Economy & Business

90.5 WESA explores the regional economy, as well as covering the issues that ordinary Pittsburghers face in their working lives.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Friday is the deadline for city leaders to either comply with or appeal to the Court of Common Pleas an order from the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records to reveal details of its application to have Amazon establish its second headquarters in Pittsburgh. 

Richard Drew / AP

Amazon has announced plans to create another 125 technology jobs in Pittsburgh, more than doubling its current tech workforce in the city.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

An Australian investment firm has acquired The Mall at Robinson, one of the larger retail venues in the Pittsburgh area.

Cleveland-based Forest City Realty Trust said Monday that it had completed the previously announced sale of its interest in the mall to QIC.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. QIC already had an ownership stake in the mall, which Allegheny County recently reassessed at $89 million.

90.5 WESA

Last month, the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records ordered the City of Pittsburgh to release its bid to become Amazon's second headquarters.

Mayor Bill Peduto said at the time he'd fight the ruling, even if it meant going to court. 

Ronald Woan / Flickr

According to a CNN report from last summer, 44 million Americans make money outside their regular job with a "side hustle." Carnegie Library's new Side Hustle lecture series, which launches this week, will highlight different options for joining the gig economy each week.

Mini-Casino Headed For Lawrence County, Along Ohio Border

Feb 8, 2018
Julie Jacobson / AP, file

The family that owns northeastern Pennsylvania's Mount Airy Casino Resort won the rights Thursday to build a mini-casino on the opposite side of the state along the Ohio border, an area that has tried for years to land a casino project.

Scott Dalton / AP

Fly, Dick's Sporting Goods, fly.

The unlikely win for the Philadelphia Eagles over the New England Patriots in Sunday's Super Bowl LII match up could be a windfall for the sporting goods retailer, despite a headquarters squarely placed in Steeler Nation.

The same sales bump took place after the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in more than a century.

Analysts with J.P. Morgan wrote Wednesday, "From a similarities perspective, both the Cubs and Eagles have rabid fans that have been starved for a championship for decades."

Ted S. Warren / AP

Attorneys general in over a dozen states oppose a federal Department of Labor proposal to let employers control the tips of some hourly employees.

The attorneys general filed comments in opposition with federal officials on Monday.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called the proposal that rescinds a 2011 rule "outrageous" and likened it to wage theft.

The plan applies to employees paid the federal minimum wage, which is $7.75 an hour. In Illinois, about half a million workers could be affected.

The U.S. added 200,000 jobs in January, continuing the trend of steady job growth for another month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

That means the economy has now added jobs for 88 months in a row. And, significantly, wages are on the rise, too.

Average hourly earnings rose by 9 cents to $26.74, with a year-over-year growth of 2.9 percent — the highest rate of growth the BLS recorded since June 2009.

The unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Pittsburgh macroeconomist Marvin Goodfriend is still awaiting official Senate confirmation this week to help lead the nation's central banking system.

Julie Jacobson / AP, file

Southwestern Pennsylvania will soon have another casino.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Wednesday he wants fully unmanned taxis serving paying customers by mid-2019. 

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate crept up in December, even as payrolls hit a record high.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Alcoa Corp. said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter loss widened to $196 million as it continued working to streamline operations.

The Pittsburgh-based company said it had a loss of $1.06 per share. That compares with a loss of $125 million, or 68 cents per share, at the end of 2016.

Alcoa said it would have earned $1.04 per share without accounting charges for restructuring.

The results fell short of the $1.23 per share that the six analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected.

Seth Wenig / AP

The state Department of Labor made an economic case for establishing a paid family and medical leave fund in a report issued with nine partner organizations on Wednesday.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The online fundraiser "Give Big Pittsburgh" was billed as a natural follow-up to the Pittsburgh Foundation's annual Day of Giving, which provided one-day funding matches to donations benefiting local nonprofits, but mixed messages timed with Giving Tuesday may have contributed to less than stellar returns.

John Minchillo / 90.5 WESA

The future of work will hinge on machine learning technology, a type of artificial intelligence that improves performance with experience, according to Carnegie Mellon University's Tom Mitchell. 

Trump To Tap McConnell Aide For Appalachian Post

Jan 5, 2018
Jeff Gentner / AP

President Donald Trump intends to tap a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's staff to serve as federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Westinghouse Electric, the U.S. nuclear unit of embattled Japanese electronics giant Toshiba, has been acquired in a deal valued at about out $4.6 billion.

Westinghouse Electric Co. declared bankruptcy protection early last year, leaving a number of nuclear projects in limbo.

The acquisition by Brookfield Business Partners LP on Thursday comes one day after an agreement tying up loose ends from two failed nuclear reactors in South Carolina.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

In an effort to keep more Pittsburgh college grads in the region, a state initiative is offering tax credits to startups to make wages more competitive.

Pennsylvanians Get A New Way To Celebrate: More Fireworks

Dec 28, 2017
John Heller / AP

 This week is the first big holiday sales season in Pennsylvania under a new state law that allows residents to buy and use the full line of fireworks that comply with federal requirements for consumers.

Katie Blackley / WESA

 

The city of Pittsburgh is preparing to defend two laws that would impact local workers – one requiring private employers to offer paid sick leave, and another creating new training requirements for security officers in many city buildings.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently decide to hear cases challenging the laws early next year. 

So far, the city has lost in lower courts because, the courts found, it does not have the authority to impose these regulations on businesses.

 

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a measure that would require a $15 an hour minimum wage for employees of some contractors.

Ted S. Warren / AP

Americans say they plan to spend more money online than in stores this holiday shopping season, according to a survey of 4,000 consumers released this week by Deloitte research.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate dropped in October to a new post-recession low, although the labor force, employment and payrolls all shrank during the month.

90.5 WESA

During his yearly budget address Monday, Mayor Bill Peduto said the city has been diligent about fiscal responsibility and is ready to retake control of its finances. 

Matt Rourke / AP

The constitutional amendment that Pennsylvania voters approved Tuesday could eventually lead to reductions in the state's heavy dependence on property taxes, but it is only a tiny step in that direction.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

The Republican-sponsored tax code overhaul in Congress faces an uncertain path, and will likely see some major changes as it makes its way toward legalization.

But nevertheless, small business owners and advocates in Pennsylvania are trying to figure out how its current iteration would affect them—and some have mixed feelings.

The more than 400-page bill of sweeping tax code changes has been touted as “pro-business” by its House GOP authors and the Trump administration.

And it would indeed slash the corporate tax rate by 15 percent.

Matt Rourke / AP

The state Treasury has authorized a major $1.8 billion loan to keep Pennsylvania's general fund from running out of money.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are considered top contenders for Amazon’s second North American headquarters in a recent nationwide analysis by Moody’s. The company promised 50,000 jobs and $5 billion for investment for its HQ2 project.

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