Idaho’s August Unemployment Rate Declined to 2.8 Percent


For Immediate Release: Sept. 21, 2018
Information Contact:  Robert Kabel (208) 332-3570 ext. 3886 or Karen Jarboe Singletary (208) 332-3570 ext. 3215

Over-the-Year Job Growth Remains Strong

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined slightly to 2.8 percent in August, continuing at or below 3 percent for the 12th consecutive month.

The state’s labor force – the total number of people 16 years of age and older working or looking for work – was virtually unchanged at 852,878 people, breaking a streak of month-to-month increases.

Total employment increased by 676 to 828,864, continuing to grow though at a slower rate than earlier in the year. The number of unemployed decreased by 588 people to 24,603.

Idaho’s labor force participation declined one-tenth of a percentage point to 63.7 percent.

Over the year, Idaho’s statewide labor force increased by 15,884 (1.9 percent) in August, total employment grew by 17,400 (2.1 percent) and there were 1,516 (5.9 percent) fewer unemployed workers.

Online Idaho job openings were down slightly in August at 25,271 compared with 25,344 a year ago, according to the Conference Board, a Washington, D.C., think tank. At 5,755, fewer of those jobs were classified as hard to fill by department analysts (listed for 90 days or more), down from 6,246 in August 2017. Health care occupations, including physicians, surgeons, psychiatrists, occupational and physical therapists and support positions, represented about 15 percent of all hard-to-fill online openings.

Total nonfarm jobs decreased by 1,500 in August. Manufacturing, construction, other services and government all exceeded seasonal expectations for a combined increase of 800 jobs. Natural resources, information and financial activities remained unchanged. Leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, education and health services and trade, transportation and utilities had a combined decrease of 2,300 jobs, outweighing modest gains in other sectors.

Year over year, the state continued to see strong job growth as employers increased payrolls. Total nonfarm jobs grew by 3.1 percent for a total of 22,000 jobs. Construction and manufacturing grew more than 5 percent, gaining a total of 5,900 jobs. All other sectors saw some over-the-year gains, except for information which went unchanged from August 2017.

Two of Idaho’s five Metropolitan Statistical Areas – Boise and Coeur d’Alene – experienced month-over-month job gains. Boise jobs grew by 1,100, while Coeur d’Alene added 300 jobs. Idaho Falls and Lewiston had job losses of 300 and 200 jobs, respectively, while Pocatello’s nonfarm jobs went unchanged from July to August.

Over the year, Idaho’s five MSAs all experienced gains in nonfarm payroll employment. Boise added 11,400 jobs (3.6 percent), Coeur d’Alene added 2,600 jobs (4.1 percent), Idaho Falls added 1,800 jobs (2.7 percent), Pocatello added 900 jobs (2.5 percent) and Lewiston added 300 jobs (1 percent).

Annually, unemployment insurance benefit payments were down 15.5 percent from a weekly average of $1.1 million a year ago to $934,000 weekly for August 2018. The number of claimants decreased by 14 percent to 3,260 from a weekly average of 3,780 a year ago.

The national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.9 percent. The number of unemployed persons declined by 46,000 to 6.2 million in August. Both measures were down over the year, by 0.5 percentage point and 893,000, respectively.

County data will be released on Monday, Sept. 24.

September 2018 labor force and nonfarm payroll data for Idaho will be released on Oct. 19.

For details on Idaho’s labor market, visit

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Serve Idaho Accepting Proposals for 2019 Annual Conference


For Immediate Release: Sept. 18, 2018
Information Contact:  Renee Bade, (208) 332-3578 ext. 4061

Serve Idaho is requesting proposals for presentations at its annual conference, March 27, 2019. Organizers are looking for proposals covering a broad range of topics in volunteer management, leadership and professional development.

The conference brings together a community of nonprofit/public leaders and volunteer coordinators from across Idaho to learn and discuss how to better engage their communities, organizations and volunteers.

The purpose of the conference is to foster diverse and inclusive environments, as well as to learn best practices, strategies and new ways of doing business from the state’s best thinkers and practitioners of service and volunteerism.

The target audience includes:

  • Nonprofit and public leaders/volunteer management staff who want to enhance their skills in the nonprofit sector.
  • People who want to foster diverse organizational cultures, especially in the area of volunteer management.
  • AmeriCorps members and program directors looking to expand their skills.

To submit a proposal, complete the online Request for Proposals form for the Serve Idaho Conference 2019.

Deadline for submission is Oct. 31. Speakers will be informed of their selection status by Nov. 20. Benefits of speaking at the Serve Idaho Conference 2019 include free conference admission for up to two co-presenters as well as statewide visibility and recognition.

Contact Kirstin Mann at or (208) 332-3578 with any questions. For more information on the 2018 conference or to learn more about Serve Idaho, visit the Serve Idaho website.

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Serve Idaho Accepting Idaho’s Brightest Star Nominations


For Immediate Release: Sept. 4, 2018
Information Contact:  Renee Bade, (208) 332-3578 ext. 4061

Serve Idaho, the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism, is accepting nominations for the annual Idaho’s Brightest Star Awards. The awards recognize outstanding Idaho volunteers in a variety of categories. Nominations will be accepted until Oct. 19, 2018.

