Monthly Archives: November 2013

Don’t Let These Myths Keep You From Your Best Career Move

We know that jobs and the workplace have changed over time. Do any of these notions about your future sound familiar? If so, think again. Don’t let out-of-date attitudes get in the way of your future career success.

Myth: There is one perfect job for me.

Reality: Focusing on finding a single, perfect career is limiting. If you’re like most people, you will have several jobs and careers in your life, and each will have positive and negative aspects. Furthermore, your job preferences are likely to change over time as you gain experience, skills and self-knowledge. Keeping your options open is a position of strength, not weakness.

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Economic Activity in Idaho in November

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

Northern Idaho

  • Nearly 700 people from around the world attended the 11th annual Silver Summit in late October in Spokane. Participants toured Idaho’s Silver Valley Sunshine Mine, Lucky Friday Mill and New Jersey Mill. The summit featured 13 speakers and over 60 exhibitors including the country’s top three silver producers.
  • Sandpoint-based Coldwater Creek has laid off 20 percent of its full-time corporate workforce to save between $20 million and $25 million in the 2014 fiscal year although severance packages and restructuring costs will total $3 million.
  • A new Coeur d’Alene-based company, RockStar Resources, has been formed to advance precious metals projects into production by providing financial and permit support. Former Coeur d’Alene Mines Chief Executive Dennis Wheeler was named chairman of the newly formed company and K. Leon Hardy, a 30-year geological engineer, is president and chief executive.
  • The Idaho Department of Labor’s Kootenai County office hosted the 2013 Autumn Job Fair in October. Approximately 350 job seekers and 35 employers participated, and nearly 40 people have been hired so far.

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Partners in Business Group Provides Avenue for Networking

Kootenai County employers interested in learning more about networking and best practices for businesses might find the Partners in Business group worth a look.

The professional networking group was started more than 20 years ago with the purpose of creating mutually beneficial business relationships. The meetings are designed to inform, inspire and educate the business community by tapping area leaders and experts as speakers for the monthly meeting.

Stacey Hanlon, Idaho Department of Labor workforce consultant, introduces Rep. Luke Malek at the November Partners in Business meeting.  Malek discussed the state's health insurance exchange.

Stacey Hanlon, Idaho Department of Labor workforce consultant, introduces Rep. Luke Malek at the November Partners in Business meeting. Malek discussed the state’s health insurance exchange.

“It’s an inexpensive way to learn how to grow and expand your business and to network with other businesses in your community,” said Ricia Lasso, Idaho Department of Labor’s regional business specialist and one of the group’s early coordinators.

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Career Information is For Adults Too

Idaho’s Career Information System is not just for kids. The free, customized online tool also helps adults stay on a solid path toward a successful future while they are in school, training or pursuing a new career.

AdultCISUser copyStudents and adults with career plans are more likely to stay in school, pursue a higher education and once they enter the world of work, see greater promotional opportunities. Accessing Idaho’s Career Information System is free and can help both parents and children:

  • Understand how interests and strengths connect to the world of work
  • Define a career path
  • Decide areas of study to pursue in middle/junior high, high school and college
  • Find the training, education, knowledge – and money – necessary for following their dreams.

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FAQ Friday – What questions shouldn’t be asked in a job interview?

Do you have any job openings at your business? Do you have a plan in place to make sure your interview and application process follows legal guidelines?

Here are some questions and answers taken from the guide to lawful applications and interviews created by the Idaho Department of Labor and Idaho Human Rights Commission. Please download a pdf of the full guide for additional information.

How can I know whether my interview questions are discriminatory?

Understanding what discrimination is should help a great deal. Additionally, answering the following questions should help employers avoid most discriminatory inquiries during the pre-employment interview. 1) Do my questions tend to have the effect of screening out persons in protected groups? 2) Is the information I requested really necessary to judge the individual competence for the performance of this particular job?

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Will Baby Boomers’ Retirement Affect Idaho’s Economy?

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Baby boomers have been shaking the economy ever since their birth. Now, they are starting to reach traditional retirement age. How quickly they retire and how high their incomes are after retirement will have a significant effect on Idaho’s economy.

What was the baby boom?

Since their birth in the 18 years after World War II ended, this enormous generation has affected the economy. In their childhood, they dramatically increased the demand for baby paraphernalia, children’s clothing and toys. As they entered their teens and began working, they swelled the ranks of workers, spurring U.S. productive capacity. Now, they are in their 50s and 60s, and they may be rewriting what it means to be a senior citizen.

They were born during the “baby boom” that followed World War II. Americans had dramatically reduced births rates during the Depression that began in 1929 and lasted until America entered the war in 1941. During the war, millions of Americans put off marriage and children. Once, the war ended in August 1945, marriage and babies were high on the agendas of millions.

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How Can a Vet Rep Help You Find a Job?

Veterans Representative Randy Wilde answers questions about how Idaho Department of Labor employees help veterans find jobs.

What does a Vet Rep do?

We have two types of Veterans Representatives: Local Veterans Employment Representatives and Disabled Veteran Outreach Program specialists. We currently have two local employment reps and 11 disabled veteran program specialists positioned throughout the state based on the veteran population within cities, counties and regions.

Randy Wilde, veteran repI am a Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist. My responsibilities are to provide intensive services to all veterans with barriers to employment including service-related disabilities, homelessness, felonies, etc. We help in many ways including assessing the veterans’ capabilities and what they need to do to become employable. We also use other resources such as Veterans Affairs Medical Center, River of Life, El-Ada, Idaho Division of Veterans Services and the Veterans Center to help veterans and get them retrained if possible.

Once they are ready for the job market, the Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist works with the Local Veterans Employment Representatives to help find employment. The local employment representative works with employers to find veterans with the skills and qualifications for the particular position they are trying to fill. Local Veterans Employment Representatives don’t work directly with veterans.

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Educators, Parents Help Students Learn About Career Development

Educators and career development professionals create awareness of the importance of career development in many different ways. Parents also can be involved and encourage their children to start thinking about careers from an early age.

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Do Established Businesses Pay Higher Wages?


According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, about half of new businesses survive more than five years. By 10 years that number drops to a third. The age of a firm can say a lot about its overall success in its industry. However, it is debated as to whether the more established firms pay employees more than new companies do.

The majority of Idaho’s employment is with older firms. Almost three quarters of Idaho’s stable jobs – those that last at least a full quarter – are in firms that have been in business 11 years or longer. The next oldest group, those that have been operating for six to 10 years, follow with 13 percent of the total employment. The younger firms employ around 4 percent each, so combined they come in just under 13 percent.
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‘Tis the Season for Retail Hiring


The seasons are changing and so are retail employment trends. During the depths of the recent recession seasonal employment trends for many industries were subdued by soft hiring activity.

The distress in Idaho’s retail trade industry was especially prevalent between 2008 and 2010. Average employment for all Idaho’s industries in 2012 was still 7 percent below pre-recession levels. But retail trade employment was down 8.4 percent. Even though employment numbers are still down, signs of health are returning.
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