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Unemployment Insurance Identity Fraud Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Are unemployment insurance applications being filed by people who have stolen someone’s identity?

Answer: Yes. Crime rings across the globe are exploiting the COVID-19 crisis by attempting to commit large scale fraud against multiple state unemployment insurance programs. These crime rings possess substantial databases of stolen personally identifiable information which is used to submit a large volume of applications for unemployment benefits. Scammers use the names and addresses of Idaho residents, but then have payments sent to bank accounts in other states or have bank cards mailed to different addresses. The department is working closely with federal law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General to address fraud.

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Labor Department Unveils New Look for IdahoWorks Website

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: March 5, 2021
Media Contact: Darlene Carnopis, Darlene.Carnopis@labor.idaho.gov

The Idaho Department of Labor’s website to connect job seekers with employers has a new look.

IdahoWorks.gov customers will find:

  • Contemporary new design.
  • More intuitive workflows which means fewer clicks to find what you need.
  • New components for better usability ‒ easier and improved login process.
  • Improved accessibility.
  • Updated job and resume search which delivers more information at a glance to users and includes tags for wages, education and experience requirements and remote work opportunities.
  • Updated resume pages with improved navigation, clear instructions, better wizards.
  • Improved mobile-friendly design.
  • Reorganized employer registration with clear notifications and instructions, improved navigation.

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Labor Department Advises Idahoans to Watch for Identity Theft

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: March 2, 2021
Media Contact: Darlene Carnopis, Darlene.carnopis@labor.idaho.gov or Georgia Smith, Georgia.Smith@labor.idaho.gov

The Idaho Department of Labor is reminding people to be alert for identity theft related to unemployment insurance claims.

Many individuals have had their personal information compromised, hacked or breached by fraudsters in a large-scale nationwide scam involving phony unemployment benefits claims. If someone has applied for benefits using your personal information, it may have been stolen and misused by fraudsters for unemployment benefits. The Labor unemployment insurance system has not been hacked, nor subject to a data breach.

If you are notified by the Labor Department that a claim has been filed under your name when you did not file the claim, disregard the letter or email and do not click on the link in the email.

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Around Idaho: Economic Activity in January 2021

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
Southeastern Idaho
Eastern Idaho

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

Kootenai County

  • The Idaho Division of Veteran Services plans to proceed with construction of a 64-room home for veterans in Post Falls. The 83,000-square-foot skilled nursing facility is slated for completion in 2022. It will be Idaho’s fourth veterans home and the first in northern Idaho. Source: Journal of Business
  • Redevelopment of the former Atlas Mill site in Coeur d’Alene is underway, with the first phase now scheduled for the first half of 2021 to include a mix of housing. The first development phase includes 24 townhomes, 54 single family homes and 93 multifamily units along with a mix of retail and office space. Altogether, this first phase of construction will use four of the Atlas Mill site’s 13 development plats. Source: Journal of Business
  • Kenworth Trucks is planning to build a new facility in Post Falls to offer parts, sales, service and leasing. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Openings
Post Falls

  • Maverick Gas Station
  • Neighbors-N-Need
  • Olive’s Pastry
  • Dirt Kart

Coeur d’Alene

  • Linden Coffee Company
  • Panhandle Cone & Coffee
  • Once Upon A Fairytale
  • TK Lighting Design
  • Ziply Fiber Services
  • Becky’s Sewing Center
  • Ventura Stone

Dalton Gardens

  • SuperSprings International

Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext 4451
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Idaho Rebound Continues as One of Fastest in Country

December’s economic data showed that Idaho continued to progress in what has become one of the fastest economic recoveries in the country, following the economic shock of the COVID pandemic in the spring months of 2020. Idaho’s nonfarm jobs continued their recovery and are now slightly above the breakeven point for the year, with total nonfarm jobs now exceeding the totals reached in December 2019.

Nonfarm Jobs

Idaho’s total nonfarm jobs grew by 4,900 (0.6%) to 773,700 for December 2020. Substantial gains in trade, transportation and utilities (+2,400) as well as leisure and hospitality (+1,800) drove the increases, although most of Idaho’s major sectors enjoyed gains in December.

Job Growth Chart

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Labor Department Provides Labor Law Posters for Free

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Feb. 3, 2021
Media Contact: Darlene Carnopis, Darlene.carnopis@labor.idaho.gov

Idaho businesses are again being solicited by private companies to pay for required labor law posters that the Idaho Department of Labor provides online for free.