Nomination forms can be found at Serve Idaho, the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism, is accepting nominations for the annual Idaho’s Brightest Star Awards. The awards recognize outstanding Idaho volunteers in a variety of categories. Nominations will be accepted until Oct. 19, 2018. Continue reading

Around Idaho: Economic Activity in August 2018

Information provided in this article is from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.

Northern Idaho
North Central Idaho
Southwestern Idaho
South Central Idaho
Eastern Idaho

NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties

Boundary County

  • The State of Idaho auctioned 51 state-owned lakefront lots on Priest Lake for a total of $25.6 million. Forty-six of the 51 lots were purchased by the current leaseholders. Source: Spokesman Review

Kootenai County

  • A new transit center is in the works in the Riverstone development in Coeur d’Alene. Kootenai County Public Transportation announced that work on the facility is expected to begin in September, on track for completion no later than June 2019. Ridership on public transportation in Kootenai County has exploded in recent years as the county’s population has grown, and new developments have added to suburban sprawl in the region. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • Coeur d’Alene-based fiber optic provider Fatbeam has acquired a division of Post Falls-based Ednetics Inc, which provides IT and technology solutions for schools. Fatbeam intimated that it is planning additional acquisitions, but declined to specify further. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • Faced with increasingly tight inventories, Windermere Realty of Coeur d’Alene is building three new housing developments in Kootenai County. The three developments, located in different corners of the county, will provide a total of 273 new homes. Windermere ownership noted that inventory in Kootenai County is extremely low, creating aggressive inflationary pressure on home prices. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press


  • Global Kitchen Tapas & Wine (Coeur d’Alene)
  • A&B Market (Coeur d’Alene), regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext 4451

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Silver Tsunami Could Swamp Idaho Employers

The silver tsunami — the aging of the baby boom generation — is posing a challenge to Idaho employers throughout the state. In Idaho, baby boomers – Americans born between 1946 and 1964 – are retiring at the rate of 52 a day. In a tight labor market, replacing these workers is not easy. Even when a replacement worker is found, the business has still lost an experiencedworker with deep institutional knowledge about the business — things like how a problem that just cropped up was solved 15 years ago, who’s the best contact at a supplier that isn’t providing what was promised, and other insights that contribute to a business’s competitiveness and bottom line.

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State Philanthropic Organizations Hosting Community Conversations


For Immediate Release: Aug. 20, 2018
Information Contact:  Renee Bade, (208) 332-3578 ext. 4061

The Idaho Community Foundation, Idaho Nonprofit Center and Serve Idaho, the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism, will complete their series of community conversations across the state in Hailey and Pocatello Aug. 29 and Sept. 5.  Conversations will focus on community needs and challenges, existing resources and promising new solutions in the charitable sector.

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Idaho’s July Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 2.9 Percent


For Immediate Release: Aug. 17, 2018
Information Contact:  Craig Shaul (208) 332-3570 ext. 3201 or Robert Kabel (208) 332-3570 ext. 3886

Over-the-Year Job Growth Second in Nation Behind Utah

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 2.9 percent in July, continuing at or below 3 percent for the 11th consecutive month.

The state’s labor force – the total number of people 16 years of age and older working or looking for work – continued to increase, gaining 1,086 people from June to July for a total of 852,714.

Total employment increased by 998 to 828,111, keeping pace with the state’s labor force growth, while the number of unemployed remained virtually unchanged at 24,603.

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Young Man Finds Opportunity in the U.S. Through Idaho Labor Program

Peter Moats is funny, resilient and a true survivor, says Debi Middlekoop, workforce consultant at the Idaho Department of Labor in Moscow.

The 21-year-old Peter was born in China and was abandoned at a young age. A woman who became “Grandma” found him alone in a city of more than 8 million people in the South China province of Guangdong. With her help, the two lived on the streets for a few years. When Grandma became ill, she took Peter to an orphanage where he stayed for a few more years until he learned Grandma had died.

Peter’s story took several twists and turns over the years before he ended up in Idaho where he eventually connected with Middlekoop and Monica Jones at the Department of Labor and he began to see some of his dreams become reality.

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South Central Idaho’s 2,500 May Graduates Have ‘Go On’ Choices

The labor force receives an infusion of workers each May after high school graduation. In south central Idaho, early estimates show nearly 2,500 students graduated this spring from public schools in the eight-county area. The final numbers will be released later this year to account for students still completing courses over the summer and those who still plan to graduate by the end of the year.

Finding data on where the graduates end up after the ceremony is more difficult to track. The ‘go on’ rate, or the percentage of high school graduates who continue on to college or community college for degrees or certificates, is an imperfect estimate. Idaho’s rate has hovered around 50 percent, up or down five percent, in recent years. A sizeable portion of the 50 percent who do not ‘go on’ need employment, roughly 1,250 regionally, based on the 2018 graduation rate estimates.

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Idaho Receives More than $1.1 Million for AmeriCorps Programs


For Immediate Release: Aug. 7, 2018
Information Contact:  Renee Bade, (208) 332-3578 ext. 4061

Serve Idaho, the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism has received a $1,164,578 grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to fund Idaho AmeriCorps programs in 2018-2019. The grants will support the service of 155 AmeriCorps members statewide. AmeriCorps members give a year of intensive service on a full-time or part-time basis.

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