Remembering Idaho Labor Regional Economist Kathryn Tacke

Long-time Idaho Department of Labor analyst and friend of many Kathryn A. Tacke died suddenly of natural causes Friday, July 2, 2021, at her home in Lewiston.

Kathryn began her Idaho Labor career as a labor market analyst in 1988, serving the five most northern Idaho counties from the Coeur d’Alene office. She transferred to the Lewiston office in 2009 to serve region 2, which includes Latah, Lewis, Clearwater, Idaho and Nez Perce counties.

Highly respected in her field, Kathryn provided economic data to industry, education, local and state government and nonprofit organizations. She knew how to communicate complicated data information in her interactions with customers, in presentations and in her writing. She cherished her relationships with other Idaho Labor economists and was often called upon to teach methods and process.

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Idaho Receives More than $1.4 Million in Funding for AmeriCorps Programs


For Immediate Release: July 28, 2021
Media Contact: Renee Bade,

Serve Idaho, the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism has received a $1,409,832 grant from the federal AmeriCorps to fund Idaho AmeriCorps programs in 2021-2022. The grants will support the service of 209 AmeriCorps members statewide. AmeriCorps members give a year of intensive service, on a full-time or part-time basis.

Grants have been awarded to: Continue reading

Why Idaho Employers Struggle to Find Workers

Editor’s note: Regional economist Kathryn Tacke passed away unexpectedly on July 2. This is the last article she submitted for publication. Her previous articles can be found at Labor’s Idaho@Work blog.

What a difference a year makes. In April 2020, the pandemic and its effects pushed Idaho’s unemployment rate to an all-time high of 11.6%. This April, media across Idaho reported on labor shortages and how some businesses are struggling to stay open because they can’t find enough workers. The labor shortages are widespread — not only showing up in the state’s fast-growing urban areas, but also in rural communities. The businesses finding it hardest to recruit workers are construction firms, home care agencies, employers of certified nurse aides, restaurants, motels, trucking and package delivery companies and some manufacturers. School districts throughout the state are finding it difficult to hire substitute teachers and paraprofessionals.

Why has the job market become so tight? Before the pandemic, labor shortages were common. Now, thousands of Idaho employers are trying to make their normal seasonal hires and add new jobs as the state continues its recovery and growth in manufacturing and construction industries accelerates. This article explains the complex reasons for all the “help wanted” signs in Idaho and why employers are getting little or no response to want ads.

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Multi-Employer Hiring Event Set for July 27 in Pocatello


For Immediate Release: July 21, 2021
Media Contact: Kandi Rudd,

The Idaho Department of Labor is hosting a multi-employer hiring event Tuesday, July 27, at the Idaho Labor Pocatello office, 430 N. 5th Ave. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More than 30 employers will be looking for candidates to fill a wide range of positions such as welders, construction workers, heavy equipment operators, home health care and food service workers, paraprofessionals, administrative staff and truck drivers.

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Idaho’s June Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 3%


For Immediate Release: July 16, 2021
Media Contact: Craig Shaul, or Salvador Vazquez,

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 3% from May to June.

Total employment grew to 875,305, up 0.1% (+1,152), while total unemployment dropped -0.8% (-221) to 27,103.

Idaho’s labor force grew by one-tenth of a percent to 902,408 (+931), marking three consecutive months of gains. The labor force participation rate decreased from 62.7% to 62.6%.

In June, Idaho’s nonfarm payroll jobs jumped to 789,700, up 0.8% (+6,200) from 783,500 in May. Industries with job gains that exceeded expectations included information (+6.9%), state government (+3.8%), natural resources (+2.6%), other services (+2%), accommodation and food services (+1.7%), construction (+1.4%), education and health services (+1.1%), finance and insurance (+1%), local government (+0.7%), professional and business services (+0.6%), wholesale trade (+0.3%), and durable goods manufacturing (+0.3%).

