Pamplin Media cuts pay, hours
Pamplin Media, publisher of the Portland Tribune and several community papers, notified employees this week that the company is cutting their hours and pay. It’s the latest in a series of cutbacks in Oregon media organizations amid an economic crisis in the news industry, but Pamplin said it expects the cuts will be temporary.
The company is reducing full-time staff to 38 hours per week, according to Publisher Mark Garber. That’s a 5% cut in hours and Pamplin is making a corresponding cut in pay.
In an email to The Oregonian, Garber said revenues have been consistently stable since the Great Recession. But he said this year the company has experienced revenue “softness,” an issue compounded by rising newsprint prices associated with federal tariffs imposed last year.
“We have committed to reviewing the temporary reduction in hours every three months and communicating with employees about our progress toward restoring the week from 38 hours to 40,” Garber wrote.
U.S. existing-home sales rise
Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose in August to the highest in more than a year amid lower borrowing costs and sustained income gains, adding to signs the housing market is breaking out of a slump.
Contract closings rose 1.3% from the prior month to a 5.49 million annual rate, the fastest pace since March 2018, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. That exceeded all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists, whose median projection was 5.38 million. The median sales price rose 4.7% from a year earlier — the second-fastest gain in the past year — to $278,200.
The figures follow data out Wednesday showing solid housing construction and a Thursday report on jobless claims that indicated the nation’s labor market remains solid. The S&P 500 Index extended gains after the existing-home sales report and the Federal Reserve’s decision on Wednesday to reduce its key lending rate.
Jobless claims less than forecast
Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits rose less than estimated and remained around historically low levels, offering the latest signs that the labor market is holding up.
Jobless claims climbed by 2,000 to 208,000 in the week ended Sept. 14, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday that matched the lowest estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The four-week average, a less-volatile measure for initial claims, slipped to a seven-week low.