Monthly Archives: July 2013

‘Meet the Employer’ Connects Businesses, Job Seekers

After several northern Idaho employers expressed a need for keeping their employee pipeline primed with potential candidates, Kootenai County’s local office employment services team had the perfect answer:

Meet the Employer, an informal way for local businesses to discuss openings and talk with job seekers about working for their firms. The event will be held in the Kootenai County local office from 10 a.m. to noon on the second Wednesday of each month.

Job seekers were actively engaged with employers at the first Monthly Hiring Event at the Kootenai office of the Idaho Department of Labor.

Job seekers were actively engaged with employers at the first Monthly Hiring Event at the Kootenai office of the Idaho Department of Labor.

The first event, held in June, was attended by 300 job seekers and 15 businesses, including Xaact Products, Life Care Center of Post Falls and Silverwood Theme Park.

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Economic Activity in Idaho in July

Idaho department of labor county developments

Here is a roundup of economic news compiled by the Idaho Department of Labor in July:

Northern Idaho

  • Premera Blue Cross, the Inland Northwest’s largest health plan provider, has been boosting its workforce to handle implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act next year and to support the state-run Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which begins operating in October. The Spokane office has expanded from 445 to 575 this spring and should reach 600 by the end of the year.
  • Parker Motor Group in Post Falls is making big changes. The Subaru dealership will move to the former Tom Addis Dodge complex in August. The current Parker Subaru complex will become Parker Volkswagen and will open in September. The Parker Toyota dealership remains with 162 employees and 450 vehicles. The Subaru dealership has 44 employees and 150 cars, and the VW complex will have 25 people and about 100 cars.

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Tips for Teens: Applying for that First Job

Landing a first job can be difficult for a teen since employers often look for experience when making a hire.

But Hope Keller, workforce consultant for the Idaho Department of Labor’s Orofino office, offered up these tips to make the job search easier for teens.

What resume tips do you have for teens?

Workforce consultant Hope Keller

Workforce consultant Hope Keller

Don’t sell yourself short.  Write down all the activities you are involved in (school, volunteer, sports), as well as “spot” jobs such as babysitting, housecleaning, yard work and family jobs like ranching.

Next, write down all your skills and separate them into two categories “technical” skills and “soft skills” and highlight both. Employers often look for a combination of both.

Don’t overlook your soft skills. For example, if you play sports you learned teamwork, communication, the ability to follow directions and the ability to prioritize and multitask. Sports also teach transferrable technical skills such as physical fitness and hand-eye coordination.

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Spending on Local Education Declines Across U.S.

Spending on local education took a hit during the recent recession, and 2011 was the first year that per student public money spending decreased nationally since the U.S. Census started collecting annual data in 1977 on public education financing.

2011 per pupilThe most recent report shows per pupil expenditures dropping four-tenths of a percentage point between 2010 and 2011.

Idaho is near the bottom of the states in per pupil expenditures, ranking 50th in 2011 at $6,824. Utah was last at $6,212.

Idaho was more than $3,700 below the national average of $10,560. Regionally only two states had per pupil expenditures greater than the national average – Wyoming ranked sixth and Montana ranked 25th.
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Six Things to Know About Unpaid Internships

Internships are one of the most important experiences that students can participate in during their college career and ranked one of the most important things employers look for when hiring recent grads, according to Anne Evans from Boise State University’s Career Center. Internships allow students to gain hands-on professional experience in their field of study and provide a mentoring environment for a future career choice.

But a recent court ruling by a federal judge in New York that Fox Searchlight Pictures violated minimum wage and overtime laws by not paying interns has caused concerns and questions about unpaid internships. It is important to note that this case did not involve students working through a university internship program.

If structured properly in an educational environment, unpaid internships can be extremely valuable to a college student according to Evans, assistant director, Internships and Student Employment , but the internships must meet the following criteria established by the U.S. Department of Labor:

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Mexico Shows Strong Economic Growth, Lower Outmigration

Mexico’s future is looking brighter. Like the United States, it is benefitting from rising costs in China, which are bringing manufacturing closer to the American consumer. Mexico’s growing prosperity is making many American companies court its consumers. At the same time, improved economic conditions and lower birth rates are reducing migration from Mexico to the United States.

us mexican population

The Aztec Tiger

Mexico is experiencing an economic resurgence and seems poised for strong growth in the next few years. Some observers are talking about the rise of the “Aztec tiger.” The nation of 115 million, currently the world’s 14th largest economy, could be among the world’s 10 biggest economies by the end of this decade. It is expected to compete successfully for manufacturing work against China, India and Brazil.
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Labor Force Structure Experiencing ‘Silver Tsunami’

workers 45plus

Idaho may not be home to hurricanes, but it has certainly experienced a “silver tsunami” – the rapid shift toward an older workforce.

While the state population grew 20 percent between the 2000 and 2010, employment levels for workers age 45 and older grew 34 percent.

Idaho’s labor force has experienced a significant structural change over an extended period – a demographic shift adding nearly 140,000 workers age 45 and older between 1991 and 2012. The population of workers age 25 to 44 increased by only 50,470.

Worker migration data is also uncovering the tsunami’s existence. Interstate unemployment claims in January 2013 revealed nearly 800 claims were made by workers age 65 and older – more claims than all other age groups combined. These interstate claims reflect the number of claims made by individuals who now reside in Idaho but are claiming unemployment benefits for jobs lost in other states.

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Helping a Coeur d’Alene Employer Find the Best Hire

Steve Gibbs

Steve Gibbs

Steve Gibbs, owner of the Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene, needed a gallery assistant to be part of his team. It was the first time he needed to advertise for this position since previous hires were found by networking with members of the local artists’ community.

The position requirements were specific: someone design oriented and  social media savvy, but what Steve really needed was a good ‘people’ person. A good communicator, friendly, confident, honest and good-natured – personality traits typically determined during an interview.
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