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Briefcase: Wage bill raises costs by 0.003, CBO says

From Staff And Wire Reports

WASHINGTON – A Senate Democratic bill gradually increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 hourly would require private businesses to spend $15 billion more in salaries when it takes full effect in 2017, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Thursday.

The private sector spent $5.4 trillion on wages in 2012, according to the most recent data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means the increased pay would boost employers’ wage costs by just 0.003 percent, or about one-third of a penny for every dollar spent on salaries.

The minimum wage is currently $7.25 hourly. The bill by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, would increase the minimum in three steps, reaching $10.10 two-and-a-half years after the bill becomes law.

The budget office has also estimated that the measure would raise earnings for about 16.5 million workers earning under $10.10 but cost about 500,000 others their jobs as employers adjust to higher costs.

Nasdaq will delist Coldwater Creek

The Nasdaq will delist bankrupt Coldwater Creek at the start of business on Wednesday, the Sandpoint company announced in a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The action follows last week’s bankruptcy by the Sandpoint women’s apparel retailer. The company plans to cease operations this year after struggling to be profitable since 2006.

Company officials have begun to wind down operations, closing more than 300 U.S. stores and eliminating more than 5,000 jobs, including more than 400 in North Idaho.

Liquidation sales inside stores and through its online site will be continuing over the next few months.

30,000 strike against Chinese shoe maker

BEIJING – A strike at the Chinese factories of the world’s biggest athletic shoe maker snowballed Thursday to about 30,000 workers, a labor group said, making it one of the largest-ever work stoppages at a private business in China.

Workers in the southern city of Dongguan want Taiwanese-owned Yu Yuen Industrial Ltd., which makes shoes for companies such as Nike and Adidas, to make social security contributions required by Chinese law and meet other demands. They’ve been striking in increasing numbers in on-and-off stoppages since April 5.

The walkout threatens to crimp the contract manufacturer’s production for clients that also include Reebok, Asics, New Balance and Timberland.

Yue Yuen’s plants in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico and the United States make about 21.5 million pairs of shoes each month.

Pandora sued for using pre-1972 songs

NEW YORK – Major record labels are suing Internet radio giant Pandora for copyright infringement for using songs recorded before 1972 without paying license fees.

The labels, including divisions of Sony, Warner and Universal, argue that songs such as Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” are not covered by federal copyright law, but they have been protected in common law by states including New York.

The labels say artists and labels have been deprived of tens of millions of dollars every year by services such as Pandora Media Inc.

Pandora streams songs randomly according to artists or genres like “Motown” or “ ’60s Oldies.”

The labels also sued satellite radio company Sirius XM Holdings Inc. last year in a similar case.

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