, Everett, Seattle, Tacoma and Shoreline.

They will share a combined $115,000 Walmart Foundation grant and $25,000 State Giving Council grants to support youth lunch programs.

We found this at the charitable contributions link:

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are in the second year of a $2 billion cash and in-kind hunger relief campaign that extends through 2015. The Foundation’s contributions are strategically aimed at ending hunger for the 1 in 6 Americans that do not know where their next meal is coming from. As such, the Foundation seeks to fund initiatives that integrate hunger relief into our four focus areas (hunger/wellness; education; workforce development; environmental sustainability).

Seattle startup Dwellable adds Washington state vacation rental listings

Another website devoted to finding vacation rentals just added a bunch of listings in Washington state.

Dwellable just this week brought online listings for more than 1,000 Washington state rentals.

And to be honest, not that many are in Spokane, at least as of June 26.  We searched and found three vacation rentals.

But it's going to grow, according to Dwellable CEO Brenda Spoonmore. The company was launched in Seattle in 2011 but only this week added Washington properties.  Spoonmore said she has Eastern Washington ties, having family in Dayton and Pullman.

Plans are to add Idaho listings some time later.  “By the end of year, we will cover all of the U.S. plus some additional areas in North America (eg, Whistler),” she wrote in an email.

Spoonemore is co-founder with another partner who also co-founded popular food mashup

“Not coincidentally, there are some similarities between the Urbanspoon approach to restaurants and ours to vacation rentals,” Spoonmore added.

How many craft distilleries are there in Washington state?

We hear that the state of Washington has gone from one craft distillery a few years ago (based in Spokane), to more than 20 in production today.  See the post below for the connection.

We'll take on the challenge of verifying that number and trying to list the full names of those craft distillers.

Anyone having names or suggestions, leave them here as a comment. Thanks.

Washington says retailers’ tax site improved

Washington's Department of Revenue said in a news release Monday that it has vastly improved the online tool retailers use to find sales tax rates across the state.

The state charges sales tax based on where a product is delivered, not where it originated. The new web tool, found at, offers several ways to look up location codes and tax rates. Those include address searches, improved maps, and latitude and longitude, according to the news release.

Washington retailers, you be the judge.

Washington ranks 6th among states working hard to be oil-independent

The Natural Resources Defense Council has a new list, based on three years of research, showing the 10 states working hardest to cut dependence on oil, and the 10 states most vulnerable to gas price spikes.

To read the executive summary on the method to the rankings, go to the continuation of this entry (click on continue reading below).

Washington is No. 6 on the list of working hardest to get free of oil dependence. The ranking is:

1)  California
2)  Oregon
3)  Massachusetts
4)  New York
5)  Connecticut
6)  Washington
7)  Pennsylvania
8)  Minnesota
9)  New Mexico

10)  Hawaii

The states most susceptible, according to the survey:

50)  Alaska
49)  Wyoming
48)  Nebraska
47)  Ohio
46)  West Virginia
45)  Oklahoma
44)  Mississippi
43)  Kansas
42)  Alabama
41)  North Dakota


Get blog updates by email

About this blog

The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

Sign up for our business email newsletter
Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Office Hours.


Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

Recent work by Alison

Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here