Employers are encouraged to place the legally mandated posters on safety, wages and discrimination in the workplace where they can easily be seen by employees.

A complete package of all the posters Idaho businesses are required to display can be downloaded for free from the Labor Department website.

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Labor’s Caldwell Office to Hold Drive-Thru Job Fair for Work-from-Home Jobs

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Feb. 2, 2021
Media Contact: Josefina Robles, Josefina.Robles@labor.idaho.gov

The Idaho Department of Labor’s Caldwell office is holding a drive-thru job fair from 1-4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8. The event will be held in the office parking lot at 4514 Thomas Jefferson St., rain or shine.

Employers participating are AT&T, Valor Global, Continuum Global Solutions, Teleperformance and PillPack by Amazon Pharmacy. The businesses combined have more than 150 job openings for customer service representatives or customer care associates. Some of the jobs are temporary work-from-home jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic and others are permanent work-from-home opportunities.

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Adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, aging senior population facing acute shortage of direct-care workers to help with their daily lives

Editor note: The following news release is published here with permission from the Consortium for Idahoans with Disabilities. The consortium appreciates the partnership with the Idaho Department of Labor to spread the word about this issue.

BOISE – (Jan. 6, 2021) – A shortage of direct-care workers who serve Idahoans with intellectual and physical disabilities and aging seniors is becoming more acute due to multiple factors, including low wages, safety concerns related to the corona virus pandemic, and difficulty finding people to work in the direct-care field, officials said Wednesday.

More than 17,355 of these Idaho citizens, many of whom live alone, with a spouse or family in their own homes or apartments, need daily in-home support either through self-directed programs or community service providers, each funded by Medicaid. Wages for direct-care workers can range from a low of $7.25/hour at the state minimum wage to $10-$15/hour, depending on education, experience and budget.

“The workforce shortage has gotten worse with the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s extremely difficult to keep our employees,” said Becky Baily, an administrator for the Center for Independent Living in Twin Falls. “A number of our employees and staff have had to stay home in quarantine or they’ve been hospitalized with COVID. We have a number of full-time shifts to be filled.”

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Idaho Unemployment Rate Falls to 4.4 Percent in December

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Jan. 22 2021
Media Contact: Craig Shaul, craig.shaul@labor.idaho.gov or Karen Jarboe Singletary, karen.jarboesingletary@labor.idaho.gov

December’s total nonfarm jobs exceed pre-pandemic peak for the first time

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent in December, and nonfarm payrolls regained 4,900 jobs as the state’s economy continues to recover.

December’s unemployment rate is down one-half of a percentage point from November’s revised 4.9 percent and currently stands 7.4 percentage points below April’s historic high of 11.8 percent.

Civilian Labor Force

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted labor force grew by 3,173 in December to 907,552, up 1.4 percent (+12,920) over its pre-pandemic level in March.

The total number of employed people increased by 6,916 to 867,423 in December. This 0.8 percent increase in total employed was the first significant increase since July.

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PDF Report Provides Information on Weekly Unemployment Claims

The Idaho Department of Labor is modifying how it publishes its weekly update of claims for unemployment insurance benefits. A new PDF report will be available that includes initial claims, regular continued claims, as well as expanded CARES act continued claims for 2021. The Unemployment Insurance Claims dashboard, and the downloadable Excel data file will both be updated on the department’s Weekly UI Claims webpage as normal. The department will no longer post the weekly claim numbers on the Idaho@Work blog.

A Closer Look at Idaho’s Financial Activities Sector in the Past Decade

The economic slowdown following the initial COVID-19 pandemic effects drove many industries to lose jobs temporarily – and some permanently – across Idaho and the United States. Idaho had been in the midst of a growth streak pre-pandemic, with a 2.5 percent unemployment rate in March. But shortly after, Idaho’s employment dropped nearly 10 percent from March to April – from roughly 873,000 jobs to 789,000. The impact, however, was not equally damaging across all industries. Some industries such as financial activities and construction have had over-the-year growth at a much higher rate than the nation. Nationally, employment within the financial activities industry declined.

To determine possible reasons for this disparity, the Idaho Department of Labor conducted a shift-share analysis over a 10-year period to isolate the effects of changing employment among financial sectors.

Find the research report on the Department of Labor website.

– Idaho Department of Labor