Monthly Archives: September 2013

September’s Economic Activity

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

Northern Idaho

  • After two years of negotiations, Petco will open next year in Ponderay’s Bonner Mall.
  • Trindera Engineering Inc. of Coeur d’Alene, specializing in electrical and consulting services, opened a second office in Spokane. The company has hired seven employees in the past six months to boost its payroll to 30 with 10 employees working full time in Spokane. The firm plans to continue expanding.
  • Gonzaga University in Spokane launched its first new school in nearly 40 years – the School of Nursing and Human Physiology.
  • Harbor Freight Tools is opening in Coeur d’Alene with  45 employees.
  • The Lodge at Fairway Forest, a 16-unit assisted-living facility is opening in Coeur d’Alene with 12 employees.

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High Demand in Health Care Jobs in Western States

top health jobs

Health care jobs are in high demand in Idaho. The Idaho Department of Labor’s 2010-2020 forecast for the hottest jobs in the state shows six of the top 10 are in health care. However, Idaho’s demand for health care workers is not unique in the western United States, where competition could become intense to fill health care openings.

The need for registered nurses in Idaho is expected to increase more than 40 percent between 2010 and 2020 and could be even greater if the state follows others and requires all registered nurses to have bachelor’s degrees in nursing. The estimate sees registered nurses increasing from 11,500 in 2010 to nearly 17,000 in 2020.
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Part-time Employment Surges in Idaho

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Idaho’s corps of part-time workers increased dramatically during the recession and has remained high even as the state’s economic recovery is gaining ground.

Workers in part-time jobs accounted for over 24 percent of total employment in 2012 – 174,000 or nearly one of every four workers. That was up from just over 18 percent – 135,000 – in 2007 during the final spurt of the state’s economic expansion.

In January, part-time employment hit 25 percent on a 12-month running average and has since begun to decline, falling to 23 percent in June.

But the level of part-time employment remained much higher following the recession, which ended in June 2009, than it did following the 2001 recession.

In some cases, the increase in part-time employment reflects the re-entry into the labor force of people who needed to supplement income because the recession eroded retirement savings or the primary household breadwinner was laid off or relegated to part time as employers coped with the downturn.

But the share of workers in part-time jobs even though they wanted but could not find full-time work more than doubled from 2007 and remained high into the recovery, likely a reflection of the structural shift toward service jobs in Idaho. There was an average of 35,000 involuntary part-time workers across Idaho in 2012 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – one of every five workers in part-time jobs.

It is one of the reasons Idaho has such a high percentage of multiple jobholders – 7.4 percent in 2011.

Idaho posted the third largest percentage point shift in the share of total jobs in the service sector from 2007 to 2012 – 3.9 percentage points behind Nevada and Arizona. In those five years, Idaho’s economic structure went from 81.3 percent service jobs to over 85.2 percent.

The monthly Current Population Survey, conducted jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, defines a part-time worker as anyone working between one and 34 hours during the survey week. The period of work must be the usual period of work and not an anomaly. The survey estimates not only workers in jobs covered by the unemployment insurance system, which averaged 623,000 in 2012 and 656,000 in 2007, but also the 90,000 people who are self-employed or work in noncovered employment.

While part-time employment nationally increased nearly two and a half percentage points during the recession, it never exceeded 20 percent and has been slowly receding the past two years. Idaho was one of only eight states seeing percentages of part-time employment rise significantly during the recession and then remain over 20 percent in the recovery through 2012.

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The six percentage-point spike in part-time employment in Idaho was the biggest percentage-point increase among the states. It was matched by Nevada, where part-time jobs never hit 20 percent and where the rate has been falling the last two years.

Manufacturing was the only major industrial sector to see a decline in the percentage of part-time jobs since 2007. Along with mining and government, manufacturing maintained a single-digit part-time job rate through the recession.

The recession’s biggest impact was on jobs in other services like dry-cleaning, automotive services, various repair services and personal services. Part-time jobs in this sector jumped from under 25 percent to 40 percent. Leisure and hospitality, which includes hotels and restaurants, jumped from 37 percent part time in 2007 to almost 50 percent in 2012.

Education and health care remained relatively stable, moving from just under 25 percent to 27.5 percent while the remaining sectors posted more substantial increases in part-time jobs.

— Bob Fick, communications manager, (208) 332-3570, ext. 3628

Grow Green Grant Helps Students Learn New Skills

Many of the highest-paying jobs require advanced skills in science, technology, engineering and math. To prepare students for careers in these fields, high schools, colleges and universities across Idaho tapped into a U.S. Department of Labor Grow Green grant managed by the Idaho Department of Labor.

The schools were awarded $4.6 million between February 2010 and June 2013 for programs such as wind energy, diesel engine technology, construction and pre-engineering. Nearly 1,800 students were involved in these programs, learning new skills because of the grants.
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Older Job Seeker Triumphs by Changing How She Conducted Job Search

Lory Brager was laid off seven months ago as a human resources manager for a large Idaho company when it reorganized. It was the second time she had been laid off due to the economy.

Lory1“The first time this happened to me in 2009, I felt so humiliated,” Lory said. “That feeling held me back from doing what had to be done. It was just as painful this time, but I made up my mind to do things differently. This time I was not going to feel like a victim.”

Lory immediately took all of the job search classes available in her area. She targeted her resume for each position for which she applied. Each cover letter was written as a ‘value proposition,’ indicating what she could do for the company.

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Investing in Education and Training is Still a Great Deal

A lifetime of big returns.

With the burgeoning costs of education, many students and families are wondering whether this investment will pay off in the long run and just how much of a return they will see.

According the data collected by the Idaho Department of Labor and the National Center for Education Statistics, investing in education still just might be the best deal on the block, and it may be a necessity for Idahoans who want to acquire wealth to improve their quality of life.

While the costs of a college education will often burden both students and their families with hefty student loans, over a lifetime the investment in a college education can return millions of dollars to their bank accounts.  Bachelor’s degrees can cost on average $127,000 if you include tuition, living expenses and interest on student loans. A Ph.D will cost around $307,000 on average. Sometimes these heavy price tags cause many to delay their education or simply avoid college altogether.

But the statistics also show that on average, workers with bachelor’s degrees who gain jobs in fields that require bachelor’s degrees will make an additional $1.1 million in their lifetimes for their $127,000 investment. For occupations requiring a Ph.D, workers will earn an additional $2.7 million over a lifetime from their $307,000 investment. In today’s competitive labor market an education is vital when competing for a job, acquiring wealth and improving the economic well-being of Idahoans.
college education

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