January 30, 2017
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The Daily News: Cowlitz job market continues to stagnate

Part of the headline in The Daily News last week was something that would sound familiar to counties in all rural parts of Washington: "job market continues to stagnate."

And despite that headline, Cowlitz County's 7.2 percent unemployment rate is actually better that much of the state. Ferry County is at 11.5 percent, according to the latest jobless figures. Grays Harbor County is at 8.8 percent and Grant County lands at 9.6 percent.

Meanwhile, King and Snohomish counties have jobless rates in the 3-4 percent range. Clearly, while pockets of the state are seeing strong job growth, regions like central Washington and the Olympic Peninsula are still experiencing persistently high unemployment.

Those facts underscore AWB's consistent message: the recovery isn’t reaching rural Washington.

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Kudos to Microsoft for bold public-policy goals for Washington state

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Microsoft is taking its regional public service to a new level with the release of an ambitious legislative agenda for Washington state.

Under its president, Brad Smith, the company has increasingly advocated for education, transportation and economic development.

Recognizing that the entire state has unmet needs, the company is broadening its agenda beyond the Puget Sound area. Best of all, Microsoft is offering to help incubate and partly fund several new programs to get them launched.

The public benefits from such corporate citizens providing thoughtful and supportive engagement on critical policy issues.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
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