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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Briefcase: Paper industry launches ad campaign

From Staff And Wire Reports

The U.S. paper industry kicked off a $20 million advertising campaign this week to highlight the role of paper in Americans’ lives.

The campaign, “How Life Unfolds,” includes a television spot of a young woman giving her grandfather tickets to a baseball game. The commercial tracks the paper products used during the outing – from the tickets and scorecard to a doughnut box and fan poster.

Industry officials say they’re trying to stem declines in U.S. demand for paper and paperboard, the thicker material used for cereal boxes and other packaging. Since 2000, annual consumption of paper has dropped by 108 pounds per person, and annual consumption of packaging material has dropped by 56 pounds per person.

Clearwater Paper Corp. of Spokane is one of the companies funding the promotional campaign. The paper and packaging industry employs about 375,000 people nationwide.

Mines Management gets warning letter

Mines Management Inc. has received a letter from the New York Stock Exchange MKT, warning officers that the company is out of compliance with standards for continued listing on the exchange.

The Spokane-based company has until Aug. 3 to submit a plan to the exchange for improving shareholder equity and addressing continued financial losses. Mines Management’s primary asset is the Montanore silver-copper project in Northwest Montana, which it is working to develop for mining.

In a news release, Mines Management officials said the company will submit a plan for correcting the deficiencies by the August deadline.

Fewer Idahoans paid below minimum wage

The number of Idaho workers paid at or below the federal minimum wage declined last year, the state Bureau of Labor Statistics said. The rate dropped from 7.1 percent in 2013 to 5.1 percent in 2014.

Of the 21,000 Idahoans earning a minimum wage or less in 2014, 12,000 – 57 percent – were women. They represent 5.8 percent of all working women paid hourly in Idaho, compared with 4.4 percent of all men.

The numbers suggest the state’s labor market is tightening and having upward pressure on wages, according to the state Department of Labor.

Idaho businesses are reporting higher wages through the Occupational Employment Statistics program as well. Median wage data collected from employers show the average hourly wage paid in 2014 was $19.12, up from $18.67 in 2013. Idaho’s overall hourly median wage – where half of workers make more and half make less – is $14.93, up slightly from 2013’s median wage of $14.68.

Airfares likely to fall to four-year low

CHICAGO – Domestic airfares this autumn will fall to a four-year low, according to a fare-tracking website.

The average domestic fare from September through November will fall to $248, a 3.6 percent decrease from last fall and an 8.1 percent decrease from the fall of 2013, according to Hopper’s Consumer Airfare Index, which forecasts fares based on historical data.

“This fall is shaping up as a great time to book air travel,” said Patrick Surry, Hopper’s chief data scientist. “Lower fuel prices and increased competition from the low-cost carriers look set to drive prices lower than we’ve seen since we started tracking consumer airfare almost four years ago.”

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