Dec. 14 / Employment dips in November here
Some 208,500 people held nonagricultural wage and salary jobs in the Spokane area in November, down by 600 from the November 2009 level, but up by 400 from October, preliminary state figures said. Preliminary results from another state survey put the unemployment rate at 8.4 percent in November, unchanged from the year-earlier month.
Dec. 9 / Providence Health Care, Group Health to build system
Providence Health Care and Group Health agreed to collaborate on development of a system they said would "transform" health-care delivery here. The two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding that they said enabled them to begin conversations with other care providers that might fit well into an integrated system of care capable of serving Eastern Washington and North Idaho.
Dec. 9 / AmericanWest clears last hurdle for sale, recapitalization
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court authorized AmericanWest Bancorp., of Spokane, to sell its wholly owned AmericanWest Bank subsidiary here and its Far West Bank division in Utah to a subsidiary of California-based SKBHC LLC, which will acquire all of the stock of the two banks for $6.5 million in cash and will provide $200 million of additional capital to the banks, enabling them to return to well-capitalized status.
Dec. 8 / Recession leads to higher unemployment tax rates
The Washington state Department of Employment Security announced that employers would pay unemployment tax rates during 2011 that average 3.26 percent of a certain amount of a worker's earnings, up from 2.39 percent during 2010. The department said that because of the recession, about $2 billion in unemployment benefits were paid out from the state's unemployment trust fund in the year that ended June 30, while the state collected about $1.2 billion in the fund. Federal benefits will raise the total paid out in Washington state to about $4.5 billion in 2010, the department said.
Dec. 8 / Home sales decline here
The Spokane Association of Realtors said 279 homes were sold here in November through its Multiple Listing Service, down sharply from 474 homes sold in November 2009. The median sales price here in November was $152,000, down from $159,925 in the year-earlier month. Sales during the first 11 months of this year totaled 3,913 homes, down from 4,321 homes in the year-earlier period.
Dec. 2 / Microsoft co-founder donates $26 million to WSU
Microsoft Inc. co-founder Paul G. Allen donated $26 million to Washington State University to support programs for its School for Global Animal Health and to supply matching funding for the school's research building, which is under construction. WSU said the school, which will study infections that are transmitted from animals to humans, and the building will be named for Allen. WSU also launched the public phase of a fundraising campaign that aims to raise $1 billion by 2015.
Dec. 2 / Coldwater Creek posts third-quarter loss
Coldwater Creek Inc., the Sandpoint-based specialty women's fashion retailer, posted a net loss of $10.9 million, or 12 cents a share, for its fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 30, compared with a net loss of $34 million, or 37 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. For the nine months ended Oct. 30, the company posted a net loss of $7.1 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $46.5 million, or 51 cents a share, in the year-earlier period.
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