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Deadline Nears to Nominate Idaho’s Outstanding Volunteers and Philanthropists


For Immediate Release: July 15, 2021
Media Contact: Renee Bade,

Monday, July 19, is the final day to nominate Idaho volunteers and philanthropists for the annual Idaho Philanthropy Day awards. This event honors Idaho citizens and for outstanding contributions to their communities. Three regional virtual events will take place in November to recognize winners from eastern, northern and southwestern Idaho.

The program organizers, Serve Idaho, the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism and the Idaho Nonprofit Center, encourage community members to nominate their neighbors online at by the deadline. Continue reading

Multi-Employer Hiring Event Set for July 13 in Boise


For Immediate Release: July 9, 2021
Media Contact: Anthony DeVille,

The Idaho Department of Labor is hosting a multi-employer hiring event Tuesday, July 13, at the Boise Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 3050 S. Shoshone St., from noon to 4 p.m.

Up to 30 employers will be looking for candidates to fill a wide range of positions such as bus drivers, human resource associates and account managers, and jobs in retail, hospitality, IT, warehouse operations and production.

Participating employers include Holiday Inn Express, Sorrento Lactalis, AT&T, the city of Boise, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Track Utilities, Amazon, O’Reilly Auto Parts,, Darigold, Guerdon and many more.

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Idaho Receives $4.25 Million Federal Grant to Expand, Diversify Registered Apprenticeships


For Immediate Release: July 2, 2021
Media Contacts: Darlene Carnopis, or Gina Robison,

Idaho is one of 15 states to receive a U.S Department of Labor grant to expand its Apprenticeship Idaho program. The $4.25 million grant will be administered by the Idaho Department of Labor.

“Idaho employers have one thing in common – they tell me they need a pipeline of skilled workers with industry-specific training and hands-on experience,” Governor Brad Little said. “By participating in a Registered Apprenticeship program, these same employers can create a customized talent pipeline with extensive education and training in one of more than 1,200 occupations.”

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AmeriCorps Members Provide Fire Support in Idaho


For Immediate Release: July 1, 2021
Media Contact: Renee Bade,

Individuals serving with the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) Fuels Management Team are partnering with the Salmon-Challis National Forest to support fire mitigation and response. 

Two male AmeriCorps fire management team members

AmeriCorps fire management team members Nick Braun and Connor Coyle have been working in the Salmon-Challis National Forest this year. They are part of a crew based in Sacramento, California.

The NCCC team is made up of seven AmeriCorps members from across the nation who have been working on a variety of projects focused on wildland fire. This fire mitigation team is one of only a few in the country and is specialized to provide the U.S. National Forest Service with additional firefighting capacity in strategic locations. The team is currently providing emergency services to the people of Leadore in eastern Idaho and the surrounding area. Continue reading

Around Idaho: Economic Activity in June 2021

Information provided in these news updates 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

Kootenai County

  • Riverstone Holdings is developing a mixed-use building in the Riverstone district. The new building will include office space for rent on the ground floor, three floors of condos above and underground parking. The project is slated for completion in summer 2022. Source: Journal of Business
  • The Coeur d’Alene Ironman race was successfully completed, after COVID-19 forced a cancellation in 2021. The triathlon – which features a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run – was the first full-distance ironman race held in Coeur d’Alene since 2017 and drew about 2,100 competitors to the area. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • The city of Hayden’s Planning and Zoning Commission approved a plan to turn the Hayden Meadows soccer complex into a housing subdivision. The 10-acre field was acquired, along with two adjacent properties, by Kulka Land LLC, which plans to turn the parcel into a 53-unit single family subdivision. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press


  • Iron Pizza Co. & Taphouse, Athol
  • Geico Insurance, Coeur d’Alene
  • Esthenique LLC, Coeur d’Alene
  • Cuppa Columbian Coffee, Coeur d’Alene
  • Backwoods Whiskey, Coeur d’Alene
  • Link Properties, Coeur d’Alene
  • Safe Splash, Coeur d’Alene
  • The Fixture Gallery, Dalton
  • Tubbs Coffee Roasters, Hayden
  • Brats & Brews, Spirit Lake, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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