Economics & Economy

The Department of Labor has recently implemented an online program aimed at distributing money that belongs to workers who may, or may not, know they’ve earned it. 

The Wage and Hour division of the U.S. Labor Department is currently holding over $1 million in back wages in Virginia that they say belongs to 2,800 workers throughout the state. Mary Doughty is the Director of Operations for the division, she says that money is left behind for a variety of reasons:

Virginia businesses are breathing a sigh of relief at the news that the current rate of jobless benefits claims is much lower than the very high number of claims during the recent recession.  This means they likely will NOT have to pay the higher amount of business taxes triggered by state law whenever the unemployment trust fund dips too low.

Earlier this month we aired a story from Sandy Hausman about AirBnB in Richmond - and how the home-sharing experience is, essentially, illegal there. Another Virginia city, however, has recently embraced the trend.

AirBnB has never exactly been ‘illegal’ in Roanoke, but when the idea of short-term rental was blooming, the City didn’t know what to make of it. River Laker was one of the first in Roanoke to register on AirBnB:

New Life for Tobacco Commission

Jul 23, 2015

In its 16 years, the Tobacco Commission has had a lengthy history of, well, slaps on the wrist. Created to distribute the state’s share of a national tobacco settlement in Southside and Southwest Virginia, members have been accused of playing a number of political and financial games under the guise of the commission’s intent. However, a few recent changes might have put the commission back on track.

While Israeli leaders have voiced their displeasure about the Iran nuclear deal amidst already strained relations with the U.S., some have wondered if that dynamic has had any impact on Virginia's business relationship with Israel. 

Virginia-Israel Advisory Board Executive Director Ralph Robbins says here, officials don't have to get too much into politics, and economic development transcends any politics at the higher levels.

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