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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Choosing green path to jobs

Summer jobs are hard to come by for young teens. Paper routes are scarce and often taken by adults with cars. Fast-food restaurants don’t hire anyone under 16, and day care centers have reduced the amount of baby-sitting jobs available. Yet 14-year-old Dave Howell not only earned income this summer, he also gained job skills that will serve him well throughout his life. Howell joined Green Collar Jobs Service Corps, the youth employment and work force development component of Jobs Not Jails.

It may be messy, but it’s a job

Some of the dirtiest, smelliest, most dangerous jobs are suddenly looking a lot more appealing in this economy. People who have been out of work for months are lining up for jobs at places they once considered unthinkable: slaughterhouses, sewage plants, prisons.

Idaho jobless rate jumps to 26-year high

Idaho's unemployment rate jumped to 8.8 percent in July, and to 10.3 percent in Coeur d'Alene, according to state Labor Department statistics released today. The state rate was the highest in 26 years.

Minnick: Jobs are No. 1 priority

BOISE – Idaho’s freshman U.S. Congressman Walt Minnick says in seven months in office he’s become convinced that creating new jobs in Idaho is the most pressing issue he can address, and there’s federal money, contracts and more that could help – if Idahoans just had a little help to tap into them. During Congress’ five-week summer break, Minnick announced he’ll launch an “economic blitz” in Idaho, holding four events around the 1st Congressional District to bring together businesses, communities and economic development officials with federal officials, his congressional staffers and other resources to help them get at the federal funding.

Everybody, into the pool!

In this high-unemployment summer, lifeguard jobs are swimming against the current. Carl Strong, 29, aquatics supervisor for the city of Spokane, still needs 15 to 30 more lifeguards, as well as other pool employees, to meet increased pool attendance at the new A.M. Cannon and Shadle pools, to staff Comstock and Hillyard pools when they open in early August and to staff a pool season that could stretch into the fall.

Business in brief: Comcast unveils wireless Internet

PHILADELPHIA – Comcast is rolling out wireless Internet service Tuesday in Portland, Ore., with plans to add three other cities by the end of the year. Comcast is the first major cable operator to roll out wireless broadband. The service offers speeds of up to 4 megabits per second and is carried over the 4G network of Clearwire Corp., where it’s offered. Elsewhere, it will use Sprint Nextel Corp.’s 3G network coast-to-coast.

Jobs number improves slightly in Spokane

Unemployment fell slightly in Spokane County in May as 2,470 workers found jobs, according to a report released today by the Washington Employment Security Department. The rate fell to 9.1 percent from 9.3 percent in April, but remains significantly above the 4.8 percent of May 2008.

New jobs in renewable energy outpacing national average

NEW YORK – The fledgling renewable energy industry has grown steadily over much of the past decade, adding jobs at more than twice the national rate, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts study released Wednesday. Solar and wind-power companies, makers of energy-efficient light bulbs, environmental engineering firms and others expanded their work force by 9.1 percent from 1998 to 2007, the latest year available, according to Pew.

A few bright spots emerge in tough national job market

WASHINGTON — Signs of stabilization in the job market are emerging, according to several private surveys, as restaurants, mortgage servicers and health centers step up hiring. About a quarter of manufacturing companies and more than 40 percent of service-sector employers plan to hire workers in June, the highest totals in six months, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. Still, the figures are substantially lower than they were a year ago.

Small sectors, big opportunity

When people talk about the good news in the local job market, they invariably return to two kinds of work: health care and education. Those two pillars of the jobs scene are considered among the most resistant to recessions, and they make up a big part of overall employment in the Inland Northwest.

Federal infusion is boon for laborers

In North Idaho’s recession-plagued Silver Valley, there’ll be an extra 70 high-paying seasonal jobs this summer removing and replacing lead-contaminated soil as part of the Bunker Hill cleanup, thanks to the federal economic stimulus. “They’re good jobs,” said Mark Stromberg, Coeur d’Alene Basin project manager for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. They pay federal prevailing wages – “considerably higher than what normally would be paid in the Silver Valley.”

Prospects still bright for nurses

Time is on your side. Registered nurses can take those words to the bank, say regional health care employers. Although jobs are fewer this year and some registered nurses in Spokane are being laid off as part of broad hospital reorganizations, the stubborn recession won’t be able to slow health care spending much longer.

Visualizing Spokane’s jobs outlook

Click on the images on this page to explore interactive graphs showing data from the Washington State Employment Security Department's 2009 jobs outlook for the Spokane area.

Young workers face skilled rivals

College graduates such as Nathan Coltrane are looking to land a good job right smack in the middle of one of the toughest economies of the past three decades. Coltrane, 23, is about to earn a photography degree from Eastern Washington University. His goal is to land a production job with a Pacific Northwest-based video or media company.

Industries keep eye on the future

Go West, young person. It worked for those who heeded the advice of 19th-century newspaperman Horace Greeley, and it just might work for today’s job seekers, who on the West Plains will find companies hiring workers or likely to do so as the region and nation emerge from recession.

Stimulus translates to contracts, grants

New water lines in Republic. A large sewage project in Airway Heights. Millions for schools, for crime-victim advocates, and to expand broadband access into rural areas. Hundreds of miles of new or overhauled paths, bridges and roads. And that’s just the start.

Where the Jobs are

A special report on employment in the Inland Northwest.