Economy & Business

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

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.

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate dropped in September for the second straight month, as payrolls hit a record high and the labor force tightened again.

Richard Drew / AP

The city of Pittsburgh will officially throw its hat into the ring Wednesday as a contender for Amazon's second North American headquarters, along with what could be as many as 200 other cities.

Megan Farmer / KUOW


  Pittsburgh is among the cities competing to land Amazon’s second headquarters and that has many people wondering what could happen if the company actually picked their city. To get some answers, we turned to our fellow NPR member station, KUOW in Seattle, home to Amazon’s first headquarters.

dnesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson / AP

Amazon benefited from more than $1.2 billion in incentives across the country, according to research published Wednesday by American City Business Journals

The company employs an estimated 10,000 people across 15 facilities in Pennsylvania, drawing nearly $25 million in known subsidies statewide. Bids for Amazon’s second North American headquarters HQ2 are due next week.

Danny Navarro / flickr

Officials say a glass company manufacturing plant near Pittsburgh could be closed next summer, affecting almost 200 workers.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

*UPDATED: Oct. 4, 2017 at 4:26 p.m.

Pennsylvania manufacturing leaders are hoping that maker spaces can be the entry point for future workers.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta was in Pittsburgh Wednesday morning to speak at the Shale Insight Conference and tour the Carpenters' Union Training Center. 

Matt Rourke / AP

As Pennsylvania contends with a months-late budget and recently-downgraded bond rating, it’s also working hard to entice Amazon to set up a secondary headquarters in one of its cities.

frankieleon / flickr

Frontier Airlines is continuing to scale back its presence at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Frontier has opted to drop its daily flight to Las Vegas from the Pittsburgh International by Oct. 4. Frontier's decision comes after the airline ended flights to Chicago and Atlanta last year.

The Denver-based airline will keep seasonal flights to Denver and Orlando.

Associated Press

Pittsburgh's proposal to become the location of Amazon's second headquarters includes a full-time team of up to 20 people, Mayor Bill Peduto said Monday.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate crept downward in July, even as payrolls and the labor force shrank.

The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday that Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was 4.9 percent last month, down one-tenth of a percentage point. The national rate moved up slightly in August to 4.4 percent.

A survey of households survey found that Pennsylvania's civilian labor force, employment and unemployment all shrank in August for the second straight month.

Ted S. Warren / AP

An announcement last week by online retail giant Amazon that it was looking for a second North American headquarters has caused a stir in Pittsburgh and other cities across the country. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto immediately tweeted the city would pursue Amazon.

Municipal Distress Getting Worse In Pennsylvania, According To New Data

Sep 13, 2017
Pennsylvania Economy League

The Pennsylvania Economy League released a report on Tuesday showing predictions in its last study have borne out.

That's not a good thing.

The league warned in 2007 that the struggles of distressed communities would worsen where they already existed and emerge anew elsewhere — unless local government codes were updated by state lawmakers.

Pennsylvania Vape Tax Brings In Millions, But Leads To Closure Of 100-Plus Businesses

Sep 12, 2017
Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Myk Londino didn't expect e-cigarettes to lead him to his life's work. He just wanted to quit smoking, and nothing else had worked for him. But after vaping helped him ditch cigarettes, he fell in love, as he put it. He decided to dedicate his time to helping others switch from cigs to their electronic cousins.

Three years later, the 29-year-old is manager of Vape O2 in Philadelphia and runs two vape-related companies, one on his own and one with friends.

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