Economics & Economy

Defense Industry Hardest Hit in Virginia
4:38 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Economic Fallout of Sequestration

An air crewman aboard VAW-125.
Credit U.S. Navy

A renowned economist is relaxing her predictions somewhat about the effects of federal sequestration on Virginia and now sees a reason for some optimism.  Chris Chmura says although the impact of the cuts will still hurt the Commonwealth more than most states, she expects there will  be some modest job growth.

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Fighting Hunger
4:00 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Keeping VA's Food Banks Stocked for Summer

Hunger pangs may be a sign to raid the refrigerator, order carryout, heat up some leftovers, or head to your favorite restaurant. 

But thousands of Virginia children don't have that option.  In fact—and it’s a little-known fact—area food banks throughout the Commonwealth are in greater need of supplies over the summer than over the holidays, when most food drives take place.

Since 2006, there's been a 56-percent increase in the need for serving the hungry. And as Governor McDonnell explains, it's harder to restock food banks during this time of year than any other.

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Economics & Economy
4:27 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Smithfield Foods to be Acquired by Chinese Company

Credit LM Otero/AP via NPR

Smithfield Foods is being sold to China’ s largest pork producer. 

Saying it’s a great day for American farmers, Smithfield Foods President and CEO Larry Pope has announced his company is being sold to Shuanghui International Holdings Limited, China’s largest meat processing enterprise and largest meat trading company.  It’s believed to be the largest takeover of an American company by a Chinese one.  The purchase price is $4.7 billion.

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Economics & Economy
4:00 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Weldon Cooper Center Develops New Poverty Measure

Credit Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service

A 1960s era poverty measurement is being replaced by one that more accurately reflects Virginians’ living standards and spending patterns. 

If you were alive in the 1960s, you know a lot of things have changed since then.  But criteria used to determine poverty hasn’t.  Dustin Cable is a demographer with the University of Virginia.

“Food costs have declined as a percentage of family budgets and medical expenses have dramatically increased.”

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Alternative to Refund Checks
4:00 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Va Tax Dept Debit Cards

Those debit cards that the Virginia Department of Taxation issued to taxpayers instead of checks are not going anywhere. In fact, as the tax season wraps up, most residents have already seen them.

Getting rid of tax-refund checks was supposed to save the state money.  Taxpayers had the option of cashing out the card, transferring funds, or using it as a point-of-sale card or at an ATM.  But they were charged fees and were often confused about how to access funds. Burns said he didn't receive many complaints, though.  

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