Economy

Economy, Business, Finance & Labor

B&Bs Vs. Airbnb: Struggling With Short-Term Rentals

Sep 30, 2014
Bill McLean / JPR

New online companies have emerged where private residents offer travelers a place to stay for the night, often at rates cheaper than hotels or bed and breakfast outfits.

Ashland, Oregon is one of the global hotspots trying to reconcile a clash between the traditional hospitality industry and a growing market of private residents trying to make a few bucks renting out a spare room or two.

Ashland resident Tom DuBois rented an unused bedroom to overnight travelers at his house in a single-family residential neighborhood zoned R-1. Then he got a letter from the city.

oregon.gov

Oregon's Bureau of Labor and Industries will be touring the state during the next few months updating landlords on new Section 8 housing rules.

A law recently passed in Oregon makes it illegal to deny housing for someone who qualifies for low income housing known as Section 8. The first of 15 seminars is September 29th in Portland. State Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian says the goal is to inform landlords about the changes so they don't accidently run afoul.

Oregon's Working Poor: Benefits Cliff

Sep 24, 2014
John Rosman / OPB

This week we bring you stories of Oregon’s “working poor,”  people who are employed but still struggling to pay the bills. As people living in poverty find jobs and begin to earn a wage, they face another challenge: the benefits cliff.

For the first time in her life, Lynne Chartraw is taking a paid vacation. The single mom is spending her summer day off hosting a motley crew of teenage boys in her Bend apartment. Her two sons are here with six friends playing poker and video games.

hansen-auction.com

If you need a car – perhaps a Ford Crown Victoria – a motorcycle, a guitar or even clothes, Lane County has an opportunity for you.

It’s the County’s annual on-line sealed bid auction of hundreds of surplus items.  The auction, heavy on vehicles and equipment, will be held on-line September 25th through 27th.

Items may be viewed at the Lane County Fleet Services Building Thursday and Friday from 8 to 5, and Saturday, 8 to 3.

More information available by clicking on “2014 Fleet Auction” on the Lane County home page.

Oregon's Working Poor: Wages

Sep 23, 2014
John Rosman / OPB

A new census report shows Oregon's poverty rate rose to more than fifteen percent in 2013.  In this series, we meet several families who are “working poor” or living below 200 percent of the poverty line. We visit Malheur County, which for the past decade, has had some of the highest rates of both poverty and unemployment in Oregon.

 
Rhonda Harvey sits at the back of a hotel classroom in Ontario.

Oregon's Working Poor: Housing

Sep 22, 2014
John Rosman / OPB

This week we bring you stories of Oregon’s “working poor,” or those who are living below 200 percent of the poverty line.For many families, housing eats up the biggest portion of limited budgets. Amanda Peacher reports from Central Oregon, where the rental market is especially challenging for low-income workers.

Rachel McDonald

The Euphoria Chocolate Company of Eugene was founded in 1980 by Bob Bury and his wife, Sue Subbot.  They're retiring, having just sold the business to Van Glass, a software executive, and his wife, Bonnie.   Bob and Van, seller and buyer, joined us to discuss Euphoria...and all things chocolate.

The state employment department reported Tuesday Oregon's unemployment rate rose last month to 7.2 percent.
State Labor Economist Nick Belieciks:

Belieciks: "The unemployment rate increase in August wasn’t caused by more people losing their jobs. It had to do with a large increase in Oregon's labor force. This can happen because of faster population growth or when more people start looking for work because they feel their job prospects are improving."

Not enough weed to go around in WA pot industry

Sep 16, 2014
Josh Rosman / OPB

It’s been two months since retail marijuana stores opened in Washington state. Already, the state says sales have exceeded $10 million. But the supply of pot has also been tight, meaning some retail stores in the state can’t be open as often as they’d like.

Washington’s burgeoning retail marijuana industry is getting off to a slow start.
Take this store in Vancouver, which was closed at times last month.

www.oregon.gov/consumer.businessess

Oregon's workers' compensation costs have dropped for a second straight year. The Department of Consumer and Business Services announced last week costs will decrease an average of 5.3% in 2015.

The Department approved the decrease in Oregon's "pure premium," which is the price employers pay insurers to cover anticipated workers compensation costs. Department of Consumer and Businesses Spokeswoman Lisa Morawski says in the last few years the state, private businesses, and insurance companies have focused on improving workplace safety and health.

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